Current construction impacts
- Oak Park Heights and Stillwater residents will hear repeated banging noises due to pile driving work for the pier foundations on the Minnesota shore (Piers 1-7). This work will occur Monday-Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through May 2014, weather permitting.
- Motorists continue to experience single-lane traffic on Hwy 36, east of Osgood Avenue, and the new ramp between Hwy 36 and Hwy 95. The new Hwy 36 westbound lanes and second ramp will open during the 2014 construction season.
- Motorists continue to experience single-lane traffic through the construction zone on Hwy 95 between the Hwy 36/Hwy 95 junction and the north entrance to Sunnyside.
- Ice fishermen and snowmobilers must be aware of irregular ice and thin ice in this area.
- Crews are constructing an earthen causeway from the Minnesota shoreline to Pier 8 to work on the bridge pier during the winter months. Work on Pier 8 begins in February.
A causeway is a structure built above the water level to act as a working platform, allowing construction materials, crew members and their vehicles to easily move back and forth between the shoreline and the pier.
- Allows crews to build up Pier 8 when the river is frozen without the need for barges.
- Provides additional access onto the river to deliver supplies (concrete and reinforcement bar) so barges can then deliver them to all of the river piers.
The causeway is T-shaped. It stretches about 165 feet into the river and spans about 215 feet from Pier 8’s south foundation to its north foundation. It is 36-50 feet wide.
The perimeter of the causeway is steel sheeting that is about 20 feet long and drilled into the bedrock. Inside the sheeting, the contractor has a protective fabric on the river bottom and will pile clean rock up to the desired height.
Altogether, these safeguards prevent the rock from moving into the river. Materials and other planning for the causeway were carefully considered prior to its construction. This is a standard construction practice for river bridges.
The causeway will be removed in 2016. The other river piers will be built from barges beginning in spring 2014, when the ice melts.
View images of the causeway’s construction in our January 2014 construction album.