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Author Topic: Stillwater Bridge  (Read 95962 times)

Mdcastle

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #50 on: March 03, 2012, 01:11:43 PM »

Regarding the 3 stoplights to remain, as well as the MN 36 corridor in general:

Besides the omnipresent lack  of money issue there's ambivalence of the surrounding communites about what they want the highway to become. Oak Park Heights has the ability to kill the bridge project since it is not an interstate highway; the mayor opposes the project whereas the city council has been making noises that they could be bribed into it if Mn/DOT coughs up enough money to adddress their concerns about utility costs and such. I think Froggie told me that OPH opposed the interchanges because of impacts to local businesses, but now they're complaining the lights will cause traffic jams.

Farther to the west Mn/DOT allowed Washington County to pay for a light to be put in at Lake Elmo Ave. It was supposed to be temporary and was built to temporary standards but is turning out to be permanent as there's no local consensus about what kind of interchange or overpass to build. And the city of Lake Elmo, which is mostly McMansions on hobby farms, wants 36 to be a 45mph parkway with stoplights or roundabouts at all the intersections instead of a 65mph expressway.  Next year a new interchange is going to be built at Hilton trail, eliminating a dangerous light. Drivers coming of I-694 appear to be on another freeway and then a light comes up around a corner.

« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 01:14:20 PM by Mdcastle »
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mattaudio

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #51 on: March 13, 2012, 01:46:56 PM »

It's unfortunate that, per my understanding of this law, we don't even have the option to build a reasonable affordable bridge anymore. We're stuck with the current $690 million freeway plan. Is that accurate?
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mgk920

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #52 on: March 13, 2012, 03:18:39 PM »

It's unfortunate that, per my understanding of this law, we don't even have the option to build a reasonable affordable bridge anymore. We're stuck with the current $690 million freeway plan. Is that accurate?

Well, MnDOT and WisDOT started with a 'reasonable(y) affordable' bridge, but had to dress it up and so forth to get it to pass muster of Congress (remember that the Saint Croix River there has a federal park designation).

Mike
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Mdcastle

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #53 on: March 13, 2012, 03:54:32 PM »

In theory the Sierrra Club and all might consent to the three-lane "sensible" bridge, so it might not need the bypass law, but there's questions as to whether the 3 lane proposal would even be cheaper than the "extra-dosed" bridge; I heard about half of the cost of the new bridge is environmental mitigation, which would be needed in any case, and planning and design would have to start almost from scratch, and you have to factor in construction inflation. A generic beam bridge as proposed in 1995 (instead of a rather expensive extradosed design and other environmental mitigation) as in the original proposal would have been 120 million. It's kind of like what happened to the Bay Bridge, the original expensive proposal was stopped and the cheaper proposal wound up being even more expensive.

The other thing is that the city of Stillwater might veto a low-down bridge by their downtown due to the damage that the approach roads would cause to the parks and buildings and such by the river. If Stillwater says no, the project is dead. MN 36 is not an interstate so it would not go to binding arbitration like a project on an interstate does where the local municpality objects.

« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 03:58:46 PM by Mdcastle »
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on_wisconsin

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #54 on: March 14, 2012, 09:49:35 PM »

^ uh...
Quote
Obama signs St. Croix River Bridge bill

Blog Post by: Kevin Diaz
March 14, 2012 - 4:18 PM


President Obama signed legislation Wednesday to build the long-awaited St. Croix bridge.
 
The president’s signature comes two weeks – nearly the maximum allowed – after Congress gave the needed environmental clearances for the $690 million project, the largest public works project in state history.
 
White House officials have not explained the time lag, but it will enter into the lore of the bridge, which has been delayed decades in the courts and in Congress.
 
Right down to the end, despite overwhelming votes in both the House and Senate, the bridge divided Democrats and administration officials alike. While pro-labor Democrats emphasized the jobs potential of the project, environmentalists in the Interior Department raised flags about granting such a conspicuous exemption to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, a landmark environmental law authored by native son Walter Mondale.
 
Even after the final vote in the House, bridge advocates like Michele Bachmann and Amy Klobuchar, from opposite sides of the partisan divide, felt it necessary to plead with Obama for his "prompt" signature.
http://www.startribune.com/politics/blogs/142677195.html
 :cheers:
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 09:51:28 PM by on_wisconsin »
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #55 on: March 15, 2012, 06:06:15 PM »

Quote
... the $690 million project, the largest public works project in state history.

