Posts Tagged ‘st croix river crossing’

St. Croix River Crossing

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

 

Last week, our IBA group (Mainstreet Stillwater Independent Business Alliance) had a meeting with the people who are running the St Croix River Crossing Project for MNDOT. Many of us have been very supportive of the new bridge project, we very much believe that the new bridge is going to make historic Downtown Stillwater a better place to live and visit.
 

Me being supportive back in the day

Me back in the day


 

We believed it then and supported the St. Croix River Crossing Coalition. Even with threats of boycott. Remember that? Oh well…water under the bridge:)
 

Anyway…I was fascinated with this guy, the MnDOT project manager. I asked all sorts of enlightened questions like…”Do you sleep at night?” and “How do you even know both sides will meet up perfectly in the middle”.  In case you wonder, “No” was the answer to the first question and “GPS Coordinates” is the answer to the second question.  There were more questions that were equally hard hitting but I don’t want to bore you.

 

But I couldn’t imagine having this job. I can’t imagine the stress.  When someone special orders yarn and it doesn’t come in to meet their deadline I feel so bad about it. I feel terrible disappointing someone. Imagine if you made a mistake or missed a deadline on the St. Croix River Crossing project. Whoa!

 
But you can tell this guy loves this job.  Someone would ask a question about something and he was genuinely excited to answer. You could tell he felt lucky to have this gig. He talked with what seemed like pure joy about creating new habitat for the over 30 different mussel species in the St. Croix.  He talked about how the water quality in the St. Croix River will improve because of this project. He knows how special this is. How this is a project that doesn’t come along often.

 
How cool to know that he helped build this bridge that will last through the lifetimes of his children’s, children’s, children.  How cool to know that I was around when the bridge was built too.  My kids will be able to say, “I remember when…”

 
Among those other hard hitting questions, he answered lots of others that were much more interesting.

 

They updated us on the timing of the bridge completion. It’s still set for Fall 2016.

 
They updated us on the cool bike trail that will be completed.  Some of the loop will be finished as soon as this fall!

 
There are really cool video animations on the website.  Check them out!

 
The updated us on what will happen with the liftbridge when the new bridge opens.  It’ll close to cars and will be modified with a bike path and a walking path.  It’ll be repainted green.  The same color it was when it was built.

 
In case you are dying to see up to the minute photos, there is a cool webcam webpage!

 

We hope you love to see the changes as much as we do. We are excited for the changes to come!

 

Parking Updates

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Here we are again…our pay parking season has begun! The large lot to the South of our shop is pay parking from May 1st through November 1st. But never fear…there are still plenty of parking options!

 

Turn towards the river from Main Street onto Nelson Street you’ll see our little parking lot…
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Brick Alley Parking off of Nelson

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As you get closer you’ll see this little building…never fear!
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Brick Alley Parking Booth

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This is our parking lot. So sometimes this little building has a parking attendant.  So, what does this mean for you?  It means you’ll still get free parking when you visit our shop and park in our lot.  But, you’ll need to have $5 cash on hand to pay our parking lot attendant.  We won’t have a little machine, so you can’t use a credit card.  It’ll be an actual human being collecting your money.  Then, when you come into our shop, we’ll reimburse you $5. If there is no parking attendant, you are free to park in the lot if there is an available spot.
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Now, we can only reimburse if you park in the Brick Alley Lot.  We can’t reimburse for other city lots.  Remember, this lot is accessed off of Nelson Street, not Main!   So, make sure you can see this sign when you pull into the lot!
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Also be aware that Stillwater is a busy tourist area.  If you are coming into town during the day, the Hwy 36 route is the perfect way to come into town. On the weekends, if you wish to avoid a line up of cars waiting to cross the Stillwater Lift Bridge, you should come “the back way”.  If you are heading East on Hwy 36, toward downtown, you can take a left on Manning Avenue (cty rd 15) , then a right on County Road 12.  That changes into Myrtle and brings you right to Main Street.  There is a parking ramp off of Myrtle too, if you are like me and would rather park and walk than stress out about finding a spot.  We are a 3 block walk South down beautiful Main Street from the parking ramp.

 

Since you are walking anyway, you might as well check out some of our other great shopping and dining establishments.  Really, what is a trip to Stillwater without checking out Main Street?

