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This site is background information on the development of the project

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS - 2013
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MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

Public comments can be sent to e-mail address: kevin.walker@state.mn.us
Project Schedule - Feb. 18, 2010 (28k PDF)

News Release - Public Information Meetings on November 4th & 5th, 2009 For New River Crossing Bridge
   Boards from the November 2009 Public Meetings (PDF)


Industry Update - October 25, 2009 - For Design-Build Project (90k PDF)
   Project Development Update Powerpoint Presentation (3,990k PDF)
   New River Bridge Powerpoint Presentation (3,130k PDF)
   Design Build Procurement Powerpoint Presentation (82K PDF)
   Video of Presentations - 100MB LARGE
News Release - Public Information Meetings on July 15 & 16, 2009 for New River Crossing Bridge
    Handouts and Boards from the July 2009 Public Meetings (PDF)
News Release - Open House on February 5, 2009 for Lift Bridge Mgt Plan & Repair Project
News Release - Open House on January 18, 2009 for Lift Bridge Mgt Plan & Repair Project
News Release - Open House on March 27, 2008 for Lift Bridge Mgt Plan & Repair Project


City of Bayport's Public Hearing on Municipal Consent
Notice of Public Hearing - Jan 8, 2007(47k PDF)

City of Stillwater's Public Hearing on Municipal Consent
Notice of Public Hearing - Oct 31, 2006(12k PDF)

2006 SUPPLEMENTAL FINAL EIS, Public comment period closes July 19, 2006
Distribution Memo for SFEIS - June 16, 2006 (241k pdf)

NEWSLETTER Spring 2006 - Supplemental Final EIS, Available for public comment - (2,516 k pdf)


Following the Visual Quality Open Houses, held in September 2005, the St. Croix Visual Quality Review Committee (VQRC) and Project Team (Wisconsin DOT, Minnesota DOT and Consultant Team) have enthusiastically chosen the "Organic" architectural bridge concept for further development. This concept successfully balances engineering and functional criteria of cost, maintenance and construction means with visual, aesthetic and architectural project criteria. Of the three concepts presented at the mid-September Open Houses, the public also preferred this concept. Working with the VQRC, the Project Team will continue to move forward with further architectural and engineering refinement of the "Organic" concept.


Draft Amended Memorandum of Agreement (Section 106)
Outlining proposed Mitigation for Impacts to Historic Resources

Public Comment Period Closes August 5, 2005

Draft Amended Memorandum of Agreement (Section 106) for the historic properties of the St. Croix River Crossing Project, June 6, 2005 (67k PDF)
Draft Section 106 MOA Timeline Implementation Graphic (403k PDF)
Distribution Letter to Libraries for Draft Amended Memorandum of Agreement (Section 106) 31k PDF

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) and Wisconsin Department of Transportation (Wis/DOT), has prepared a Draft Section 106 Amended Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the St. Croix River Crossing Project. The Draft Section 106 Amended MOA was completed in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and addresses mitigation for impacts to historic resources. This document was developed with input from various federal and state agencies, local governments, and interested Stakeholders.

Interested persons are encouraged to provide substantive comments on the enclosed document. Public comments on the Draft Section 106 Amended MOA must be received by Friday, August 5, 2005 (30 days). Comments will be considered in the development of a Final Section 106 Amended MOA. The Final Section 106 Amended MOA will be included in the St. Croix River Crossing Project Supplemental Final EIS, anticipated for publication in September 2005.

Comments regarding the Section 106 Amended MOA must be received by Friday, August 5, 2005 and should be directed to:

Cheryl Martin
Environmental Engineer
Federal Highway Administration –Minnesota Division
Galtier Plaza
380 Jackson Street, Suite 500
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 291-6000 (fax)
cheryl.martin@fhwa.dot.gov (No forwards will be accepted.)

The Draft Section 106 Amended Memorandum of Agreement is also available for review at the following locations


City of Stillwater's Public Hearing on Park Properties


Transit and Land Use Workshop - December 13, 2004


Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) Phase

September Public Hearings

Mn/DOT, WisDOT and FHWA held two public hearings for the St. Croix River Crossing Project in September to gather public input on the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) and present information on the alternatives being considered in the SDEIS. The first meeting was held at Stillwater Junior High School in Stillwater, MN on Tuesday, September 21, 2004. The second meeting was held at Somerset High School on Wednesday, September 22, 2004. Approximately 200 people attended each of the hearings in an Open House format featuring numerous plans, drawings, maps and animations of the various alignments and impact analysis. A pre-recorded presentation summarizing the history, status and alternatives currently considered was also available for viewing throughout the hearings.

