Completion of the St. Croix Crossing bridge between Wisconsin and Minnesota will not take place on schedule. Brent Wilber of principal contractor Lunda Ames said a complex system of rebar, wires and pre-cast concrete atop piers in the river is taking longer than planned.
“There’s only a certain number of bodies you can get up there,” Wilber said. “Putting more people up there doesn’t answer the question, because there’s not room for them.” There are currently more than 400 workers on the project on piers as tall as a 15-story building.
“It’s a very complex project, and there are a lot of reasons a complex project can miss its intended completion date,” said Minnesota Department of Transportation project director Michael Beer, who added there have been no major design or construction flaws, and that the design has met expectations for safety and quality.
Beer said the delay may increase the cost of the $690 million dollar project. “There is that potential. We haven’t done that analysis yet,” he said.
The bridge crosses the St. Croix River between Washington County, Minnesota and St. Croix County, Wisconsin and will replace the 83-year old Stillwater Lift Bridge. Completion was originally set for the fall of 2016. The delay will push back completion of a bicycle loop, and conversion of the lift bridge to a pedestrian and bicycle span. Other parts of the project, including construction of a realigned Wisconsin Highway 64, are on schedule.