08 October 2012
The US states of Minnesota and Wisconsin have announced that they will accelerate the St Croix Bridge project by starting construction of the river piers in 2013.
The decision follows foundation load testing at the site. “We have been working on integrating the results of the load testing to make the project more efficient in terms of managing scope, schedule and budget,” said Minnesota Department of Transportation project director Jon Chiglo. “By separating out the foundation work, we can start construction sooner, reduce inflation costs and create jobs a year earlier than scheduled.”
The US$50 million foundations contract will open for bids in towards the end of the winter and construction is expected to begin in late spring 2013. Previously, construction was planned to start in spring 2014.
The four-lane St. Croix Crossing Bridge is estimated to cost between US$280 million and US$310 million, while the cost of the overall project put at between US$580 million and US$676 million.
The project will replace the 80-year-old Stillwater Lift Bridge with a four-lane structure that will connect expressways on both sides of the St Croix River in Stillwater and Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, and St. Joseph, Wisconsin. The project adds extensive trail systems, including converting the lift bridge into a bicycle and pedestrian crossing.
HDR and Buckland & Taylor were chosen in June to design the bridge, which has an extradosed main span.