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Wisconsin company wins bid to build foundation for new St. Croix River bridge

Artists rendering of what a new river bridge might look like
Artists rendering of what a new river bridge might look like

HUDSON, WI (WTAQ) - A Wisconsin company will build the foundation for the new four-lane bridge across the St. Croix River between Hudson and Stillwater Minnesota.

Edward Kraemer and Sons of Plain in Sauk County was named the winning bidder Monday.

The firm will get almost $37 million to build five piers up to 15 feet above the river’s normal elevation – plus eight shafts per pier, drilled to 120 feet below the river bed.

The foundation work will begin next week. It’s supposed to be finished by mid-2014, but officials say Kraemer will get incentives if it’s done by the early part of the year.

The main bridge construction begins next summer – and the new structure is expected to open in 2016. It replaces an 80-year-old lift bridge that goes into downtown Stillwater.

Congress and President Obama agreed to work around federal protections a year ago to get the new bridge built. Supporters and environmentalists had debated the project for decades before that.