Despite the rumors that the Stillwater Lift Bridge was going to reopen early, a spokesperson for MnDOT said today that the bridge will not be open to traffic until Friday, Dec. 14.
Early on in the process—back in September—the workers had said the bridge may reopen the first week of December, T.K. Kramascz of MnDOT said. But crews are still working.
“I’ve been hearing all kinds of rumors,” he said. “But they’re still working on it and it won’t be open until Dec. 14.”
When the project initially began, crews targeted the end of December for the bridge to reopen, Kevin Walker, a spokesperson for MnDOT said.
On Nov. 5, a MnDOT news release stated that the rehabilitation work was “on track to reopen to motor vehicles by the end of the first week of December, weather permitting.”
That was a bit ambitious, Walker said.
The project is expected to cost $3.4 million. The closure is part of the Lift Bridge Management Plan.
“We were really trying to get this project done because the commute is so long,” Walker said. “We are thankful for people’s patience. We know it has been tough on them.”
The last significant closure of the Stillwater Lift Bridge was in 2005, when MnDOT made $5 million in repairs during the Stillwater Lift Bridge Rehabilitation Project.
Crews made repairs to steel connections, electrical systems, concrete surfaces—and painted a portion of the bridge.
For the next two weeks, crews will focus on mechanical work—cable tension—and electrical work on the lift motor, Walker said.
“The painting is complete,” Walker said. “The lift motor just took a little longer than expected because of work on the cable tension.”