MnDOT Weighs Down Stillwater Lift Bridge With Concrete

Updated: 06/27/2014 9:23 AM
Created: 06/27/2014 9:21 AM
By: Josh Rosenthal

The Stillwater Lift Bridge isn't going to float away, but the water surrounding it is so high and so fast, the bridge could move.

Eight year old Megan Feustel, who spent a few minutes Thursday watching the rising St. Croix River, has her own theory as to why.

"Because the water says 'hi bridge, would you like to be my friend?,'" she figured.

MnDot Engineer Duane Green has a different theory. He's responsible for about 1400 bridges in the metro. He says the lift bridge is meant to go up and down, not side to side. Right now water is rushing by so quickly, the bridge is moving side to side.

So to prevent that from happening, MnDOT covered the bridge in 84 concrete barriers weighing 4500 pounds each.

Green says this has happened before, but it's not common. Regardless, the flooding is so bad right now, other bridges around the state -- like one in Cottage Grove -- are covered in concrete too.

So now for the million dollar question: when will the concrete be replaced by cars?

"Kind of depends on the weather," Green shrugged. In other words, we don't know.

That's just fine with Megan, who explained that the blue smudge on her lip was left over from ice cream. When asked if she cared more about the bridge or her ice cream, her response was to the point.

"Ice cream," she said, without a bit of hesitation.

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