By Esme Murphy

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — This week Governor Mark Dayton set a new March 15 deadline for Congress to approve the Stillwater bridge replacement.

The Governor and MnDOT said if the bridge is not approved by the U.S. House of Representatives by then, the state of Minnesota will start allocating $163 million in federal transportation funds to other projects. That leaves Rep. Michele Bachmann only eight days when Congress is in session to shove the bill through.

Rep. Bachmann this week called the deadline “artificial” and “crazy.” Sources tell me that the actual deadline may eventually slide to April 1. But the concerns of Rep. Betty McCollum that $700 million for this one project will drain money from other needed projects may stall the bill further. With redistricting the bridge site is now in Rep. McCollum’s not Bachmann’s district.

Does Bachmann have enough clout with colleagues to get the massive project through so quickly? That remains to be seen. If she does get it though it will certainly dampen the criticism that she has not been able to get bills passed.

In the end, Bachmann may get a break with some unlikely help. Senator Amy Klobuchar has been pushing House members for their support, and key Wisconsin representatives have been pushing for it too. Bachmann is back in Minnesota running for reelection. She is now a national figure who hopes to ride a bridge over the St. Croix River to another term in Congress.

Comments (37)
  1. The Editor says:

    “state of Minnesota will start allocating $163 million in federal transportation funds to other projects. ”

    Why? And what other projects?

    What kind of shoddy reporting is this?

    1. boy70 says:

      Esme , come on, check your facts before to U report. Bachmann is working with Democrat Ron Kind of Wisconsin to try and get this bridge funding done. Both sides have alot riding on this. Governor Trust Fund needs to sit back and let Bachmann sink or swim. After all, she was the one who bragged about getting things done in Washington. If Bachmann was a Democrat,
      he would do exactly what he did during the state budget crisis……NOTHING!!!!!

  2. tan pup says:

    I don’t see how she can do anything positive She has litterally burned too many bridges and hasn’t made friends in DC. All she stands for is her narcissistic negative rhetoric about tax and spending unless the spending is for her personal benefit – on the MN tax payer’s dime I might add. MB might look at the redistricting and realize this is what happens when you tell people NOT to fill out the census. On the other hand, maybe she can pray for the bridge.

  3. Sally says:

    The bridge is old and not so safe so why the struggle with replacing it. I suppose we should wait until it is loaded at rush hour and crumbles in the St. Croix – that makes a lot of sense, seriously!

    1. Bridge to Nowhere says:

      Or you could just drive four (4) miles south and cross safely on a modern six (6) lane bridge.

      1. Jeff says:

        Actually it is 6 miles south and an 8 lane bridge.

      2. Jon says:

        or maybe you should start paying each person that crosses the bridge for their wasted man hours and energy that is wasted each day. I think maybe that’s a way we can makeup the difference here. not to mention these bridge was here a long time before the Hudson bridge was around.

        1. Find Work in Wisconsin says:

          So you want bridge welfare because you think your bridge is an entitlement? You do seem to understand the “wasted” part quite well.

    2. ChrisK says:

      A two lane bridge is much-needed. Build it. However, MB wants an overly priced super-highway bridge that will eventually court MN businesses to relocate in WI, take $$ away from other well-needed MN road projects, and lead to additonal urban-sprawl in Western WI . If we wanted strip malls and congestion, we’d live in Woodbury. Why is she so interested in helping us poor, poor folks in St. Croix County? She’s no saint. Go home to IA, MB. We don’t need your pet-project agenda.

  4. Bridge to Nowhere says:

    Bachmann has been in offices now for over 10 years and in her current high power position for over 4 and has done nothing (but whine). If you want to see who benefits from a new bridge just Mapquest the area and zoom in with satellite view. There is no population base on the Wisconsin side. It’s pasture land but it is a developer’s dream. I’m wondering if “Bachmann Holdings LLC” owns some property over there as she has proven that she does nothing unless she can put a buck in her pocket.

  5. ipmutt says:

    Sounds like the commie Esmes , the coward Dayton and the Democrats are playing politics and are not going to worry about what is best for Minnesota. Sounds like more of the same from Daytom. Will they allocate the funds to support a stadium in MPLS?

  6. Susan says:

    Like to know why everything I post gets deleted, no swearing, not inappropriate, just simply removed. KARE11!!!

    1. Susan says:

      not the same Susan, my thoughts and carefully placed comments aren’t erased
      Here’s one. Bachman will not be able to finish the necessary docs to get this bridge built. She has isolated herself in Washington, left the area that needs the bridge and is running in the area that could care less about the bridge. Still water would not reelect her, she had to pick the district she has a chance of winning.

  7. Captain obvious says:

    This is WCCO Susan.

