Construction on the St. Croix River Crossing Project will begin earlier than previously announced, said officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
State transportation officials announced the schedule change on the project Tuesday evening at a city council meeting in Oak Park Heights.
Construction on the $676 million bridge between Oak Park Heights and St. Joseph, Wis. was originally slated to begin in 2014.
MnDOT Project Manager Jon Chiglo told the Oak Park Heights City Council that roadwork on the Minnesota Highway 36 bridge approach will begin in the fall of 2013 instead. Construction on the bridge itself is still expected in start in 2014.
Officials say their selection of a design-build method for the roadway work will allow it to move faster.
The St. Croix Crossing includes a new four-lane bridge and roadway approaches. The project includes protections for historic and environmental resources and will also convert the existing Stillwater Lift Bridge to a bike and pedestrian trail. The bridge is expected to take about three years to complete.
MnDOT plans to begin load testing soil conditions at the crossing site this summer. Officials will be available to speak on the project at an open house 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., April 11 at Boutwells Landing, 5600 Norwich Parkway in Oak Park Heights.