End of an Era: 411 on Today’s Events for Closing Down the Stillwater Lift Bridge, and Opening of St. Croix River Crossing

Tom Wieland

The Bridges of Washington County. Photo by Tom Wieland


Stillwater will celebrating the opening of the St. Croix River Crossing today, while commemorating the closing of the historic Lift Bridge.

The ribbon cutting for the St. Croix River Crossing is set for 10 a.m. on the west end of the new bridge.

Public parking will not be available at the site of the ribbon cutting; however, parking at nearby locations on both the Minnesota and Wisconsin sides has been identified and shuttles will be provided to get to the location of the dedication.

In Minnesota:

  • Fury Motors (old car lot) located at the corner of Osgood Ave. and Hwy 36.
  • Stillwater Middle School, 523 West Marsh St.
  • Stillwater Area High School, 5701 Stillwater Blvd. N.

In Wisconsin:

  • Somerset School District Campus – includes elementary school, middle school and high school parking lots. Shuttle loading will be in front of the high school: 645 Sunrise Dr, Somerset.

Shuttles will begin transporting people to the event from Wisconsin beginning at 8 a.m., and from Minnesota starting at 8:30 a.m. Shuttles will run as needed until 9 a.m. on the Wisconsin side and until 9:30 a.m. on the Minnesota side.

Shuttles will resume about 30 minutes after the ceremony ends to return to parking locations. The last shuttle will depart about an hour after the ceremony ends.


Old bridge: “I’m handing over my duties to you big guy. ” New bridge: “I got it from here old buddy. Tonight’s my last quiet night for decades. Rest easy…I’ll be watching over you!!” (Photo and caption by Dale Peterson‎)

Cruisin’ to Closure Party

The city of Stillwater’s event to commemorate the official closing of the Lift Bridge will begin at 6 p.m. in Lowell Park.

Instead of having an event at noon to mark the opening of the new bridge and a separate event later in the day to celebrate the closing of the Lift Bridge, the city is combining the two events.

Stillwater’s event will now be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, August 2. Elected officials and others who have been involved in the project will gather to commemorate the two bridges before traffic moves across the new bridge and the last cars cross the historic Lift Bridge.

The event will include a live video feed so that elected officials in Washington, D.C. can participate in the revelry and address the crowd.

Sun-setting on an era … You have served us well. (Photo and caption by Kelley Brenner)

City leaders believe the schedule change will give the entire community a way to celebrate both bridges, including those who may not be able to attend the official MnDOT opening ceremony scheduled on the new bridge earlier in the day.

“After decades of delays, this is an important day in the history of our town and we want to make sure people have a chance to enjoy it thoroughly,” Stillwater Mayor Ted Kozlowski said. “There were 15,000 people in downtown Stillwater in July 1931 when the Lift Bridge first opened. We want to have a celebration that local people will tell their grandchildren, ‘I was there.’”

The celebration is taking advantage of the previously-scheduled Cruisin’ on the Croix car show.  Extra food vendors are being added to accommodate what is expected to be a large crowd.

Car show leaders worked with the city and MnDOT to have nine classic cars representing the nine decades that the Lift Bridge has been in operation to be the last cars to cross the bridge, Kozlowski said.

The cars will be on display for the public to see prior to the closing.

In addition to the classic cars, the labor union Operating Engineers Local 49 will set up its construction equipment simulator.

Their display allows the public to experience what it’s like to operate a dozer, an excavator and a back hoe.  More than 100 Local 49 members were involved in the construction of the St. Croix Crossing.

Crazy busy downtown for Summer Tuesdays. Lots of people crossing the bridge on foot. I saw many passengers in cars recording video while crossing the bridge. Me? I stand next to the flow of traffic with my cameras and take long exposures. 30 second exposure, f14, ISO 100. 8 stop ND filter on the front. Not going to lie; I’m going to miss seeing headlights and tail lights crossing the bridge. (Photo and caption by Dave Parker)