Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 36 Stillwater Lift Bridge

Between Minnesota and Wisconsin on the St. Croix River

Postponed: Stillwater Lift Bridge grand opening celebration

A new date for the grand opening and celebration will be determined within the next few weeks. If you purchased tickets for the Lift Bridge dinner on Fri, May 15, your ticket will be honored for the rescheduled dinner. If you’d like a refund, we ask that you hold refund requests while we determine the course of action for this event. For more information about postponed events, please visit the metro public involvement website. Stay up-to-date with information about this event by signing up for Stillwater Lift Bridge project email updates.

Pedestrian/bicycle/boating impacts

Current

Bridge closure

Aug. 2, 2017 through late spring 2020
  • The Stillwater Lift Bridge over the St. Croix River is closed to all traffic.
    • Motor vehicle traffic has been transferred to the St. Croix Crossing bridge in Oak Park Heights. The lift bridge is expected to reopen for pedestrian and bicycle traffic only in early 2020. The regular lift schedule will resume in late spring 2020.

Stillwater Lift Bridge raised for boat traffic

The lift span of the Stillwater Lift Bridge was raised and locked in to place on Thu, March 26 to allow for boat traffic in anticipation of ice-out on the St. Croix River. While the lift bridge is locked in the raised position, boats should travel through the lift span and follow any navigational signs posted in the river. Once repairs on the lift span are completed, the regular 2020 lift bridge schedule will resume.

About this project

The iconic Stillwater lift bridge was built in 1931 at a cost of $460,174 to replace a swing bridge dating to 1875. The cost was split evenly between Minnesota and Wisconsin. The lift bridge has become a much-loved symbol of the city of Stillwater, nestled on the west bank of the St. Croix River. The vertical lift highway bridge formerly connected Minn. Hwy 36 in Stillwater and Wis. Hwy 64 in Houlton. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

The Lift Bridge, spanning the St. Croix River, is being transformed into a bicycle/pedestrian crossing. The lift bridge continues to serve marine traffic during the project. The regular lift schedule will be maintained after the work is complete.

The circular concourse, located at the east end of the lift bridge between the bridge and Chestnut St., was originally a spot for people to gather. The concourse/plaza is surrounded by concrete railings, sidewalks and curb, adorned with decorative lighting. Concrete steps and a roadway provide access to Lowell Park that stretches along the western shore of the St. Croix River in Stillwater. The concourse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (1992) due to its location within the Stillwater Commercial Historic District and the Stillwater Cultural Landscape District (eligible since 1998).

This conversion project is part of the St. Croix Crossing Project. The converted lift bridge will also become part of a 5-mile “loop trail” system connecting the new river crossing bridge up with the historic bridge and other local trails.

The lift bridge closed to all traffic on Aug. 2, 2017 following the opening of the new St. Croix Crossing Bridge in Oak Park Heights.

Summary of work

  • Repair steel connections
  • Restore mechanical and electrical components
  • Repair concrete railings
  • Reconstruct concourse
  • Paint lift bridge its historic green color
  • Replace lighting to replicate the original 1931 lights