This line raises two questions. I'm assuming that the "state" in question is Minnesota, since Wisconsin is in the middle of a public works project double the price of the Stillwater Bridge.  But still, that doesn't sound right that it's the most expensive project in state history.  What did it cost to upgrade Wayzata Blvd to I-394?  What did the Crosstown Commons cost?  What about the initial construction of freeways in The Cities?  It seems like there has to have been a bigger project in the history of Minnesota.  I smell hyperbole.
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Mdcastle

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #56 on: March 15, 2012, 06:54:53 PM »

It's to the benefit of the anti-bridge people to make it sound like it's costing as much as possible, so they use the high end estimate and round it and make it sound like Minnesota is paying for the whole thing (and that only Wisconsinites will benefit), where in reality Wisconsin is paying for 45%, and have you ever counted license plates on a summer Friday night? They're mostly Minnesota. The official cost estimate is between $571 million and $676 million, which turns into a "$700 million dollar Bridge to Nowhere". I'm saddened by all the insults towards Wisconsinites being hurled out in various local boards, as well as the implication that Wisconsin is "nowhere"

But I think it is the biggest project when you count it as a single project and count it all in one state with non-inflation adjusted dollars. I-394 was about $500 million back when it was built (I don't know if there were seperate contracts), if you adjust for inflation it would easily cost more than the bridge as would probably untold other projects. Crosstown was $288 million. The Wakota bridge was $300 million broken down into several contracts, notably the contract for building a simple, bland 5 lane bridge for eastbound traffic with no environmental mitigation or approach roads was $60 million.
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froggie

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #57 on: March 15, 2012, 11:33:29 PM »

I-394 was about $450 million, but it was several different projects.  To date, Crosstown is the single biggest contract in state history.  This would change with the Stillwater bridge, assuming it goes as a design-build as I've heard is going to be the case (but don't quote me on that).
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on_wisconsin

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #58 on: March 16, 2012, 07:44:13 PM »

  This would change with the Stillwater bridge, assuming it goes as a design-build as I've heard is going to be the case (but don't quote me on that).
Doubtful, as design-build I believe is illegal in the state of Wisconsin. (for state funded projects)
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 07:51:58 PM by on_wisconsin »
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J N Winkler

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #59 on: March 17, 2012, 05:56:24 AM »

I-394 was about $450 million, but it was several different projects.  To date, Crosstown is the single biggest contract in state history.  This would change with the Stillwater bridge, assuming it goes as a design-build as I've heard is going to be the case (but don't quote me on that).

Just for the hell of it, I went to MnDOT's EDMS site and downloaded all the I-394 contracts I had not previously downloaded as part of my long-term project to assemble a collection of pattern-accurate MnDOT sign panel detail sheets (for which, by the way, my page count is now in excess of 8,000).

If I exclude all contracts from before about 1980 and from after about 1995, all bridges-only contracts, and all contracts which have a SP number from CS 2789 but have a lead SP number from a lower CS (generally ones corresponding to US 12 between downtown and I-494 and also for intersecting routes like TH 100), then that leaves 35 contracts.  This does not include the signing contracts, which I had hoovered up several years ago--for I-394 primary construction there were at least four.

Contract value records based on nominal dollars tend not to be very meaningful because of inflation; it is comparable to the finding that the top ten grossing films of all time were all made in the last twenty years.  However, I believe the Crosstown Commons contract is safe from challenge by any older contracts because it was advertised several years after MnDOT switched to turnkey contracts around 2000.  Previously it had been MnDOT's practice to advertise large numbers of smaller contracts for grading and drainage, surfacing, bridges, and installation of traffic appliances such as electric lights, signs, signals, guardrail, and TMS.  As with I-394, this typically results in literally dozens of individual contracts, none of which will challenge any contract-value records in either real or nominal terms.

BTW, the TH 212 freeway was built (if memory serves) through a single design-build contract which divided the road into multiple sections (some sections corresponding to contiguous lengths of the finished road, and other sections corresponding to work entirely within certain functional disciplines which covered the entire facility--for instance, signing was handled as its own section).  The overall contract value was about $240 million.
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froggie

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #60 on: March 18, 2012, 08:34:07 AM »

Quote
Doubtful, as design-build I believe is illegal in the state of Wisconsin. (for state funded projects)

However, MnDOT is lead on this project.  Obviously wouldn't apply to the Wisconsin approach, but would to the bridge proper and on the Minnesota side.
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tchafe1978

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #61 on: April 07, 2012, 12:04:10 AM »

Wisconsin Public TV's Here and Now program aired a segment about the Stillwater Bridge tonight, presenting two points of view on the project.

http://video.wpt2.org/video/2220140411
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Milwaukee, WY

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #62 on: April 08, 2012, 11:29:15 PM »

Quote
Oh, I could tell it wasn't reality due to the obvious lack of maroon minivans.  I mean, really, this is supposed to be Minnesota, right?

