HOULTON, Wis. (AP) — A project to upgrade a bridge between Wisconsin and Minnesota might be allowed to continue despite environmental objections.

The 1930s-era steel drawbridge connects Houlton, Wis., and Stillwater, Minn. Efforts to replace it have been held up over concerns that the new bridge would hurt the river’s scenic and recreational values.

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin is co-sponsoring a bill that would grant the project a waiver to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. He tells Wisconsin Public Radio the old bridge is unsafe and a traffic nightmare. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is a co-sponsor.

The Sierra Club has twice sued to stop construction of the replacement bridge.


(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (14)
  1. Another Bob says:

    We can build it now, or wait for the collapse of the bridge and the resulting deaths.

    I believe it is a metal lift bridge, not a wooden drawbridge.

    Bad reporting.

  2. Dave says:

    The news has been full of “Wisconsin Budget Problems”, Minnesota Budget Problems’ Federal Government doesn’t have a Budget”, so just where is the money coming from to replace this bridge? Our high ways and roads are is terrible shape and no one knows where the money will come from to repair or replace them, so where is the money for the bridge coming from? Michelle Bachman can’t be in favor of a reduced or balanced budget and be for building a new bridge, that is a conflict in her policies.

    1. Paul says:

      How about unused stimulus funds? If they were able to build this thing a while back it’s my understanding that it would have cost less than half of what it will cost now.It really can’t wait anymore,people will die when that old bridge collapses,and it will.

    2. Gomer'sPile in Stillwater says:

      Why fix any roads when we can build the Bridge to LaLa Land ????

      Who needs roads fixed anyway ???????? No one

  3. Pat Jeruck says:

    amazing how the lefties find one sympathetic judge and they tie it up for years

  4. JD says:

    The 1930s-era steel drawbridge. Where diid anyone say “wood”? Poor reading on your part. The budget did not prevent the 35W bridge from being built in record time. When our bridges are collapsing under us, we need to make repair a higher priority. ?Have any of you ever been under the Stillwater bridge? I have in a boat and you may think twice about your argument against a bridge replacement if you saw what is holding that chunk of steel up. Crumbling stone pillars.

    1. Paul says:

      JD,you are right,I take my boat under there also it is BAAAAD!

    2. Another Bob says:

      The story was rewritten after my post.

      My post was at 8:22am. The article now shows a creation time of 8:50am. Wouldn’t you fix a problem before your boss saw it?

      Check the facts. You figure it out.

      1. Another Bob says:

        It is a lift bridge NOT a drawbridge.

  5. Tony says:

    Replace the bridge, why build another crossing? Wait because that would make sense and save money.

  6. Wayne says:

    It’s too bad the Sierra Club won’t take any responsibility when someone dies AFTER the bridge collapses in the river because that is what it will take….I keep praying for the river to take that LIFT BRiDGE out this spring….

    1. Sarah says:

      The Sierra Club is not against A bridge, it is against the bridge being pushed;

      The Sierra Club issued the following statement Friday in response to Gov. Dayton’s visit to Stillwater:

      “Three weeks ago, a coalition of 25 Minnesota, Wisconsin and national organizations, including the Minnesota Environmental Partnership released a letter calling on the Governor and Transportation Commissioner Thomas Sorel to advance a proposal for a new lower-profile, modestly-scaled bridge in Stillwater that would dramatically reduce impacts on the Lower St. Croix River, serve the needs of regional residents, provide a new transportation corridor to replace the current lift bridge, and save taxpayers potentially hundreds of millions of dollars that could be spent for other transportation priorities.”

      “We appreciate Governor Dayton’s statement three weeks ago that all possibilities have been reopened to consideration, and we look forward to continuing that dialogue with him in the coming weeks. We agree with the Governor’s suggestion today that we need to identify realistic options that address the region’s transportation needs.”

      “We firmly believe that the most realistic option is an affordable one – which Bachmann’s bridge is not.”

      “Rather than pushing for a massive, expensive freeway-style bridge, we urge elected officials of both states to work together in quickly developing a new, modestly-scaled bridge that addresses the St. Croix valley’s traffic congestion problems while respecting the river and taxpayers’ pocketbooks.”

      “We stand committed to working with officials and other stakeholders on a solution to this long-standing dispute.”

  7. Richard Paulus says:

    What is the since of having a Wild and Scenic Rivers Act if a few ppl can have it overturned when they see fit, because they need more votes on election day……..more games by the Government …….

  8. Gomer'sPile in Stillwater says:

    Build the most grandious bridge in the USA — it’s perfect time to do so. No money, no real current need, no universal support.
    That’s the Bachmann manner of P O R K
    And then Gov Doofy joins her as they hold hands and skip across the bridge to LaLa Land

    Can we make it an 8 lane affair while we at it. With some pretty flowers and even a jumping board in case one wants to jump after getting the bill for it. Make it 2 – one going in each direct. You know – Righty and Lefty like

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