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Stillwater bridge project presents ‘issues’ for Hudson firm

Some iron workers returned to the St. Croix River crossing project last week following a work site walk-­off on April 17.

LouAnne Berg, owner of the Hudson-­based J&L Steel & Electrical Services firm, said Friday that workers back on the job site are now employees of the Lunda-­Ames joint venture, which serves as general contractor for the project.

Berg said attorneys representing J&L and the joint venture were meeting to seek a resolution to what she only described as “some issues.”

“If we can (resolve issues), it would be better,” Berg said Friday before the meeting. “If we can’t, it’s kind of a lose-­lose for all parties involved.”

Berg did not elaborate Friday on the reason behind the walk-­off, which involved about 120 steelworkers, where they were part of the bridge­-building effort that will connect town of St. Joseph with Oak Park Heights, Minn.

The walk-­off did not involve a union dispute, she said, adding that workers did not want to participate in the walk­-off.

“We, as a company, had to leave,” Berg said.

Work on the project this week narrowed traffic to single lanes on Hwy. 35 just north of the construction area.

The south access to Andersen Scout Camp Road from Hwy. 35 closes May 4 and will remain closed until September, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. A detour will be accessible.

Tree clearing continues on the Wisconsin bluff­side as crews construct the bridge’s eastern abutment and a pier there.

Work continues this week on three piers that will help support the structure, including Pier 12,­­ the closest column to Wisconsin land.

The Minnesota transportation department said installation of the river bridge segments will occur later this spring.