We moved up to the St. Croix valley of Wisconsin in 1980… Way back then, (and even years before) they have been wanting to put in a new bridge between Wisconsin and Minnesota, crossing the St. Croix River, by Stillwater. The old lift bridge in current use was a real traffic jammer, as it stopped all traffic twice an hour to lift and allow boats in the river to pass under. But arguments in court battled for decades until finally they decided it was absolutely necessary and that logic won the case. (**be sure to check out the video I made of this tour at the bottom of this post!!)
A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of joining the St. Croix Crossing bridge construction tour…
This riverboat was our tour vessel.
This was the ramp we walked to get to the dock for the boat, but I just had to take a picture of this:
The cottonwood tree roots were such a beautiful gnarly site.
Most of the folks for the tour settled on the top level of the boat.
It was a beautiful day and great views of the old and new bridge.
This is the antique lift bridge that is currently still in use. That center piece, between those tall pulleys will actually lift up quite high, so that the tall boats in the river can clear the bridge and continue up or down the river.
That happens twice an hour in the spring, summer and fall… leaving the traffic backed up for a long way into Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The old lift bridge is beautiful though, and they plan to keep it in use for walking once the new St. Croix Crossing bridge is completed.
In the main level of our tour boat, there was a display with pictures, descriptions of the new bridge construction…
This is a computer rendition of what the new bridge will look like when it’s completed.
They had models of the the bridge construction.
Computer renditions naming all the parts of the the bridge construction.
On our tour they gave us lots of details of the bridge construction… none of which I listened to very well…
I can be a bad student! I was more interested in just taking a look at it more than trying to memorize the construction details…
If you’re planning to build a bridge in the near future and need to know more details about the construction (ha ha) you can here to the St. Croix Crossing site and read all about it… OK, all joking and sarcasm aside, some of the facts and construction details really are interesting… even if you’re not planning to build your own bridge.
Even though I didn’t listen well to the details of the construction, the size of the bridge and the equipment was daunting!
The bridge style is not called a suspension bridge… even though it kinda looks like one. It’s actually called an extradosed style bridge.
Watching it come together, it seems hard to believe those separate concrete pieces in the middle will stay put, but there are many cables that run through them holding them all in place.
This is what the bridge looks like, as of a couple weeks ago. It’s now slated to be completed and open for traffic the fall of 2017.
Many people are looking forward to that completion and the impact it will have on the traffic to and from Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Here is the video I shot of the St. Croix Crossing Bridge Construction Tour!!
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