STILLWATER, Minn. - After decades of negotiations, years of construction work, and funding from two states, a new bridge will be dedicated over the St. Croix River near Stillwater on Wednesday morning.
This new bridge sits a short distance from the current Stillwater Lift Bridge, which has been used for more than 80 years. The Lift Bridge will be closed to traffic starting Wednesday night, and will be refurbished into a bicycle and pedestrian crossing.
The Mayor of Stillwater says many people in the community are excited about the change.
"When that bridge closes, that really marks the time that we get our town back," said mayor Ted Kozlowski. "We've got so much commuter traffic and we want it to be more accessible for people who want to come to Stillwater to visit."
The Lift Bridge will also get a refurbished look, re-painted to its original color of green.
Stillwater's mayor said the bridge switch should have a positive impact on the community's economy.
"It's going to be a lot easier to drive around town, it's going to be a lot easier to find parking," Kozlowski said. "It'll be a lot easier to walk around Main Street without that wall of traffic separating either end of town."
The dedication of the new bridge is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday.