St. Croix River bridge ceremony planned for Aug. 2
OAK PARK HEIGHTS, Minn. — The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new St. Croix River bridge will be 10 a.m. Aug. 2, but Minnesota Department of Transportation officials aren't sure when the bridge will open to traffic.
MnDOT spokesman Kevin Walker said that the bridge will likely be ready for vehicles within a few days of the ribbon cutting.
"It could be that night. It could be the following morning," he said. "There is no definite timeframe at this time."
The ceremony will take place on the eastbound Minnesota 36 approach ramp spanning Minnesota 95 in Oak Park Heights. People attending the ceremony will not be allowed to walk across the bridge, Walker said.
"In light of everything that is going on in the world today, we want to make sure that this is a safe environment," he said Thursday, June 15. "With what happened with the shooting (in Alexandria, Va.) yesterday, we need to be very, very careful. We want to keep the event contained to a specific area and not on the bridge. Law enforcement wants this to happen."
The new bridge will connect Oak Park Heights and St. Joseph, Wis., and will replace the aging Stillwater Lift Bridge, which will become part of a hiking and biking trail. The project is estimated to cost up to $646 million.
MnDOT had previously said the bridge would be open by November 2017 — a year later than originally planned. But contractors Lunda/Ames Joint Venture announced earlier this year that the bridge could be done by August.