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U.S. House set to vote on St. Croix River bridge

Supporters of a new bridge near Stillwater have been pushing the concept for decades. They believe they can finally reach their goal if the House votes to exempt part of the St. Croix from its status as a Wild and Scenic River. But the bridge has its critics. They're using financial arguments in hopes of rallying opposition.
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The Senate has approved the $690 million bridge project and the House will vote on it Thursday. Wednesday's floor debate recapped arguments for and against the bridge,

The sponsor of the measure, Republican Michele Bachmann, has predicted it will pass. Among Minnesota's delegation, a majority support it with Democrats Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison the leading critics.

Bachmann says if the bridge is defeated, responsibility will rest on McCollum's shoulders and taxpayers will have to pay more to build a future replacement for today's 80-year-old lift bridge.

But McCollum has her own financial argument, saying the bridge on the table now is bigger and more expensive than necessary and would drive up property taxes.

Stay tuned.

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Related

New St. Croix River bridge sails through Senate

The U.S. Senate unanimously authorized construction of a new St. Croix River bridge near Stillwater. The move comes after 15 years of debate over how to improve traffic flow while also protecting the St. Croix, which is a National Scenic River.

Bachmann says House vote on St. Croix River bridge could come Wednesday

The Senate has already approved a new St. Croix River bridge near Stillwater and now the House has put the issue on its calendar for this week. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann says she's confident the bride will be approved. It will need two-thirds of the votes cast to pass.

St. Croix River bridge supporters celebrate long-awaited legislation

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann were among those in Stillwater at the Saturday morning event. After decades of debate, lawmakers voted Thursday to exempt the proposed St. Croix River crossing from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. President Obama is expected to support it. The new four-lane bridge will replace the 80-year-old Stillwater Lift Bridge.

Obama signs St. Croix River bridge bill

President Barack Obama signed the bill authorizing a $690 million bridge near Stillwater. He signed it over the objections of some federal officials who worry exempting the St. Croix from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act sets a bad precedent.

Supporters of new St. Croix River bridge set to celebrate Saturday

Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Michele Bachmann will be among the people in Stillwater this weekend for the event. The U.S. House and Senate sent legislation to President Obama exempting the $700 million dollar project from the the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

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.

No vote in 2011 for new St. Croix River crossing

Federal environmental approval for the the new St. Croix River bridge will have to wait until next year. Lawmakers adjourned for the holidays without taking any congressional action. Eight U.S. House members from Minnesota and Wisconsin are urging their colleagues to make the project a priority. The $690 million, four-lane bridge would replace the current 80-year-old Stillwater Lift Bridge between Minnesota and Wisconsin.

St. Croix River bridge to feature fewer piers, shorter towers

Minnesota and Wisconsin selected an architect who plans a St. Croix River bridge with a design that will minimize its impact on the environment. The first design of its type in the U.S. is under construction now, although it's widely used in Europe and Japan. The shorter towers of the "extradosed" bridge will keep it below the bluff line.