Bridge comes tumbling down

Bridge down-2
What’s left of the eastbound Minnesota 36 flyover bridge to northbound Minnesota 95 is a pile of broken concrete and twisted metal after crews demolished the span early Saturday as part of the St. Croix Crossing bridge project. MN 95 was closed between County Road 14 and MN 36 from 10 p.m. Friday to about 7 p.m. Sunday as crews cleaned up the remains of the bridge and completed utility work. (Gazette staff photo by Doug Lacher)

One bridge came down and it’s a matter of time before a second span falls.

The stretch of Minnesota 95 between Minnesota 36 and CSAH 14 in Bayport reopened to traffic Sunday evening after it was closed late Friday by the state Department of Transportation so crews could demolish the flyover ramp from eastbound MN 36 to northbound 95 and do utility work last weekend.

MnDOT’s next planned road closure is the Beach Road bridge and ramps to and from MN 36 Aug. 18. Crews have started construction of the new Beach Road span west of the old bridge, which will be demolished. The project is expected to be finished by year’s end.

Before closing the Beach Road bridge, MnDOT will open the new South Frontage Road extension running east of Phil’s Tara Hideaway Restaurant.

MnDOT officials said.

The demolition of the flyover and Beach Road bridges are part of the St. Croix Crossing bridge project Minnesota approach work. All the work this year occurs east of the MN 36 and Osgood Avenue intersection.

MnDOT said MN 95 was reopened about 7 p.m. Sunday after crews completed bridge demolition and utility work early. MN 95 was expected to be closed until about 5 a.m. Monday.

The same time crews demolished the flyover bridge, another crew was finishing the MN 36 south frontage road extension expected to open to traffic next week as part of the detour after the Beach Road bridge closes, MnDOT officials said.

MnDOT officials said they expect the Beach Road bridge closure to cause traffic delays at the MN 36-Osgood Avenue intersection. The agency encourages motorists traveling between MN 36 and MN 95 to seek alternate routes to avoid traffic congestion.

Oak Park Heights residents in the city’s Old Neighborhood will see night work associated with the south frontage road extension continue into the fall, according to MnDOT. In addition, nighttime hauling of excess job site soil from Oak Park Heights to Baytown Township begins the week of Aug. 19 and continues into early September, agency officials said. Overnight work hours are from Monday through Saturday.

Meanwhile, motorists on Wisconsin 64 between 150th Avenue and County V in St. Croix County will see more trucks hauling clean material from the St. Croix River bottom as part of pier foundation work through the fall, MnDOT officials said.

Some area residents could experience noise disruptions from hydraulic drilling work on Pier 8, the pier closest to the Minnesota shoreline, for the next six weeks. Work on four of the five bridge pier foundations continues with construction on the fifth pier expected to start in September, MnDOT officials said.

St. Croix River boaters are reminded that no-wake rules are in effect in the bridge construction zone’s restricted channel, MnDOT project officials said.

Contact Erik Sandin at [email protected]