St. Croix bridge open houses start in Oak Park Heights

  • Article by: KEVIN GILES , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 7, 2012 - 9:44 PM

Facing extensive highway reconstruction, the city has yet to endorse $676 million project.

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This undated artist rendering released by the Minnesota Department of Transportation shows an aerial view looking west that shows the proposed St. Croix River Crossing between Oak Park Heights, Minn., and St. Joseph, Wis.

Photo: , Associated Press

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The first of several public open houses to discuss the St. Croix River bridge project will be held Wednesday in Oak Park Heights.

The Washington County city of about 4,700 residents would be most affected by the $676 million project because of extensive highway construction leading to the new bridge.

Oak Park Heights hasn't endorsed the project because of concern over the cost of moving sewer and water lines beneath Hwy. 36 in the city's business district. City leaders have said that property and business owners would pay too much in taxes to accomplish the work.

The agency coordinating the two-state project, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, has said its engineers will work with the city engineer to find a solution.

The open house will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Town Hall Conference Room at Boutwells Landing, 5600 Norwich Pkwy.

Transportation representatives from Minnesota and Wisconsin will explain the project, answer questions and listen to concerns from residents and business owners.

A second open house in Oak Park Heights will be held April 23 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 14168 Oak Park Blvd. N.

A third open house will be held at Stillwater City Hall, 216 Fourth St. N., on May 8 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The fourth scheduled open house will be held on May 21 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Stillwater Area High School, 5701 Stillwater Blvd., in Oak Park Heights.

Additional open houses will be held in Bayport and Wisconsin, but dates haven't been set. More information will be available on the project website at www.dot.state.mn.us/stcroixcrossing.

KEVIN GILES

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