ST. PAUL, Minn. - Getting the green light to build the new St. Croix Bridge was a long, drawn-out process.
Apparently, construction officials in Minnesota and Wisconsin want to pick up the pace when it comes to actually constructing it.
The Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation (DOT) announced Monday that they will accelerate the project by starting construction on the river piers for the bridge foundation in 2013.
"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 Jon Chiglo, MnDOT project director. "By separating out the foundation work, we can start construction sooner, reduce inflation costs and create jobs a year earlier than scheduled."
The $50 million contract will open for bids in late-winter 2013. Construction is anticipated to begin on the bridge foundations in late-spring 2013.
Previously, construction was planned to begin in spring 2014.
The St. Croix Crossing project will replace the 80-year-old Stillwater Lift Bridge with a safer, more reliable four-lane bridge that will connect expressways on both sides of the St. Croix River in Stillwater and Oak Park Heights, Minn. and St. Joseph, Wis.
Cost estimates for the project run between $580 million and $676 million.
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