St. Croix Crossing aerial view

St. Croix Crossing

Connecting Oak Park Heights, Minn. and St. Joseph, Wis.

St Croix Crossing logo

Project background

Summary of work

This joint project between MnDOT and WisDOT will replace the 80-year-old Stillwater Lift Bridge with a new four-lane bridge to connect expressways on both sides of the St. Croix River. Work includes:

  • Realign Hwy 36 and Hwy 95
  • Build three-mile, four-lane connection to WIS Hwy 64 from the new bridge
  • Construct WIS Hwy 35 overpass, located near the bridge, the WIS Hwy 35/County E interchange and the pedestrian/bike path
  • Create extensive trail facilities and preserve historic Stillwater Lift Bridge for use by bikes/pedestrians
  • Minimize impacts on the area's historic and natural resources


  • Total project cost = $689.3 million to $694.5 million
  • Minnesota potential cost share $388.7 to $389.5 million; Wisconsin potential cost share $300.6 to $305.0 million

MnDOT is the lead agency on this project and is coordinating and sharing costs with WisDOT. Here’s how the costs break down:

  • Minnesota approach roads are paid for by Minnesota
  • Wisconsin approach roads are paid for by Wisconsin
  • Bridge, historic and environmental remediation and project development are split evenly between the states

The current total project cost estimate includes construction, right of way, environmental protection and remediation, contingency, bonds and insurance, engineering and management, etc. This is based on a total project cost estimates, which adds in all ancillary expenses. Traditionally, only construction costs are reported when referring to project costs.

Mitigation items

Implementation of project/environmental compliance mitigation items is ongoing, including:

  • Loop Trail construction in Minnesota. The first phase of construction spanning from north of Sunnyside Marina to north of Nelson St. in downtown Stillwater was completed in 2015.
  • Publication of a field guide (PDF) of historic/archeological sites.
  • Stillwater Lift Bridge publication detailing its rich history and background.


The St. Croix Crossing has been decades in the making, partly because of the many historic, cultural and environmental features along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. There has been extensive community involvement on both sides of the river to determine whether a bridge should be built and to select the best location/alignment for the bridge.

Through the years, Minnesota and Wisconsin DOTs have created thousands of documents, drawings and plans for the project. You can find those documents and other extensive background information here.

The Annual St. Croix Crossing Project Summary Report for 2019 is now available. The report describes actions taken by the Federal Highway Administration, MnDOT, WisDOT and other agencies during the past year to implement the St. Croix River Crossing Project and mitigation commitments. If you’d like a copy of this year’s report or any past reports, please contact: Todd Clarkowski or Kent Barnard.