Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 36 Stillwater Lift Bridge

Between Minnesota and Wisconsin on the St. Croix River

Traffic impacts

Learn more about this project.

Current

View the current lift bridge schedule.

Bridge closure

Aug. 2, 2017 through June 2019
  • The Stillwater Lift Bridge over the St. Croix River between Stillwater, MN and Houlton, WI is closed to ALL traffic
    • Traffic has been transferred to the new St. Croix Crossing bridge to the south in Oak Park Heights as the Stillwater Lift Bridge will be converted to a bicycle/pedestrian crossing. It will reopen for pedestrian and bicycle traffic only and lift for boats in June of 2019.
    • Note: The Stillwater Lift Bridge lift schedule ended in late Oct. 2017.

Construction on related projects

St. Croix Crossing final work and mitigation

Although the Hwy 36 St. Croix river crossing opened to traffic on Wed, Aug. 2, 2017, additional work remains to complete the project.

Spring 2018
Stay informed

Hwy 95

Construction of the Upper Loop Trail in Minnesota along Hwy 95 north of the new St. Croix Crossing will begin. Construction will include adding new drainage structures beneath Hwy 95 near the Oasis Café’ and landscaping stemming from the St. Croix Crossing project.

Current
Lane closures
Thu, April 26 to early May; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily during weekdays
  • Hwy 95 will have single lane traffic controlled by flaggers between Hwy 36 and Nelson St. in Stillwater. Expect minor delays.
Upcoming
Road closure
June 2018
  • Hwy 95 closed from north of Hwy 36 to Nelson St.
    • Downtown Historic Stillwater from Hwy 36 Detour: North on Co. Rd. 15 (Manning Ave.), east on 75th St. (Co. Rd. 12). 75th St. becomes Myrtle Ave. as it nears downtown Stillwater.
    • Hwy 95 north of Stillwater from Hwy 36 Detour: North on Co. Rd. 15 (Manning Ave.), east on Hwy 96 to Hwy 95 north of Stillwater.
    • View the Detour Map (PDF)

      Note: Access will be maintained at all times to the Oasis Café and St. Croix Boat and Packet from southbound Hwy 95. Hwy 95 just north of Hwy 36 will remain open to Sunnyside Marina ONLY
Stay informed

Lift schedule

2018

The Coast Guard will announce its decision on the 2018 Stillwater Lift Bridge lift schedule prior to the 2018 boating season. The 2018 schedule will be in accordance with Coast Guard Regulations -- 33 CFR 117.667.

2017

The U.S. Coast Guard conducted a test deviation for the Stillwater Lift Bridge's lift schedule during the 2017 boating season. During last year's season, the bridge opened daily, every 30 minutes from 8 a.m. until midnight, and upon two hour notice from midnight until 8 a.m. This test deviation was effective from 8 a.m. Aug. 23, 2017 through 11:59 p.m. Oct. 15, 2017. Public comment was accepted during and after the test schedule period. The comment period is now closed.

View the lift schedule page for complete details.

River traffic

During rehabilitation of the Stillwater Lift bridge, efforts will be made to minimize impacts to river traffic during the navigation season. During the summer of 2018, span six, which is located east of the lift bridge span, will be floated out of its current location to provide an opening for boats to use while the lift bridge span is being repaired.

About this project

The iconic Stillwater lift bridge was built in 1931 at a cost of $460,174 to replace a swing bridge dating to 1910. The cost was split evenly between Minnesota and Wisconsin. It has become the much-loved symbol of the city of Stillwater, nestled on the west bank of the St. Croix River. The vertical lift highway bridge formerly connected Minnesota Hwy 36 in Stillwater and Wisconsin Hwy 64 in Houlton. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

The Historic Stillwater Lift Bridge spanning the St. Croix River will undergo a transformation into a bicycle/pedestrian crossing. The lift bridge also will accommodate marine traffic during and after the project is complete. This conversion project is part of the St. Croix Crossing Project. The converted lift bridge will also become part of a 5-mile “loop trail” system connecting the new river crossing bridge up with the historic bridge and other local trails.

The lift bridge closed to all traffic on Wed, Aug. 2, 2017 following the opening of the new St. Croix Crossing Bridge to the south in Oak Park Heights. During project work, the Lift Bridge will still operate to accommodate boat navigation. 

Summary of work

  • Repair steel connections
  • Restore mechanical and electrical components
  • Repair concrete railings
  • Reconstruct concourse
  • Paint lift bridge its historic green color
  • Replace lighting to replicate the original 1931 lights

Video

Stillwater Lift Bridge - Animation of Final Design