I don't know which Minnesota you've visited...but the Minnesota I grew up in didn't have maroon minivans...

The unofficial vehicle of Minnesota families:


I was meeting a guy near Minneapolis once whom I'd never met before.  I asked what kind of car he drove so I would recognize him.  He replied, 'What everyone else in Minnesota drives, a maroon minivan'.  I though he was crazy.  Then, in the five miles I drove to meet him, I saw three maroon minivans.  I became a believer...  :nod:

True story: I have two uncles who live in the Twin Cities, one in St Paul, and one in Jordan. When we were growing up, St Paul uncle had a maroon caravan, Jordan uncle had a maroon Aerostar. Never realized it was a "Minnesota thing" until now.
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Milwaukee, WY

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #63 on: April 08, 2012, 11:33:10 PM »

  This would change with the Stillwater bridge, assuming it goes as a design-build as I've heard is going to be the case (but don't quote me on that).
Doubtful, as design-build I believe is illegal in the state of Wisconsin. (for state funded projects)

I thought design-build was used on the Marquette Interchange project.
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on_wisconsin

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #64 on: April 12, 2012, 08:27:41 PM »

Quote
MnDOT moves up St. Croix River bridge completion date by a year
By Mary Divine TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press



A new bridge over the St. Croix River south of Stillwater could be open to drivers as early as the fall of 2016, a year ahead of schedule.

Construction is slated to start in the spring of 2013, and bridge construction would start in the fall ofthat year, Minnesota Department of Transportation officials said Tuesday night, April 10. Construction is expected to take three years.

Jon Chiglo, MnDOT's assistant commissioner, announced the new construction timeline at the Oak Park Heights City Council meeting.

"I think over time there's been a lot of discussion about design, and it's important for us to move into construction process and the construction phase of this job," said Chiglo, who is serving as project manager for the St. Croix River bridge project.

"On projects this size, you usually have funding constraints or you have environmental constraints," said Chiglo, who oversaw the reconstruction of the collapsed Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis. "We've gotten through the environmental process, and we've got the funding in place, and now it's time to move into construction and implementation phase."

A request for proposals for the bridge design went out in March, with submissions due by April 27, Chiglo said. A designer should be selected by mid-May.

"I've heard from a lot of people, 'Not in my lifetime,' " Washington County Commissioner Gary Kriesel said after the meeting. "This puts it in the reach of a lot of us older folks."

Council member Mark Swenson said: "We've got all the right things going now. Now is the time for us to come together and make it happen. There's no stopping it. As a group, this council needs to really work diligently with MnDOT to get things going in a positive way."

Oak Park Heights officials have raised concerns about the costs associated with the construction project. City officials say the city could need up to $20 million to improve, relocate and maintain water and sewer lines along the Minnesota 36 approach to the new four-lane bridge.

Adam Josephson, MnDOT's east metro manager, said Tuesday night that federal High Priority Program money would be available to pay 80 percent of the total cost of utility work. Under a scenario where most of the utilities are left alone, the city's costs would be less than $1 million, he said.

At issue is what utilities are affected by the bridge project, said council member Les Abrahamson.

"It's important that we agree which ones are impacted," he said. "If they are impacted, they're eligible for federal money - 80 percent federal, 20 percent local. If they're not impacted, it's 100 percent local."

City officials would like to move all the sewer and water pipes out of the state right-of-way for the project. "It makes no sense to put in new roadway over these aging pipes," Abrahamson said.

One solution might be for the city to keep the money it normally would contribute to the metro area's fiscal-disparities program to offset the city's costs associated with the new bridge, Abrahamson said. He has proposed seeking a change in state law that would enable the city to withhold the current contribution to the fiscal-disparities pool over a 20-year period. The city contributed $2.1 million to the fund in 2011 and received about $509,000.

"Oak Park Heights should not have a disproportionate share of the costs of this project," Abrahamson said. "This regional project needs a regional cost solution. The fiscal disparities fund is a regional fund meant to even out tax impacts, and that's what I'm looking to do. We pay into the fund, but we don't get out what we pay in."

The fiscal-disparities process was created in 1971 by the Legislature as a way for cities in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area to share in commercial-industrial property tax growth under the principle that the area as a whole plays a role in fostering new development.

Rep. Kathy Lohmer, R-Lake Elmo, said she would be introducing a bill this week that would allow Oak Park Heights to use its contributions to fiscal disparities to fund portions of the Minnesota 36 project.

"We want to see what kind of reaction we get from folks, and see if we get any push-back and see if anyone has a problem with it," Lohmer said.

