St. Croix Bridge Debate Has Congresswomen At Odds

By Edgar Linares, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum are at odds over a proposal to build a new bridge on the St. Croix River.

Bachmann introduced the new bill on Tuesday that would create a four-lane bridge and cost around $700 million.

Bill Harper is McCollum’s chief of staff. He said the bill directly violates the U.S. Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.

“This is a project that is fiscally irresponsible,” said Harper. “It’s environmentally damaging. And it just pushes traffic further into the east metro area.”

The Star Tribune quotes McCollum as saying she’ll, “do everything in my power” to stop the proposal.

Bachmann told reporters on Tuesday the criticism over the bridge comes from “radical environmental groups” who are upset with her for adding $500 million to the project.

The new bridge would replace the Stillwater Lift Bridge. Some say the current bridge is no longer able to handle the volume of traffic it currently takes.

Harper said what they recommend is an appropriately scaled bridge, not a highway.

“Which Minnesota officials, Wisconsin officials can work together with the National Park Service and local electives to design a new bridge that’s not a highway bridge. But one that’s appropriate for the river,” said Harper.

WCCO’s John Williams Interviews Bill Harper

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