  8. Bridge to Somewhere says:

    Well some say 4 miles, some say 5 and some say 6, then there’s the return trip back up the other side of the river and you’ve added 8, 10 or 12 miles and easily an extra half hour to that trip having to drive through Bayport and Hudson, not so effective and actually pretty stupid.

    1. Jeff says:

      Actually it really depends on where you are going. If your going to Stillwater, yea, pretty stupid. But if your going anywhere else in the twin cities, not so stupid.

  9. KEVIN says:

    IF Mccullum and Dayton are so smart let’s close the stillwater bridge tomorrow, technically it’s unsafe and then let’s see if these two dfl idiots can stand the heat

    1. Get facts right says:

      Actually its not unsafe, its structurally deficient which is an entirely different thing.

  10. john says:

    See this is what happens when you spend your professional life getting nothing accomplished but sticking your face in front of the camera and whining about everything that other people do. Tax attorney-nothing. State legislator-nothing. Federal legislator-nothing. Now there is a concrete project that is not some social issue to whine about and she has no idea what levers to pull and how to get it done. Maybe she can go on the many FOX channels and somehow blame this on Obama and it is all a leftist conspiracy. Bachmann like Palin, just need to have patience and wait our their complete irrelevance to anything and they will both pass.

  11. JJHT says:

    I wish this woman would just stick to what she said–she wouldn’t run again for representative. I am tired of her. MOVE to IOWA–your home. Now you love Anoka–we don’t love you.

  12. richard says:

    Are we overlooking that they want to spend $700,000,000.???? I read where this bridge can be built for substantially less money. Anyone out there know that figure. MB is a “fiscal conservative” ????

    1. Exp says:

      “Fiscally Conservative” is only a stance the current Republicans take when doing so benefits them politically but doesn’t benefit them financially. If it benefits them or their rich buddies financially, they’re all for it, full speed ahead and get us the spinmeisters?!

    2. Old Mort says:

      The bridge across I-35 was built for $234,000,000 (one third of what the Bachmann Klobuchar bridge will cost.) It carries 140,000 cars per day. That is 8 times as many as the proposed Stillwater bridge. It was also built in 14 months. You should listen to McCollum…she knows more than the rest of these policitals.

  13. MrC says:

    She could help us all by not running again! 🙂

  14. Bruce says:

    Close the bridge. Seems like it’s a good idea, mostly for safety reasons, but it would certainly increase pressure to get a new one built too.

  15. Sven says:

    We need to control that border.
    Too many cheese heads are getting in here.

  16. KEVIN says:

    you want to talk about being fiscally conservitive, might I remind you that Obama took approx. 528 million and gave it to Solyndra corp. against his own staff telling him it’s abad deal and did it anyway. After that he allowed an illeagal contract to allow Solynda investors first crack at any remaining assets of the company after they went bankrupt. 528 mill and for the taxpayers of the US NOTHING BUT DEBT.

    1. john says:

      Kevin, this is an article about Bachmann and a bridge, not Obama. I know you and your ilk have a hard time not bringing Obama in to every and any issue that you come along. It is like some type of obsession, almost religious. Just google Obama or go to any of the socially conservative obsessed web sites and you have plenty of opportunity to whine about the current president. When it comes to these very small stories and completely irrelevant people like Bachmann it is okay just to take a rest.

    2. Old Mort says:

      Black presidents do bring out the racists and the chumps.

      1. Old Mort says:

        Just kidding Kevin…

  17. Swamp Rat says:

    Build the new bridge with the future in mind before the present old bridge falls in the river. Like everything else in this state we have to wait for a disaster to strike before we act. Quityourbellyaching and build the bridge. A lot of folks, especially Stillwater, will be benefit from this bridge. Think about it!!!

  18. Geezer says:

    Build the bridge and toll the cheeseheads.If they don’t like it stay in your bassackwards state!!!!

  19. Geezer says:

    Esme??When was that picture taken 23 years ago?

  20. Old Mort says:

    Geezer: I took that picture of Esme just a month ago…pretty isn’t she?

  21. Swamp Rat says:

    Hey Bridge watchers and soothsayers, here’s a proposition for you.

    Over build the bridge like it is proposed with four lanes. This is with keeping up with the future and possible mass transit usage. Next, set-up toll booths on the MN/WI sides for collecting a bridge usage toll to help defray operating and payment expenditures. Also, on the MN side, set-up a commercial vehicle weigh station to catch the truckers and commercial vehicles trying to avoid the scales on I-94 and wherever.

    With the exception of delivery vehicles to Stillwater proper maintain a remodeled exit to Stillwater and MN-95. This will keep Stillwater traffic flowing and the downtown city center viable. The old bridge will be a Historic Site and used by bicycles/pedestrian use or the occasional emergency vehicles. The bridge will operate for river transit or navigation only.

    Now what’s wrong with this?

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