(12/6/13) Two road builders from Wisconsin and Minnesota will band together to build the main part of a new four-lane bridge over the Saint Croix River north of Hudson. Transportation departments from both states awarded a 332-million dollar contract yesterday to Lunda Construction of Black River Falls and Ames Construction of Burnsville Minnesota.
They'll build the part of the bridge that folks will drive on -- plus support elements, and connections to a four-lane Highway 36 on the Minnesota side. The original cost estimate ranged up to 310-million dollars, and the final contract is 22-million dollars more than that. Project manager Jon Chiglo says it's because the final design included more steel than originally planned. Crews will start pile-driving work at the site a week from Monday. The new bridge is expected to open in 2016. Environmentalists in both states fought the project for a half-century until Congress and President Obama agreed a year-and-a-half ago to exempt the bridge project from the Saint Croix's protections under the federal Wild-and-Scenic Rivers Act.