Issues: Severe traffic congestion is a problem. The bridge’s capacity is 11,200 vehicles per day, but it currently supports up to 19,000 on weekends. There are also safety issues on approach roadways.
Fracture critical? Yes
Structurally deficient? Yes
Sufficiency rating: 32.8
Deck rating: 8
Superstructure rating: 6
Substructure rating: 5
Length: 1,053 feet
Width: 24 feet
Average daily traffic: 18,000 vehicles
Passes over: St. Croix River into Houlton ,Wisconsin
Constructed in: 1931
Construction starts in: 2013
Construction should finish in: 2016
Cost: $300 million to $440 million for Minnesota. Wisconsin will pay the other half.
Detour: There will be no detour. The existing bridge will remain open to traffic until the new structure is complete.
New bridge: The new bridge will be built downriver from the current structure. The lift bridge will remain open to pedestrians and bikes after the new bridge is complete.
Source: Minnesota Department of Transportation
Alleen Brown is a senior journalism and global studies student at the University of Minnesota.