A new no-wake zone around the construction site for the new Stillwater bridge means boaters must reduce their speeds in an approximately one-mile stretch of the river.
The rules are meant to protect workers and equipment. Work has begun this summer on the bridge foundations, including driving shafts into the river’s bedrock. The zone is expected to remain in place for the next four summers, until the bridge is completed in 2016.
At one part of the no-wake zone, the river channel open for boats is only about 300 feet wide. KSTP News visited the zone and spoke with a Department of Natural Resources officer who patrols it:
“You have to look at the back of the boat and make sure no large wakes are coming off, anything above 5 to 6 inches is too big,” says Cpt. Greg Salo, an enforcement officer with the DNR.
Salo says even small wakes can cause big problems for construction workers building the St. Croix River Bridge.
The wakes can throw the workers, the barges, or tons of heavy equipment off balance.
The fine for violating the no-wake rules are $140. Watch KSTP’s video report below.