Zebra mussels temporarily stop work on St. Croix bridge project

State officials say construction of the St Croix Bridge will resume after a zebra mussel discovery halted work.

MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht says a Wisconsin contractor trucked in eight 10-feet by 40-feet barges.

"We had put one barge in the water. We were doing inspections on the other barges; discovered that there was evidence of zebra mussel," Gutknecht said. "We then pulled that other barge out of the water."

Zebra mussels are an invasive species that attach to the hulls of boats.

The contractor will improve its decontamination procedures and the incident will not affect the bridge construction schedule, Gutknecht said.

A spokesman for the the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the river was never at risk because the zebra mussels were dead.

Work on the bridge resumes on Friday at the start of the workday.

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