MNDoT crews will work through the night in an attempt to get the Stillwater Lift Bridge working before Wednesday morning’s commute.
“Well…it’s a good news, bad news situation tonight with the Stillwater Lift Bridge,” said Kent Barnard, a MnDOT spokesperson.
Crews were able to fix the damaged electrical meter and socket before 8:30 p.m. and were testing the bridge when additional electrical problems were discovered.
“Although power was restored to the bridge shortly before 8:30 p.m., after workers lowered the bridge and then attempted to lift it again, the lift span halted halfway up and remains in that position,” Barnard said.
Several employees from MnDOT’s Electrical Services Section (ESS) and the bridge tender were on the bridge when it became stalled the second time. They were lifted down from the span with a bucket truck.
Further inspection of the electrical system revealed that the main power cable that controls the lift span burned out, Barnard said.
ESS crews are currently gathering additional equipment and supplies and will work throughout the night to replace the damaged main power cable on the bridge.
MnDOT expects the work to be completed before 6 a.m. Wednesday.
A malfunction in an electrical meter socket that monitors power usage at the Stillwater lift bridge failed at 12:05 p.m. Tuesday, causing the bridge to stop about 30 feet above the water.
Earlier this afternoon, a boat from the St. Croix Boat and Packet was stuck north of the Lift Bridge as a result of the power outage. Passengers were dropped off at the Gazebo in North Lowell Park.
When the St. Croix River Crossing is completed in early August (about six weeks away, but who’s counting), the Lift Bridge will close for repairs.
Once completed in 2019, the bridge will be transformed in to a bicycle/pedestrian crossing as part of a loop trail linking Minnesota and Wisconsin.