St. Croix River Crossing Opens at 8 p.m.

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 by Dale Peterson‎)

The St. Croix River Crossing will open to traffic at 8 p.m. today, Gov. Mark Dayton announced at a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning.

Three MnDOT vehicles will be the first to cross, Kevin Gutknecht, an agency spokesman told the Pioneer Press. Mark Desch, a longtime Stillwater business owner and classic-car collector, will be the last to cross the Stillwater Lift Bridge driving his 1931 Stutz DV-32 Convertible Sedan.

The city of Stillwater will commemorate the official closing of the Lift Bridge with the Cruisin’ to Closure event beginning at at 6 p.m. in Lowell Park. 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.

The celebration will happen simultaneously with the Cruisin’ on the Croix car show.

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.