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.

Road closures

7 a.m. Mon, May 21 through Friday afternoon, May 25
  • Hwy 95/Main St. N in Stillwater will be closed from Myrtle St. to Mulberry St. for the installation of watermain and sanitary sewer utilities to Stillwater’s newest hotel.
    • Local Downtown Traffic Detour: Water St. N or 2nd St. N 
    • Note: This closure is not part of the Hwy 95 Stillwater project south of downtown Stillwater.

Lift schedule

2018

The U.S. Coast Guard has changed the Stillwater Lift Bridge lift schedule for the 2018 boating season. The 2018 schedule is in accordance with Coast Guard Regulations -- 33 CFR 117.667.

The lift bridge now will operate every half hour between 8 a.m. and 12 midnight seven days a week from approximately May 15 through Oct. 15. The new schedule was created following the results of a test deviation for the Stillwater Lift Bridge's lift schedule and public comment received during the 2017 boating season.

View the lift schedule page for complete details.

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.

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