Dayton, Bachmann: Time For A New Bridge

By Dennis Douda, WCCO-TV

STILLWATER, Minn. (WCCO) –- Gov. Mark Dayton and Rep. Michele Bachmann are teaming up to push for a new bridge over the St. Croix River.

Friday the two got a first-hand look at the Stillwater lift bridge, and both said it’s time to build a new one.

The 80-year-old bridge is showing signs of decay.

“We were able to look at surface corrosion and also one of the piers closer to the Wisconsin side has quite a bit of cement flaking coming off that pier,” Bachmann said.

Bachmann has introduced legislation and is trying to get a new bridge built soon.

“I’m concerned about the delay in the bridge and I believe absolutely without a doubt the people of this area deserve a new bridge,” Bachmann said.

Dayton agreed. He said Minnesota and Wisconsin are prepared to provide funding for a new bridge, if Congress clears the way.

“There needs to be a modern crossing that’s aesthetically compatible with this wonderful river,” Dayton said.

Summer repairs are scheduled for the Stillwater lift bridge, but some say the bridge needs more than improvements — it needs to be torn down.

“Some people like to drive on the bridge with their windows down because they’re concerned that it’s an unsafe bridge and when they hit the water they want to have their windows down,” said Stillwater resident William Hieb.

The bridge was inspected in June and was found to be safe. But another concern is heavy traffic. About 18,000 vehicles cross this bridge everyday and some say that is way too many cars.

“There needs to be a modern bridge that can absorb that traffic safely,” Dayton said.

If approved the new bridge would be built about one mile south of the existing bridge.

  • Why?

    Everyone should know the new bridge they want to build is just a FEW miles from I-94 ( a fast 6 lane huge gigantic freeway that crosses the River. It only takes a few minutes to get there. Everyone should know they want to build this on a NATIONAL WILDLIFE SCENIC endangered WATERWAY.

    • Pete Lecander

      18,000 vehicles a day driving at least 8 miles out of their way equals about 7500 gallons of fuel a day wasted. Ten million dollars a year in wasted fuel!! for what?? a scenic riverway that includes a coal fired energy plant.

      • Jobs for Minnesotans

        What Wisconsin people need to do is provide jobs for all those 18,000 worker by creating jobs in Wisconsin that way they will stop coming across into Minnesota. Why do we want to help Wisconsin people take our jobs in Minnesota? Someone should look into why Bachmann wants a new bridge so bad. She must have property over there.

    • Karen

      Soon we will have human endangered zones if the greens have their way.

  • M

    It will hide the power plant from the view downtown. I don’t think a bridge could do anymore harm then having a power plant right next to the shore of the river.

  • David Sanders

    Why doesn’t everybody just buy an airplane instead.

  • mp

    I think this is the first time I’ve read a story about Bachmann where she’s actually working.

    • Karen

      I think going after wasteful spending is her job. I would rather have someone doing this than jacking up taxes and spending it on vote paybacks. It doesn’t make her popular but thats why we elect her.

      • Walker

        What has been the results of her years of work? I have not read or heard of anything.

  • Michael

    The old bridge is in bad shape and is headed for a failure like another Minnesota bridge that failed and people died….It isn’t if but when….It will make the existing bridge a foot and bicycle traffic only bridge and help the historic area become more beautiful by eliminating all the annoying commuter traffic….I also don’t see why all the tree huggers are concerned about this waterway getting another bridge…You have a major freeway going over it already and an ugly old powerplant and a major window manufacturer there….If they are so concerned I would think those would be a bigger issue than driving existing traffic from one bridge to another…We need this bridge so if you are a tree hugger get over it…

    • Gordon

      It is the water below that is the issue, get over it yourself. If you want less commuter trfic, continue to build 35 in Wisconsin as a freeway to 1 94

  • mark from

    Build the bridge! We have already spent 3 million on a study!

  • Tom Willard

    I just laugh whenever I look at the pics WCCO uses for Bachmann stories. Always the worst pictures they can find. I don’t much like her either, but at least I have the nerve to just say so. Come ‘CCO. Just say it. Don’t be such cowards.

    • Oscar

      Everyone else in the photo looks fine.

  • GOP

    Just what we need, more illegal aliens taking our jobs.

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