St. Croix Valley celebrates new bridge; Thousands join local, state and federal officials for ribbon-cutting ceremony
After decades of waiting, the Stillwater area celebrated the opening of a new bridge over the St. Croix River Wednesday, Aug. 2.
Local, state and federal officials gathered on the Minnesota approach to the bridge at 10 a.m. for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the nearly $650 million project.
Almost a mile long, the new structure that connects Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, to St. Joseph, Wisconsin, replaces the historic Stillwater Lift Bridge, which is now closed to motor vehicle traffic. The new bridge required Congressional approval to exempt it from the requirements of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
MnDOT estimates roughly 2,500 people attended the ceremony.
Oak Park Heights Mayor Mary McComber and St. Joseph Town Board Chair Tom Spaniol served as the masters of ceremonies.
“We look forward to a new normal,” McComber said, adding that “normal” has forever changed in Oak Park Heights with the landscape shifts caused by the bridge project.