Read the SDEIS online
The SDEIS is available for review from August 16th through, October 6th, 2004 at these locations

Fall 2004 Project Newsletter (638k PDF)



June Public Informational Meetings

The St. Croix River Crossing Stakeholders Group together with Mn/DOT and WisDOT held two meetings regarding potential alignments for the St. Croix River Crossing project. The first meeting was held at Hudson Senior High School in Hudson, Wisconsin on Tuesday, June 15. The second was held at Stillwater Junior High School on Monday, June 21. Approximately 300 people attended each of the meetings, which included a power point presentation narrated by a representative from the consulting firm and a panel made up of representatives from each of transportation agencies as well as from the Federal Highway Administration. The audience asked numerous questions about the timing and cost of the project, as well as details about each of the alignments. Each of the meetings was also preceded by an Open House which featured numerous plans, drawings and maps of the various alignments

Summer 2004 Newsletter (2,900k PDF)
Request for Public Questions Brochure slow connection (1,900k PDF) 5/10/2004
Request for Public Questions Brochure fast connection (19,000k PDF) 5/10/2004


Scoping Phase

2003 Amended Final Scoping Decision Document

Mn/DOT and Wis/DOT held two public scoping meetings for the St. Croix River Crossing Project on December 2 & 3, 2003 in Houlton, WI & Stillwater, MN to present information gathered during the scoping process to-date and to present recommendations for project alternatives and issues to be studied in the SEIS.

Meetings News Releases

Public Hearings Scheduled for St. Croix River Crossing (Sept 7, 2004)
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Wisconsin and Minnesota Departments of Transportation (WisDOT, Mn/DOT) will hold two Public Hearings that will provide an opportunity for members of the public to give official input regarding alternatives studied for a new St. Croix River Crossing between Washington County, Minnesota and St. Croix County, Wisconsin.

St. Croix River Crossing Informational Meetings Scheduled (June 7, 2004)
The St. Croix River Crossing Project Stakeholder Group in, cooperation with Mn/DOT and WisDOT, will hold two public informational meetings in June to update the public on the project.

St. Croix River Crossing Public Scoping Meetings (Dec. 2, 2003)
The public is invited to view St. Croix River Crossing project materials and discuss the project with staff on Dec. 2 and 3.

St. Croix River Crossing Scoping Meetings to be held (Nov. 26, 2003)
The Wisconsin and Minnesota Departments of Transportation soon will host public scoping meetings to present information and recommendations for a new St. Croix River Crossing between Washington County, Mn. and St. Croix County, Wisc.


History of Public and Agency Involvement

The studies for the St. Croix River Crossing between Stillwater/Oak Park Heights, Minnesota and St. Joseph Township, Wisconsin, have involved substantial coordination with the public, agencies, communities, and special concern groups. The major areas of coordination and public input include but are not limited to the following: scoping activities for the original draft environmental impact report; the Stillwater-Houlton Bridge Task Force; formal resolutions; public petitions and mail-in comments; public informational meetings and newsletters; the Braun Facilitation Process; and meetings with cooperating agencies along with their review comments. More specific descriptions of the past public involvement process can be found in the project documents including the 1987 Scoping Decision Document, the 1990 Draft EIS, the 1995 Final EIS, the 1998 Braun Report, and the 1999 Amended Scoping Decision Document. Public involvement is currently taking place in the Stakeholder Resolution Process.

The current round of studies for a new river crossing began with scoping activities in 1984 leading to the Draft Environmental Impact Report of 1990 and the Final Environmental Impact Report in 1995. The Stillwater- Houlton Bridge Task Force started meeting in 1985 and had periodic meetings for this entire period. The Task Force was composed of members and alternates that were appointed by the 11 communities that could have been affected by the various bridge alternatives.

