Friday, April 13, 2012

Minnesota DOT Accelerates St. Croix River Bridge Schedule

Minnesota DOT Assistant Commissioner Jon Chiglo announced an accelerated schedule for construction of a new bridge over the St. Croix River south of Stillwater at the April 11, Oak Park Heights city council meeting. Chiglo says the bridge should open to traffic in the fall of 2016, a year earlier than older schedules anticipated.

The RFP for design of the bridge was released last month, and bids are due April 27. Designer selection should be completed by mid May, Chiglo announced. Oak Park Heights city officials want to move all utilities out of the approach road right of way before the new construction commences. According to council member Les Abrahamson, “It makes no sense to put a new roadway in over these aging sewer and water pipes.” However, the ability of the city to pay for utility relocation will depend on the determination whether or not the lines are “impacted” by the project. Without an impact determination, the city would have to bear 100% of the $6 million relocation costs. If the federal High Priority Program determines that the sewer and water relocation is needed due to the federal highway impact, then the United States will pay $5 million towards relocating the utilities.

Oak Park Heights city fathers are lobbying the Minnesota Senate for authority to offset the city’s $1 million relocation expense from the regional fiscal disparities pool. The House version of bonding legislation for the project already includes the offset provision.

blog comments powered by Disqus