Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 36 Stillwater Lift Bridge

Between Minnesota and Wisconsin on the St. Croix River

Pedestrian/bicycle/boating impacts


Bridge closure

Aug. 2, 2017 through winter 2019-2020
  • The Stillwater Lift Bridge over the St. Croix River is closed to all traffic.
    • Motor vehicle traffic has been transferred to the St. Croix Crossing bridge in Oak Park Heights. The lift bridge is expected to reopen for pedestrian and bicycle traffic only in early 2020. The regular lift schedule will resume in the spring of 2020.

Note: The 2019 lift bridge schedule will end in mid-October. Marine traffic is currently traveling through a gap in the bridge created by the removal of span 6, two spans east of the lift section.

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 1875. The cost was split evenly between Minnesota and Wisconsin. The lift bridge has become a 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 Minn. Hwy 36 in Stillwater and Wis. Hwy 64 in Houlton. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

The Lift Bridge, spanning the St. Croix River, is being transformed into a bicycle/pedestrian crossing. The lift bridge continues to serve marine traffic during the project. The regular lift schedule will be maintained after the work is complete.

The circular concourse, located at the east end of the lift bridge between the bridge and Chestnut St., was originally a spot for people to gather. The concourse/plaza is surrounded by concrete railings, sidewalks and curb, adorned with decorative lighting. Concrete steps and a roadway provide access to Lowell Park that stretches along the western shore of the St. Croix River in Stillwater. The concourse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (1992) due to its location within the Stillwater Commercial Historic District and the Stillwater Cultural Landscape District (eligible since 1998).

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 Aug. 2, 2017 following the opening of the new St. Croix Crossing Bridge in Oak Park Heights.

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