30 lawmakers in Minnesota, Wisconsin sign letter opposing Stillwater bridge

The state legislators signed a letter to federal lawmakers opposing a plan to build a $700 million bridge that would replace the current lift bridge. Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and Gov. Dayton have spoken out in favor of the bridge. The legislators who signed the letter say the money could be better spent elsewhere.
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The state legislators signed a letter to federal lawmakers opposing a plan to build a $700 million bridge that would replace the current lift bridge. Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and Gov. Dayton have spoken out in favor of the bridge. The legislators who signed the letter say the money could be better spent elsewhere.

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The Stillwater Lift Bridge will close Monday for four months while MnDot crews make repairs. The bridge will not reopen until late December. The lift span will open to boat traffic on Sundays from Oct. 15 through Nov. 5 and will also not open again until late December.

Bill in Congress to cap cost of Stillwater bridge threatens project

A bill in Congress would limit the use of federal funds for the crossing at $574 million. That's significantly lower than the project's estimated $700 million price tag. Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison says he's not against building the bridge but says the price is just too high. The group lobbying for the crossing says that cost also includes highway improvements in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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Drivers will once again be able to cross the Stillwater Lift Bridge in about a month. The bridge, which connects Minnesota and Wisconsin across the St. Croix River, closed Sept. 10 for the rehabilitation project.

Three-month shutdown of Stillwater bridge is glimpse of future

The Stillwater lift bridge is shutting down Monday for three months of repairs. Many in the city find it a relief to be freed from the traffic congestion of Wisconsin commuters. Some consider it a preview of what life will be like once a new St. Croix River bridge opens in Oak Park Heights in another four or five years.

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A Senate committee earlier overwhelmingly approved the bill sponsored by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. An identical bill is pending on the House floor. The proposed span would replace the historic lift bridge, which has seen traffic congestion and structural repairs increase over the years.

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A coalition of local city officials and residents are in Washington D.C. to meet with lawmakers and lobby for speedy passage of a bill that would clear the way for the new bridge.

Governors meet in Stillwater to celebrate future St. Croix River bridge

Gov. Mark Dayton and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker held a joint celebration Friday afternoon near the 81-year-old Stillwater Lift Bridge. It comes after President Obama signed the bill to exempt the new crossing from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Construction on the $675 million four-lane bridge is likely to begin in early 2014 and take three years to complete.