Osceola bridge replacement options enter third phase of review

Process to analyze costs and benefits of three primary alternatives.




2 minute read

Highway 243 Bridge, Osceola, Wis. (Greg Seitz/St. Croix 360)

From Minnesota Department of Transportation:

Three build options continue to be considered for the new bridge.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is currently working along with MnDOT conducting an environmental assessment of the choices.

The project team is using a three-step process to thoroughly review the options. Step three in the review process is currently underway.

The three bridge crossing build alternatives include building on the existing bridge alignment, building the new bridge to the north of the current bridge or building to the south of the existing alignment.

During step three, the project team will now closely assess considerations such as geology, trails and road width. They’ll also look at reducing potential impacts to the St. Croix River, the Wilke Glen Cascade Falls area and nearby bluffs.

Once step three evaluation is complete, another public meeting will be held to share the results and gather input from the public and regulating agencies on the recommended preferred alternative.

Bridge alternative alignments (MNDOT)

From the Osceola Sun:

A representative from the Minnesota Department of Transportation recently presented information and answered questions at a meeting of the Osceola Village Board. The Osceola Sun reported:

Moving the bridge to the north, closer to Osceola Creek, would mean significant cuts and installing a large retaining wall to protect the creek and the hiking trail. Moving the bridge to the south would mean carving into the Osceola bluff by as much as 30 feet. Keeping it on the same alignment would be less invasive in terms of landscaping, but would mean a longer period of closure during construction.

Bowker said all three build options have entered the third phase of the project, meaning each will be considered in finer detail, including looking at alternative bridge design options, narrowing travel lanes, and lowering traffic design speeds.

Construction of the new bridge is slated to happen 2026, with the final design and permitting phase occurring in 2024-2025. Construction will take anywhere from 21-24 months, with the bridge being fully closed for as little as nine months with the two off-alignment options, and as much as the entire 24 months with the same-alignment option.

Falls will not be harmed, DOT officials say, Osceola Sun, August 20, 2022


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Osceola bridge replacement options enter third phase of review