Agency narrows options for new Osceola bridge design

Replacement will almost certainly add bike and pedestrian access to river crossing.

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A team from the Minnesota Department of Transportation continues working to decide on a new design for the Highway 243 bridge, which crosses the St. Croix River at Osceola. The 70-year-old bridge is scheduled to be replaced in 2025.

The agencies involved accepted public input on the project last year. MnDOT reports receiving a total of 95 comments, with more than 62 percent highlighting the need for a bike and pedestrian path on the bridge.

Details about the process and updates on progress are available on MnDOT’s website.

After an initial review of the options, they have settled on a few possibilities, reports the Osceola Sun:

“Local, state and federal transportation officials who are part of a project advisory group for the bridge recently eliminated the idea of a tunnel and a handful of other project alternatives. Removing the bridge entirely, rehabilitating the existing bridge, or moving it north and aligning it with Second Avenue—the stop-lighted intersection in Osceola—were all considered, but rejected due to costs and other design impacts. The advisory group includes MnDOT, WisDOT, Federal Highway Administration officials, and local representatives from Osceola and Franconia Township.

Bridge rebuild options identified for Hwy 243, Osceola Sun, Feb. 10, 2022

The team anticipates the bridge will be entirely closed for construction for between nine and 24 months. The agency also says it recognizes the importance of river access at the adjacent Osceola Landing and is committed to minimizing disruption for river visitors.

Next, the committee will consider social and environmental factors before decided on a final design.

MnDOT stresses that despite its age and poor condition, the bridge is inspected regularly and is safe to use.


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4 responses to “Agency narrows options for new Osceola bridge design”

  1. Laurie Morris Avatar

    Closing the bridge for up to two years will cause hardship for everyone who commutes or visits the Osceola area. There is no other reasonable crossing location that won’t add an hour to the drive.

    1. Tim Avatar
      Tim

      The St Croix bridge is 10 minutes north and 10 minutes south on either side of the river so that is 20 minutes not an hour

      1. kevin Avatar
        kevin

        there no way your going to go from north then back south in 20 minutes

    2. John Avatar
      John

      Beats driving across a rotting bridge. Just like the 36 bridge in Stillwater, it was done in the blink of an eye.

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Agency narrows options for new Osceola bridge design