St. Croix River Crossing


Last week, our IBA group (Mainstreet Stillwater Independent Business Alliance) had a meeting with the people who are running the St Croix River Crossing Project for MNDOT. Many of us have been very supportive of the new bridge project, we very much believe that the new bridge is going to make historic Downtown Stillwater a better place to live and visit.

Me being supportive back in the day

Me back in the day


We believed it then and supported the St. Croix River Crossing Coalition. Even with threats of boycott. Remember that? Oh well…water under the bridge:)

Anyway…I was fascinated with this guy, the MnDOT project manager. I asked all sorts of enlightened questions like…”Do you sleep at night?” and “How do you even know both sides will meet up perfectly in the middle”.  In case you wonder, “No” was the answer to the first question and “GPS Coordinates” is the answer to the second question.  There were more questions that were equally hard hitting but I don’t want to bore you.


But I couldn’t imagine having this job. I can’t imagine the stress.  When someone special orders yarn and it doesn’t come in to meet their deadline I feel so bad about it. I feel terrible disappointing someone. Imagine if you made a mistake or missed a deadline on the St. Croix River Crossing project. Whoa!

But you can tell this guy loves this job.  Someone would ask a question about something and he was genuinely excited to answer. You could tell he felt lucky to have this gig. He talked with what seemed like pure joy about creating new habitat for the over 30 different mussel species in the St. Croix.  He talked about how the water quality in the St. Croix River will improve because of this project. He knows how special this is. How this is a project that doesn’t come along often.

How cool to know that he helped build this bridge that will last through the lifetimes of his children’s, children’s, children.  How cool to know that I was around when the bridge was built too.  My kids will be able to say, “I remember when…”

Among those other hard hitting questions, he answered lots of others that were much more interesting.


They updated us on the timing of the bridge completion. It’s still set for Fall 2016.

They updated us on the cool bike trail that will be completed.  Some of the loop will be finished as soon as this fall!

There are really cool video animations on the website.  Check them out!

The updated us on what will happen with the liftbridge when the new bridge opens.  It’ll close to cars and will be modified with a bike path and a walking path.  It’ll be repainted green.  The same color it was when it was built.

In case you are dying to see up to the minute photos, there is a cool webcam webpage!


We hope you love to see the changes as much as we do. We are excited for the changes to come!



3 Responses to “St. Croix River Crossing”

  1. Dianna Edling says:

    I hope that you are right. I just vision people getting on that bridge and forgetting to turn right or left and go to Stillwater.
    What is being done to the land between Houlton and south of Somerset makes me very sad. Trees being torn out, farm land being torn up and all for what, a faster way to get to Minneapolis/St. Paul.
    I guess you would say, I’m in Walter Mondale’s camp and would rather have seen the beautiful St. Croix and small town atmosphere stay.
    As far as the lift bridge being turned into part of a bike path, good luck biking up the hill on the Wisconsin side! I know I can’t do it.

  2. admin says:

    I hope I’m right too Dianna! The small town atmosphere of Stillwater is long gone with the thousands of cars a day that sit in traffic on our Main Street. It wouldn’t be long before The lift bridge would no longer be able to operate. Then there would be no close exits to Stillwater. I very much believe that locals from both sides of the river will come back to Stillwater once that traffic is gone. Time will tell I guess. I live in Somerset so I’d better get training myself if I am going to do some biking, you are right about the hill:)

  3. Joyce S says:

    I’ve lived in Stillwater and the St Croix river valley all my life and can barely remember a time when there was not discussion and consternation about a new bridge. I think all the pushback has driven the project to be about as nature- and environmentally-friendly as possible. Soon the people that drive to downtown Stillwater will be doing so because they want to be there, not because it’s the only way through to get where they really want to go. We locals will be more apt to go into our beloved downtown again!
    Personally, I’ll just try not to be too embarrassed walking my bike up the hill (do we use the bike lanes or walking lanes for that??? lol) — maybe they can put a tow-rope or pomalift contraption in to help us up the hill, Snow Crest style!

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