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MnDOT: Deadline for plan to replace St. Croix bridge 'no longer valid'

Earlier this year, Gov. Mark Dayton set a Sept. 30 deadline to having a plan in place. A MnDOT spokesman now tells MPR News that the date is 'no longer valid' and haven't established a new deadline.
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Earlier this year, Gov. Mark Dayton set a Sept. 30 deadline to having a plan in place. A MnDOT spokesman now tells MPR News that the date is 'no longer valid' and haven't established a new deadline.

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MnDOT officials tell MPR that foundation work on the new bridge crossing the St. Croix River downstream from Stillwater will begin next spring, rather than in 2014. The proposed four-lane bridge connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin will replace the 80-year-old Stillwater Lift Bridge. The entire project is estimated to cost up to $676 million and take about three years to complete.

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Gov. Mark Dayton says state money earmarked for a new bridge over the St. Croix River can only be held until March 15. After that date, it will be spent on other needs. That gives Congresswoman Michele Bachmann limited time to get a bill passed by the House and signed by President Obama.

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Crews building the St. Croix River bridge near Stillwater will have to drill through 85 feet of mud and muck before they hit sandstone -- then another 30 or 40 feet to reach bedrock. That helps explain why the cost of building the bridge will be nearly triple what we paid for the 35-W bridge in Minneapolis.

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