STILLWATER -- A $650 million bridge set to open this week in eastern Minnesota will replace a lift bridge that has carried traffic across the St. Croix river to Wisconsin for nearly 90 years.

Minnesota Department of Transportation officials say traffic on the St. Croix Crossing bridge will start sometime Wednesday. The Stillwater Lift Bridge, located two miles north, is scheduled to close Wednesday evening.

Stillwater residents and businesses say the lift bridge, which saw about 18,000 vehicles a day, caused traffic and noise issues in the downtown area. They say they hope its closure will encourage more people to go downtown.

Lift operators will continue to raise the old bridge in order to allow boats to pass.

The new bridge connects Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, and St. Joseph, Wisconsin.