Klobuchar: Bipartisan Support For New Stillwater Bridge

By Bruce Hagevik, NewsRadio 830 WCCO 

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — All four U.S. senators from Minnesota and Wisconsin are behind a proposal which would clear the way for a new bridge over the St. Croix River at Stillwater.

“We have all four senators , the two senators from Wisconsin have joined the bill — bipartisan bill — as well as Senator Franken,” said Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.

She said that improves chances of passage.

Klobuchar has introduced legislation that would allow an exemption from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

“The Scenic Rivers Act actually anticipated that you would have exemptions from time to time,” Klobuchar said.

Critics said it would open the door to other construction projects affecting other protected rivers around the nation.

“The exemption is only for this bridge — for this unique situation,” said Klobuchar.

The next question is whether Congress will approve the exemption.

“Obviously, getting anything through Congress is tough,” Klobuchar said.

The four lane bridge would cost an estimated $690 million.

Minnesota Congresswoman, Betty McCollum, continues to voice opposition. She called the bridge fiscally irresponsible and also claimed it would increase congestion along the Highway 36 corridor.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Bruce Hagevik Reports

  • Wendel

    Why are we paying for a bridge that will make it easier for people not to live in Minnesota? Wisconsin should pay for this 100%.

  • steve

    peaple leaving mn are weak, let them leave. Lets build a double decker

  • gtV

    Let’s not start Bridge Wars 101 debates again on this thread! The issue is that the present bridge, which needs major engineering renovation and historical restoration, will eventually catastrophically fail &/or deteriorate into the St.Croix River!!!

    Unless you want to see Stillwater fade away into the no-mans land of faded history while stopping environmental, historical, and economic progress then by all means keep the decades old rabid arguments/debate going! We have heard them all before ad nausea!

    Better yet, keep your rhetoric going along with the other naysayers going and, as history clearly demonstrates, the area will progressively succumb to the purview of wanton ignomimy. Amazing how ignorance, reactionary politics, and shortsightedness ruins great societies and civilizations! All this over not wanting a bridge [of progress and enlightenment] to maintain isolationist precepts to become an economic and social historical footnote!

    Now do you see what the new bridge encompasses? I rest my case.

  • Patrick Lilja

    We don’t have time or money to build a bridge for out-of-state commuters. The commuters need to move closer to their jobs in the Cities, get a new job closer to home in Wisconsin, or put up with the crossings that are already built.

  • Meg the commuter

    You don’t have time or money for out-of-state commuters who spend their pay checks in MN and oh lets not forget, those of us working in MN but living in WI PAY MN TAXES! Sure all of us commuters will just get jobs closer to home in WI, (because we wouldn’t want to move back to a state where people don’t appriciate our money) and take all that extra revenue MN is currently getting from us away. GREAT IDEA! Thank you!

  • juli

    The bridge is well beyond “not safe” and the time to debate whether to do it or not is GONE. Either close it or rebuild, but continuing to use it while petty arguments over which state uses BOTH SIDES of a bridge between two states is simply stupid. This democracy effort has failed miserably, get on with fixing it or close it now.

  • JLgolfer

    It’s good to see this is a joint effort by both parties. However, what concerns me is the projected cost of this project when I personally saw up close the 4 lane Hwy 93 bridge bypassing Hover Dam cost only 241 million which was what it was budgeted for and I might add opened last October on schedule. That bridge was an amazing piece of engineering to traverse the Colorado River just below the dam. It included rerouting of the highway around a mountain on the Arizona side and that whole project cost was approximately 1/3 of the estimated cost of the St. Croix bridge.
    I would like to see someone examine the estimate, particularly when one sees what the highway engineers had to do to construct that bypass bridge.
    Check out the web site yourself.

    • Swamp Rat

      @ JL golfer
      Those Hoover Dam Bypass engineers didn’t have two decades of political, environmental, and ignorant debate to contend with; thus, the cost of the proposed bridge increased exponentially in cost. When you have four US senators and Congressmen, from widely dispersed political persuasions, from the affected districts all in favor of the needed bridge then build it!!!

      Now as for the fiscal side of building the bridge along with its maintenance and operations then make this bridge a user friendly toll bridge. The St.Croix Valley Bridge may not be the Golden Gate, Mackinac, or Verrazano Narrows Bridges but these bridges have toll booths/tollways that have paid their way several times over.

      To all you soothsayers and naysayers who love to argue over the proposed new bridge, what are you going to do when the present deteriorating Stillwater Bridge turns into rubble and falls into the river? What’s wrong with a new modern toll bridge? [A bridge that meets National Park Service rules, EPA regs, applicable state or Federal regs and statutes, and NHSTA guidelines.] Build it and it will be used!

  • carol green

    Betty McCollum is the only politician making sense on this issue. This huge bridge project is ridiculous.

    • Swamp Rat

      @carol green
      Cong. Betty McCollum is NOT making sense on this bridge issue! The bridge is not even in her district. Her arguments are the same old political bromides and ersatz forensic comments we have heard for twenty years.

      She has not made any relevant discourse toward the disposition/replacement of the present failing historical bridge. The Congresswoman needs to tell us her vision as to what is to be done for Stillwater and the St.Croix River. Thus, far all we have heard is her opposition to the project and her opposition to Congresswomen Michelle Bachmann”s politics. Does that make any sense?

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