One step closer
Despite seemingly neverending snow and rain this spring and early summer, progress on the Highway 35 overpass near Houlton is right on target.
“We are on schedule and will have the overpass open to traffic by July 3, in time for July Fourth holiday weekend,” said WisDOT Northwest Region communications manager Chris Ouellette. “After that work is completed, crews will continue grading and making their way to the new interchange until winter.”
Work began on the Wisconsin approach of the St. Croix Crossing bridge project March 12. Motorists traveling between Hudson and Houlton were routed around the interchange site (where Highway 35 will cross over the newly rerouted Highway 64) along County Roads V and E in the Town of St. Joseph beginning March 17.
Now that the interchange is done, drivers will pass over the new Highway 64 on an overpass structure with views of the new St. Croix Crossing bridge to the west, Ouellette said.
According to the WisDOT website, “drivers will continue north and approach a new roundabout just south of Houlton. Highway 35 will no longer go into Houlton; instead drivers will turn right through a roundabout onto Highway 35’s new alignment and continue to the new interchange roundabout and then turn right onto the Highway 64 west ramp.”
The Wisconsin approach is expected to be done in fall 2016. Other phases of the project include the Highway 35/County Road E interchange, adding a pedestrian and bike path, and two roundabouts located at the ramp terminals.
It’s natural for people to be curious about the Crossing construction and progress, but WisDOT asks everyone to stay out of construction zones -- no exceptions.
“We’re having some issues with people walking around the work site, going down to the river to take pictures, look for rocks,” Ouellette said. “It’s very dangerous for them to do so. We are asking that everyone please stay out of the construction zone at all times. Even when crews are not working, it is not safe to be walking around in the closed off areas.”
Ouellette said WisDOT had reports of people driving around the barricades and onto the new overpass before it was open to traffic, due to the Stillwater Lift Bridge being closed due to high water.
“This poses risks to the motorists, the workers and also could have caused damage to this brand new structure,” Ouellette said. “Please obey the construction signs and help keep this project moving along in a safe manner.”
For more information on the St. Croix Crossing - Wisconsin approach project, visit dot.wi.gov/projects/nwregion/stcroixcrossing/index.htm or follow progress at facebook.com/saintcroixcrossingmndot.