Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 36 Stillwater Lift Bridge

Between Minnesota and Wisconsin on the St. Croix River

Traffic impacts


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 facility. It will reopen for pedestrian and bicycle traffic only in June of 2019
    • Note: the Stillwater Lift Bridge lift schedule is still in effect, see below for details

Lift schedule

The U.S. Coast Guard announced a test deviation for the Stillwater Lift Bridge's lift schedule to open 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 will be accepted on this test schedule.

See the updated 2017 Stillwater Lift Bridge lift schedule. The schedule is in accordance with Coast Guard Regulations -- 33 CFR 117.667.

River traffic

Efforts will be made to minimize impacts to river traffic by scheduling work both outside of the navigation season and within the navigation season.

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 facility. 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.

It closed to all traffic on Wed, Aug. 2 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


Stillwater Lift Bridge - Animation of Final Design