It’s now forecast that a new St. Croix River bridge will open by late summer 2016, the Minnesota Department of Transportation engineer in charge of the project said last week.

Jon Chiglo, in a presentation to the Washington County Board, said the new completion date would shorten earlier estimates by three or four months. The four-lane bridge and connecting approach highways will cost about $670 million. Also included in the project is a loop trail as well as environmental and historical work.

Pile driving for seven bridge piers that will be built on land on the Minnesota side of the river will begin soon, Chiglo said. The agency has notified nearby residents about noise and vibrations, he said. Pile driving will continue Mondays through Saturdays through May.

The bridge will be a landmark, Chiglo said.

“This is one of the most robust bridges in our state,” he said. “I think this bridge will fit well in its context but also in this river valley.”

Kevin Giles