Because of the potential impact of a new river crossing, a number of communities were closely involved with the environmental review process. Several passed formal resolutions supporting or rejecting specific alternatives. In 1988, the St. Joseph Town Board unanimously passed a motion which stated that if a new river crossing is built, it should be located along the northern alignment of the South Corridor (the "Buckhorn" site). According to the resolution, the northern alignment "is the only route in the Southern Corridor that the Board finds acceptable."

In 1988, the Stillwater City Council passed a resolution supporting the South Corridor as the preferred location for a new river crossing. The statement observed that "the South Corridor Bridge location has the fewest detrimental impacts to the City," and that "the Central or North locations would be detrimental to the health, welfare and economy of the Stillwater community." In addition to the City Council resolution, the Stillwater Planning Commission, the Heritage Preservation Commission, the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Business Association and the Downtown Development Corporation recommended a South Corridor bridge location as well as continued operation of the existing lift bridge.

Grant Township passed a resolution in 1987 opposing the selection of a North Corridor route. In 1987, Stillwater Township took a position that "the Northern Corridor is not a viable site for a new bridge."

During the original EIS process in 1990, two petitions were circulated in support of various alternatives. The largest contained over 400 signatures, mainly from residents living in the Minnesota portion of the study area. This petition advocated locating a new bridge "over the St. Croix River south of Stillwater as an extension of State Highway 36." According to the statement, a South or Central Corridor location: would best accommodate traffic, including the Andersen Corporation employees." The petition added that "the scenic quality of the comparatively untouched area north of Stillwater would be seriously impaired? Another letter was received by the transportation departments which included 37 signatures that expressed support for the Central Corridor and/or the northern alignment of the South Corridor.
As of January,1989, Mn/DOT had received nearly 200 separate public comments on the various alternatives. Many of these were in the form of mail-in comment cards. Others were letters, some of them several pages in length. In general, the commentary was impressive for the degree of interest shown in the outcome of the river crossing studies. Also notable was the affection expressed for the cultural and natural attributes of the St. Croix River Valley. It is clear that citizens in the area are concerned about the issues associated with a new river crossing, and want to be involved in the decision-making process.

Although the opinions expressed in the mail-in comments were varied, a number of themes emerged from Mn/DOT's tabulation of the responses. The top five "alternatives" in terms of number of comments received in 1995 are as follows: oppose North Corridor (76); support South Corridor (60); support Central Corridor (17); support NO-BUILD (11); and support North Corridor (10).

Throughout the Braun Process of 1998, comments were also categorized according to what concerns people thought were most important in weighing the alternatives. The nine issues most frequently stated were as follows: aesthetics (57); environment (45); access (40); business concerns (37); traffic congestion (36); cost (33); and wildlife (31).

MN/DOT has periodically sent newsletters to interested area residents, which detailed the study process and reviewed the results of some of the special environmental studies. Since the beginning of the scooping process, Mn/DOT and Wis/DOT have also held a number of informational meetings for the public, special concern groups, communities, and agencies.

During the environmental review process, a number of state and Federal governmental bodies have acted as cooperating agencies with Mn/DOT, Wis/DOT, and the FHWA. These agencies have reviewed project documents in their areas of expertise and/or interest, providing critical commentary and information. Cooperating agencies include the following: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the National Park Service; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer; the U.S. Coast Guard; the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have been the most actively involved.

In addition to cooperating agencies, a number of other federal, state, regional, and local governmental bodies, as well as various private organizations, have played roles in the study process. Some of these include the Minnesota-Wisconsin Boundary Area Commission, the Lower St. Croix Management Commission, the City of Stillwater, the Voyageur's Region National Park Association, and the Sierra Club.

Presently the Stakeholder Problem-Solving process includes representatives from the National Park Service (St. Croix National Scenic Riverway), Federal Highway Administration, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife, Advisory Council on the Historic Preservation, State Departments of Natural Resources, State Historic Preservation Offices, State Departments of Transportation, St.Croix County, St. Croix County Highway Commission, City of Stillwater, City of Oak Park Heights, Sierra Club, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Minnesota Preservation Alliance, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Stillwater Historic Preservation Commission, Rivertown Restoration, Friends of the St. Croix, Stillwater Area Chamber of Commerce, St. Croix Alliance for an Interstate Bridge, Stillwater Lift Bridge Association, and the Board of Realtors.

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