Skip to main content

Historic Stillwater Lift Bridge will soon close to traffic, and the city can't wait

The locals have been waiting a long time for this.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

If you enjoy driving over the Stillwater Lift Bridge, you better go make one last joy ride.

That's because next month the historic lift bridge will close to traffic. The last vehicle will cross the 86-year-old bridge sometime on Wednesday, Aug. 2 – the same day the new St. Croix Crossing Bridge will officially open.

And the city can't wait.

Right after the 10 a.m. ribbon cutting ceremony at the new bridge, Mayor Ted Kozlowski and city leaders will head over to Stillwater’s Lowell Park for a short public ceremony to commemorate the bridge's history, a news release says. Federal, state, and local officials will be invited.

Then the city will get the party started at the Cruisin' on the Croix classic car show in Lowell Park later that night. That event was already scheduled, but it has been re-dubbed "Cruisin' to Closure," because the city expects large crowds for the final closure of the bridge, the release says. It starts at 6 p.m.

"We don’t know what time MnDOT will throw up the ‘Bridge Closed’ sign and do the permanent traffic shift, but we’ll be downtown celebrating until they do," Kozlowski said in the release.

"This is a significant moment in the history of our town, and we know people are going to want to get together and be part of it. It’s going to be one of those events that you’ll tell your grandchildren you attended."

The Stillwater Current says city council also just approved another event celebrating the bridge closing, which will include a polka street dance, food and a beer garden on Saturday, Aug. 12. A city employee told GoMN that event is still in the planning stages.

Lift bridge transformation

After it's rehabilitated, the lift bridge will be turned into path for bicycles and pedestrians only – part of a five mile long loop trail between Minnesota and Wisconsin that includes the new St. Croix Crossing.

Here's what it will look like:

Closing the bridge to cars is something the locals have been looking forward to for quite some time, because the bridge crossing brought a lot of traffic to Stillwater's downtown.

Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) says the new crossing will provide a better, larger route between Minnesota and Wisconsin, helping to ease congestion in downtown Stillwater.

“Over its history, the lift bridge has become more than just another river crossing. It’s an iconic structure that has been a part of our lives for generations. We’re so excited to see that it will get a second life," Kozlowski said in the release.

Next Up

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.

George Floyd, protest

Twin Cities authorities preparing for community reaction to Tyre Nichols video

The ATF division in St. Paul sent out an alert out of "an abundance of caution."

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 2.12.05 PM

Changes at K102's Chris Carr & Company, with Sam Sansevere joining as co-host

She is the daughter of former KQRS morning show personality Bob Sansevere.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 1.16.21 PM

Minneapolis' Royal Foundry Craft Spirits announces closure

The distillery set out to infuse the Minneapolis craft cocktail scene with British flavor.


Shutterfly to cut almost 100 jobs at Shakopee facility

The layoffs are expected to impact multiple positions within the company.


Mill City Museum in the running to be named best history museum in the U.S.

The museum offers scenic views of the Mississippi River.


The last car to cross it is just as old as Stillwater's lift bridge

A classic car that's also from 1931 will be the last one across.

1 busted bridge messed up boats, cars – and left a guy stranded

The Stillwater Lift Bridge is nearly ready for retirement.

St. Croix River bridge supporters celebrate long-awaited legislation

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann were among those in Stillwater at the Saturday morning event. After decades of debate, lawmakers voted Thursday to exempt the proposed St. Croix River crossing from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. President Obama is expected to support it. The new four-lane bridge will replace the 80-year-old Stillwater Lift Bridge.

Stillwater Lift Bridge to close for 4 months

The Stillwater Lift Bridge will close Monday for four months while MnDot crews make repairs. The bridge will not reopen until late December. The lift span will open to boat traffic on Sundays from Oct. 15 through Nov. 5 and will also not open again until late December.

Three-month shutdown of Stillwater bridge is glimpse of future

The Stillwater lift bridge is shutting down Monday for three months of repairs. Many in the city find it a relief to be freed from the traffic congestion of Wisconsin commuters. Some consider it a preview of what life will be like once a new St. Croix River bridge opens in Oak Park Heights in another four or five years.