Reps Debate How To Replace Stillwater Bridge

By Adam Thomas, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

STILLWATER, Minn. (WCCO/AP) —The back and forth continues over how to replace an aging lift bridge in Stillwater. The bridge is a critical link between Minnesota and Wisconsin, connecting a pair of four-lane roads across the St. Croix River.

“So in order to avoid a bottleneck, the appropriate bridge to have to carry the current and prospective future traffic would be a four lane highway,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann.

WCCO’s Esme Murphy Interviews Michele Bachmann

On the other side of the debate is Rep. Betty McCollum, who is for a replacement of the bridge but on a smaller scale.

“Are we building another mega bridge like I-94 within a ten mile span of the river?” McCollum asked.

WCCO’s Esme Murphy Interviews Betty McCollum

McCollum is also concerned that without a weigh station, truckers with heavy loads could use the Stillwater Bridge instead of I-94.

Gov. Mark Dayton joined Rep. Bachmann today in pressing for the four-lane plan.

The Democratic governor and GOP representative held a joint news conference Friday to boost the project before helping volunteers fill sandbags to prepare for flooding.

Dayton says the Minnesota Department of Transportation proposal is the only way to get a new span built in the next decade, despite opposition from environmental groups. The project could cost as much as $690 million, shared by Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Bachmann is predicting the House will pass her bill to move the project forward after the National Park Service reversed itself last year to find the proposal in violation of the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Tanya needs a drink

    Gawd awful DUO of NUTS.

    Dayton and Bachmann for tooty fruity party.
    Never thoought I’d see these 2 in bed on anything. Proof there’s kool aid that is magical in the gubbermint basement

  • Kally

    “Dayton / Bachmann 2012” the “Tax the Rich and the hell with the rest” party.

  • MNTP

    Why, Michelle? Why?

  • Tom

    Brilliant! Michelle will get this bridge done after all. This will end up being the best thing Dayton has ever done is his joke of a political career.

  • MD

    Bachmann for President 2012!!

  • Murph

    When their political careers are over..they could star in a remake of “THE ODD COUPLE”! Klugman and Randall were great.But these two would be hillarious!

  • Upnorth

    Bachman = Tea Party. If she is serious about cutting waste don’t you think she should start with Congress retirement and health plan? Just how come the Tea Party has never said anything that effects themselevs yet?

    • Walker

      If it is for me and my friends it is good, if not it is waste. Simple explanation for the simplicity of the tea party mind

  • Protect the Old Bridge

    Three bridges exist for crossing the river besides the Stillwater bridge. It’s 9 miles to Hudson, 23 miles to Osceola and 30 miles to Taylors Falls, and MN/WI should build better roads and upgrading the bridges that would take their citizens to either the I-94 or the Osceola and the Taylors Fall bridge.

    Protect the old bridge by eliminating all truck traffic and maintain it with a toll for those using the bridge during the week.

    • Brian

      THe old bridge is a pile waiting to kill a lot of people. Build a new bridge and blow that old pile to hell. Pretty obvious you never you it.

  • Another 35W

    My Wife uses the bridge every single business day. The bridge itself is closed about 3-4 weeks every year for some repair or another. When the bridge was built, it was NEVER intended to hold as much traffic as it currently does. Without the bridge it is a 30 minute detour either through Osceola or Hudson. The current lift bridge may be an icon, but it is another tragedy waiting to happen. Lets stop being nostalgic and realize a new 4 lane bridge is required to handle the traffic that now flows through that crossing.

    • Burt Foster

      Right on!

      • We NEED a new bridge

        Amen! Wake up, people! (Especially those who don’t live in this area!) How about the extra gas it will cost to drive to either of the other two bridges? We need a new bridge! Do we want to see another bridge collapse before we build another one? Thank you, Govenor Dayton and Rep. Bachmann!

  • David Bastien

    This bridge is another classic special interest pork barrel boondoggle. It is truly a bridge to nowhere. I cannot see how it will profit the people of Minnesota, although I can see how it may be of some value to people who think they will pay lower taxes by living in Wisconsin. I thought Bachman signed a pledge to not do this sort of thing.

  • shawn

    Build it already! All the enviromental idiots from the sierra club, etc that are fighting it don’t even live here. It wont ruin the riverfront and will clear up all that congestion and emissions coming from cars stuck in traffic in downtown stillwater.

  • Larry D. Wendlandt

    McCollum should probably look at survey’s about usage and a traffic study on the need a little more, than make a statement about proximity between bridges.
    The same people who complain about the two party’s not working together are now complaining about them working together. They are working together because its pragmatic. The well meaning club that has done a lot of good in the past is undoing it by fighting whats best for working people and consumers who need to get to the twin cities.
    When the bridge should have been built the cost would have been much less.
    Even the road leading down to the bridge was built for model A’s. Replace it before more get hurt. Its shut down half the time anyway.
    Larry D. Wendlandt

  • dan

    if they want to keep the old one let them keep it and bild a new one up the river a little ways. and let’s keep this spring flooding in our mind.

  • Steve

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