People interested in seeing construction of the newest bridge across the St. Croix River can get a guided tour of the site starting Saturday.
Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the bridge groundbreaking. MnDOT Project Director Jon Chiglo told Tom Weber on a recent boat tour of the site that construction is on schedule to open in fall of 2016.
Since the beginning of this year, piers that will one day hold the bridge's approach and main deck have started rising from the surface of the river. Last year's work was almost entirely on the below-surface sections of the piers. The current cost estimate for the bridge is $581.9 million, though planners have also budgeted a $65 million contingency fund for cost overruns.
Chiglo said the idea for boat tours on this project came from the interest people had in the informal tours that developed during construction of the new I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, along the nearby 10th Avenue bridge. Chiglo also led the I-35W bridge project.
At last count, a MnDOT spokeswoman said 225 people had made reservations for this Saturday's inaugural paddleboat tour, with 100 reservations already made for the next tour on June 11. An engineer from either the Minnesota or Wisconsin Departments of Transportation will be on hand to answer questions during the tour.
More details and reservation information available here. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 4 to 12.