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
Hwy 36 approach work includes:
- Reconstructing and realigning Hwy 36 and Hwy 95
- Adding turn lanes on both intersections at Oakgreen and Greely, as well as Osgood, to improve capacity
- Realigning the intersection of Oakgreen and Greeley to improve access points and motorists' safety
- Creating a shared center turn lane by converting the north and south frontage roads from two 12-foot lanes into three 11-foot lanes
- Adding a trail along the south frontage road to connect to the new loop trail
- Adding ponds to improve storm water treatment and water quality
- Creating access to Hwy 95 by connecting the south frontage road to Stage Coach Trail
- Realigning the Beach Road bridge to include bike and pedestrian trails
- Constructing noise and retaining walls
- Adding traffic signals, lighting, signing and pavement markings
- Implementing new Intelligent Transportation Systems that includes cameras and traffic detection
- Relocating utilities
- Bridge = $280 million to $310 million
- Total project = $580 million to $676 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 range is from $571 million to $676 million and includes construction, right of way, environmental protection and remediation, contingency, bonds and insurance, engineering and management, etc.
These cost estimates are based on a total project cost estimates, which adds in all ancillary expenses. Traditionally, only construction costs are reported when referring to project costs. The total project cost estimate provides a more accurate, and larger, view of the total cost; view the total cost estimate chart (PDF, 1 MB) for more details.
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: www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/stcroix/indexbackground.html.
One important document is the Annual Project Summary Report, released March 2013, which describes the 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: