The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new St. Croix River bridge will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 2, but Minnesota Department of Transportation officials aren’t sure when the bridge will open to traffic.
MnDOT spokesman Kevin Walker said Wednesday that the bridge will likely be ready for vehicles within a few days of the ribbon cutting. “It could be that night. It could be the following morning,” he said. “There is no definite timeframe at this time.”
The ceremony will take place on the eastbound Minnesota 36 approach ramp spanning Minnesota 95 in Oak Park Heights. Dignitaries including Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Gov. Mark Daytion and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Kind and Gov. Scott Walker are expected to attend.
People attending the ceremony will not be allowed to walk across the bridge, Walker said.
“In light of everything that is going on in the world today, we want to make sure that this is a safe environment,” he said. “With what happened with the shooting (in Alexandria, Va.) yesterday, we need to be very, very careful. We’re working with all local law enforcement. We don’t want anything to happen to the bridge itself; that’s why we’re having (the ceremony) on the abutment spanning Highway 95.”
Crews this week are applying a protective surface to the bridge pavement; they’re expected to finish by mid to late July, depending on the weather. In addition, the painting of the pier towers and installation of the ornamental railing on the north side of the bridge is expected to be completed by the end of this week, Walker said.
On the Wisconsin side of the bridge, crews last week finished paving Wisconsin…
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