Stillwater Lift Bridge closing as St. Croix River continues to rise

Crews in Stillwater are shutting down the historic Lift Bridge on Friday due to flooding concerns.   

Flood preparations are underway along the St. Croix River. The water has already breached the banks, putting parks along the river underwater, and the city is preparing for it to climb even higher. 

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will set up barricades and block access to both ends of the Stillwater Lift Bridge at 7 a.m. on Friday. However, as of 7:29 a.m. Friday, the bridge was still open.

Crews will add ballast on both stationary ends of the bridge to weigh it down and prevent any possible movement of the structure due to floodwaters. Then, crews will raise the lift span and leave it in the up position to allow boat traffic to pass underneath. 

Until the bridge reopens, pedestrian and bicycle traffic will no longer be allowed to use the river crossing. Parking will also be restricted in the area around the bridge in downtown Stillwater. 

Once the floodwaters go down to a safe level, MnDOT will resume the lift bridges' regular schedule. 

Currently, the St. Croix River at Stillwater is just over 83 feet, but if the rain continues as is forecast, the water level is predicted to come up another five feet over the next week.