Span six of the Stillwater Lift Bridge was removed Friday, allowing boats on the St. Croix River to pass unimpeded while the lift span is closed for repairs and repainting.
All boat traffic is now required to use only the channel to pass the bridge. Minnesota Department of Transportation officials were reminding boaters that the opening, as well as the surrounding construction area, is a no-wake zone.
The removed span will remain anchored just east of the opened channel until mid-November. Once the span is moved back this fall, the bridge will operate on its lift schedule outside of the regular lifting season.
The work on the lift bridge, part of the St. Croix Crossing project, includes repairing steel connections and concrete railings as well as restoring mechanical and electrical components.
The bridge also will get a fresh coat of green paint and replica lampposts to recall its original 1931 look. That year, the bridge was built for $460,174.
The Stillwater Lift Bridge is set to become a part of a 4.7-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail that will loop between Minnesota and Wisconsin, crossing both the historic lift bridge and the new St. Croix Crossing Bridge.