The St. Croix bridge project will open in Fall 2017, one year later than originally planned, officials from the Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of transportation said.
Some of the major setbacks included a worker shortage where contractor Lunda/Ames struggled to find enough skilled workers for the project.
The project complexity also presented challenges and contribute to the delay. The St. Croix bridge is comprised of 3,200-ft span crosses over the federally protected St. Croix River.
Material shortages coupled with weather delays also slowed construction progress. Minnesota typically has an eight-month construction season, at the longest.
Acquiring the necessary concrete forms to make the segments for the bridge was delayed five months in 2014. Only two American companies make these forms, and the selected company’s owner died and the company subsequently lost its lead engineer. The timing of these events caused the company to delay fabrication of the forms.
The St. Croix River experienced high water levels in spring 2014, which was a key time in the construction of the bridge piers. The high water caused a two-week delay. Progress was further slowed in 2014 when winter arrived early. This year’s relatively mild winter has helped improve the schedule.