 

If you are in a pinch and know what you need, feel free to call ahead and we can have your purchase ready for you. You can pull up alongside the shop and we can make the transaction from your car:)

 

Open Letter to MnDOT

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013


Hello MnDOT,
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I am writing to you today to let you know about something I just can’t keep quiet about any longer.   It’s about the road construction for the new St. Croix River Crossing.  Specifically the 95/36 exchange that is progressing quickly.
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Now, I assume you are getting prepared right now to hear something negative, but that’s not what’s about to happen.
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I am writing to tell you about a gem you have working for you.  Well, I don’t know who she works for exactly, she may be working for a contractor,  but she is a gem none the less.
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I’m sure that everyone who drives this stretch of the river valley knows who she is too.  She handles the stop and slow sign at the intersection of 95 and 36.  She tells us when a big dump truck is heading our way.
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I don’t know her name, but I wish I did.
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She smiles, waves, and looks like she’s laughing sometimes. She actually seems to pay attention to the cars when they pass her by.  I get to look her in the eyes even!  I drove by her today and she was dancing.  DANCING!  Now, it is 20 degrees outside today and she was probably freezing and dancing was keeping her toes warm but still!  I love this woman.   I wish I had a picture of her, but I thought better of taking photos while driving:)
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You should know that she brings a smile to my face every time I pass by.    You should know that she is making that construction easier for all of us.  She should know that too.  I wanted to bring her a cup of coffee or hot cocoa, but that isn’t a super spot to stop my car!
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So, MnDOT?  Maybe you should find out who she is and thank her.  Bring her a nice cup of coffee.  Or some of those hand warmer things.  Heck give her a raise.  She is certainly raising the spirits of people who pass her by each day.
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With warm regards,
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Aimee and all the other commuters on Hwy 95!
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Boycott – Oh Boy

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

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I got a call from a concerned resident.
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She wondered if I had a list of all the business owners on Main Street that were in support of the new St. Croix River Crossing.  I told her I didn’t have a list and asked her why she was looking for that list.  She told me that she and some friends were looking for a tangible way to protest the bridge approval and they decided that they would boycott downtown businesses.
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I wasn’t surprised.  I have been downtown for 3 years now and understand how these things work.  There are some people who think if you own a business you must have lots of money and power; that is most certainly not the case.   I know that I am making my fortune one ball of yarn at a time:)
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I told her that I would hate to see her punish 30 independent small downtown businesses with a boycott.  I asked if she was also planning to boycott Lakeview Hospital, Cub Foods, Target, Perkins, Lowes, Walmart, Menards, and the hotels on Highway 36.  Those businesses and the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce also support the new St. Croix River Crossing.  She seemed shocked that they were in support of the bridge as well.
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I told her that downtown Stillwater businesses already feel like local residents have boycotted Main Street. Not because of our support of the bridge, but because of the congestion that is choking Main Street.  She said she doesn’t come downtown because of traffic and parking.  (I kindly reminded her that we have over 1500 parking spots downtown and that November – April she can come down and pretty much park anywhere she wants!  For FREE!  Somehow it always comes back to parking.  Don’t get me started…)
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She was a very nice woman, we actually had a very nice conversation.  She lives near Hwy 36 and doesn’t want increased traffic or congestion in her neighborhood, safety was a top concern.  I told her that they were going to rework the intersections on Hwy 36 to make better turn lanes and better frontage roads.  She said she really didn’t know what the plan was.  HUH?  I wanted to ask her how she could protest something she didn’t have the facts about, but I held my tongue.  I did mention that the people who live on Greeley or 3rd street or on other “short cut” roads on the hill are looking forward to getting rid of the traffic on their roads from Wisconsin commuters.
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Unfortunately, not everyone can benefit.
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I know that this is a hot button issue and that some people live close to the new bridge and are worried about noise and traffic and I understand their frustration.  I really do.
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I am a firm believer that the new St. Croix River Crossing will reinvent Main Street.  That it will allow Stillwater residents to take back their town.  It will mean that people who come to Main Street will be people who actually want to be there; to sightsee, shop, or dine.  I haven’t even mentioned the walking and biking paths!
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I asked that she reconsider her boycott.  I hope she does.
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Interested in more information about the bridge?  Here is a cool video.  I hope the concerned citizen takes the time to watch it too.