According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, Bloomington got the OK from the Legislature to capture money from the fiscal disparities fund to help pay for road improvements for the Mall of America.

The law, passed in 1986, contained a provision that for property taxes payable in 1988 through 1999, the city of Bloomington would annually receive an amount equal to the interest paid on $80 million in bonds that the city sold for highway improvements at the mall site.

State law required Bloomington to repay the supplemental distribution from the fiscal disparities fund over a 10-year period from 2006 to 2015, said Eric Willette, the department's property tax research director.

In Bloomington's case, it was more of a loan, Abrahamson said. "In that case, there was huge growth in Bloomington once the Mall of America was built. They were more apt to capture and contribute more to the fiscal-disparities fund because they were growing as a result of that project."

But Oak Park Heights is "a little city that's primarily built out," Abrahamson said, "so we want to keep our own money in our own community for a while to pay for this regional project."

Oak Park Heights officials are hoping that the bonding bill will contain $1 million for the city to offset the costs of the project. The $1 million is in the House bonding bill; Lohmer said she is working to make sure it is in the Senate version as well.

Senate Majority Leader David Senjem "knows how important this project is," Lohmer said. "Everyone knows how important it is. At the end of day, we'll get something worked out. We just don't have it worked out yet."
http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_20368510/mndot-moves-up-st-croix-river-bridge-completion
 :spin:
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on_wisconsin

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #65 on: May 08, 2012, 03:30:53 PM »

In the "all too predictable" file: Some farmers are whining about the freeway extension cutting across there land: http://www.startribune.com/local/east/150523225.html?page=all&prepage=2&c=y#continue
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Mdcastle

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #66 on: May 08, 2012, 08:19:27 PM »

I think the Strib is grasping for straws for anti-bridge stories by now. How many people live in St. Croix country that won't have property taken, and won't the ones that do make out like bandits when Wal-Mart wants to buy the rest of it?
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Mdcastle

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #67 on: June 05, 2012, 10:46:50 PM »

It appears it's going to be a non-issue, but does anyone know what Barrett's position on the bridge is- he's from Milwaukee which IRC is very anti-highway. If he has one, or if he would or even could do anything to stop it at this point?
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JREwing78

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #68 on: June 06, 2012, 01:49:34 AM »

I doubt anything Barrett had in store would've materially changed the project. I do remember him wanting to redirect funds earmarked for the I-39/90 widening elsewhere.
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hobsini2

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #69 on: June 06, 2012, 06:31:15 PM »

I do know that all 4 senators, both governors (one dem, one rep) and several reps from both parties (such as Kind-D La Crosse and Bachman-R Woodbury) want this bridge to happen. It's nice to see bipartisanship actually trying to work on something together.
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texaskdog

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #70 on: June 07, 2012, 10:24:13 AM »

Except everything for Minnesota Highways happens in slow motion (unless it involves a collapsed bridge)
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Mdcastle

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #71 on: June 07, 2012, 12:46:36 PM »

Yes, this has been talked about since the early 1950s. The intent then was to build the "high bridge" by extending MN 96 across the river, that's why it was rerouted to the north of town at that time. That option was looked at again in the current round but was dismissed early on.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 12:53:14 PM by Mdcastle »
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texaskdog

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #72 on: June 07, 2012, 01:14:20 PM »

Yes, this has been talked about since the early 1950s. The intent then was to build the "high bridge" by extending MN 96 across the river, that's why it was rerouted to the north of town at that time. That option was looked at again in the current round but was dismissed early on.

when did they reroute 96?  Did it used to be what is now County 64?
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The High Plains Traveler

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #73 on: June 07, 2012, 10:22:57 PM »

Yes, this has been talked about since the early 1950s. The intent then was to build the "high bridge" by extending MN 96 across the river, that's why it was rerouted to the north of town at that time. That option was looked at again in the current round but was dismissed early on.

when did they reroute 96?  Did it used to be what is now County 64?
Looking at my historic maps I don't believe 96 has ever been on any alignment between White Bear Lake and Stillwater other than its current one. I think what Monte was referring to was the proposed location for the St. Croix River crossing - I think early proposals included one where 96 and 95 meet. This would have been 1970s-80s vintage proposals; the current Hwy. 36 location has been the preferred one for over 20 years.
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Mdcastle

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Re: Stillwater Bridge
« Reply #74 on: June 08, 2012, 07:58:27 AM »

County Road 64 was the old alignment. It's kind of hard to see on inset maps, but it looks like MN 96 came in at angle, the went straight south, probably on Owen, then straight east, probably on Myrtle, to line up with the existing bridge. My 1949 official map shows the old alignment and my 1953 official map shows the new alignment.
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