Contact: Bill Rubin/Nita Dusek, St. Croix EDC, 715-381-4383
Mike Demulling, manager of the New Richmond Regional Airport, has been archiving progress on the St. Croix River Crossing project through aerial photos taken during occasional flights over the Wisconsin-Minnesota border. Many of his photos are posted on a Facebook® page created by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) for the project, located at https://www.facebook.com/saintcroixcrossingmndot.
Demulling’s last series of aerial photos were posted on August 27, 2014, exactly one year from his first flight above the St. Croix River.
The progress is remarkable. Barges and cranes in last year’s photos provide a hint of where the five piers will emerge from the water. The current photos illustrate the height of the piers, including several that have reached to the top of the proposed driving surface. The on-land piers on the Minnesota side are also at or near their finished heights. The alignment for the new section of Wisconsin Highway 64 and the interchange along County Road E in the Town of St. Joseph are also visible in the latest aerials.
Key milestones on the project include:
*The foundations for the five sets of piers were deemed substantially complete in late December 2013; about 12-16 feet of each foundation was visible above the waterline;
*In mid-February 2014, a temporary causeway from the Minnesota shore was constructed to the first set of foundations for pier “8”;
*On March 1, 2014, the first concrete form was placed on the foundation of pier “8W”;
*On March 17, 2014, a detour for Wisconsin Highway 35 was put in place to allow crews to commence work on the overpass for newly-aligned Highway 64; earth moving equipment starts to shape the new Highway 64-County Road E interchange;
*On March 26, 2014, construction crews pump the first loads of concrete into forms atop pier “8W”;
*On May 13, 2014, the Highway 35 overpass starts to take shape with the installation of the first of five steel girders put into place atop the abutments; the girders support the deck of the overpass for motorists on Highway 35 to travel over bridge traffic on the new portion of Highway 64;
*On June 20, 2014 the first crossbeam connection is put in place for pier “8”; the crossbeam connects the upstream pier with the downstream pier and approximates the bridge’s driving surface;
*In early July 2014 Wisconsin Highway 35 is reopened to traffic and the overpass is substantially completed; earthwork for the Highway 64-County Road E interchange continues;
*On August 22, 2014, concrete is pumped onto the crossbeam of pier “8”
State transportation contacts Jessica Wiens (Mn/DOT) and Christine Ouellette (WisDOT) continue to provide regular updates on the river crossing activities. Go to http://www.dot.state.mn.us/stcroixcrossing/webcam.html for additional information and photos, including a live construction webcam. You can also signup to receive weekly email updates at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/, then click on email updates. At the bottom of the email list options, choose “St. Croix River Crossing”.
When completed in mid-2016, the St. Croix River Crossing will become a regional transportation solution for the greater Twin Cities metro area and west central Wisconsin. Its extradosed design is the second one in the United States. An extradosed bridge is a cross between a girder bridge and a cable-stayed bridge, and it relies on wire cables and box girders to carry the weight or load of the bridge.