Stillwater Lift Bridge to close due to high water Monday morning - KMSP-TV

Stillwater Lift Bridge to close due to high water Monday morning

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Photo taken Sunday, June 22, 2014 Paul Blume Photo taken Sunday, June 22, 2014 Paul Blume

The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Sunday that it will close the Stillwater Lift Bridge over the St. Croix River to all traffic starting at 10 a.m. on Monday because the water level is too high.

PHOTOS: Stillwater Lift Bridge high water

According to MnDOT, the closure will remain in effect until further notice, and officials are directing motorists to use Interstate 94 or Highway 243 as detours. If the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service forecast holds true, the St. Croix River could crest at 87.2 feet on Thursday, nearly 2.5 inches above the 87-foot flood stage but far below the record of 94.1 feet.

MORE: Forecast for St. Croix River at Stillwater

The lift bridge connects Minnesota Highway 36 and Wisconsin Highway 64, and early commuters should be able to make one last trip across the bridge -- but unless they want to face a potential $1,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail, they'll want to find an alternate route back.


The Stillwater, Minn., area isn't the only spot where an engorged river is encroaching on traffic. Earlier on Sunday, MnDOT announced northbound Interstate 35 would be reduced from three lanes down to one between Burnsville Parkway and Black Dog Road at 4 p.m. on Sunday so crews could build a barrier along the Minnesota River.

According to NOAA readings taken in Savage, Minn., the river is already approaching moderate flood stage and will likely pass into the major flood stage as early as Tuesday afternoon. If the river's rise continues on a track to meet the predicted crest of 712.5 feet on Wednesday, it will rise nearly a foot a day.

MORE: Forecast for Minnesota River at Savage

Crews are setting barriers and building a dyke to stop water from flooding the road, and they hope to have the work completed overnight so that all lanes can be reopened before the peak rush hour on Monday morning.

Overhead messages will alert drivers to the lane reduction, but delays may still occur. Other area roads that remain closed include:

- Exit ramp to Black Dog from northbound I-35
- Highway 41
- The northbound truck lane of Highway 25

Northbound Highway 169 also remains restricted to one lane south of Belle Plaine.


Officials in St. Peter, Minn., say the swollen Minnesota River has also caused them to close one area bridge, and could force additional closures soon.

The Highway 99 bridge was closed Sunday due to the high water level, and officials expect that portion of the highway to remain closed for several days. Although no NOAA forecast is available for the Minnesota River at St. Peter, a graph of water level readings published on 4:16 p.m. on Sunday showed a sharp rise of more than 15 feet in the past week.

The St. Peter Police Department is also warning that Highway 22 south heading out of town may close in the near future.


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