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St. Croix River Crossing …One Step at a Time

Metro District Engineer Khani Sahebjam signs the SFEIS for the St. Croix River Crossing project.
Photo by Mary McFarland-Brooks

Fourscore and seven years ago our forefathers (and mothers) began working on the St. Croix River Crossing. Today the project moved another step closer to reality with the signing of the Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SFEIS), by Metro District Engineer, Khani Sahebjam.

The document is the result of over four years of hard work by the St. Croix Stakeholders Group, Mn/DOT, WisDOT and the FHWA. The voluminous document contains a thorough examination of the social, economic and environmental impacts of the project. The SFEIS documents the preferred alternative, including the roadway approaches in Minnesota and Wisconsin and the river bridge type, the subsequent use of the Stillwater Lift Bridge as a pedestrian facility and an extensive mitigation package.

The document is expected to be available to the public in mid-June and will be followed by a 30-day public review period. A Record of Decision and Adequacy Determination are anticipated in August and will document Mn/DOT, WisDOT and FHWA’s final decision regarding the preliminary engineering for the project. $25 million for final design and implementation of a number of mitigation items has been obtained by Mn/DOT, WisDOT and local partners. However, construction funding may be the project’s biggest remaining hurdle; however, discussions are underway between FHWA, the two DOT’s and national experts to identify and pursue a funding strategies to build the estimated $373M mega project.

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