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Underwater muck sends cost of St. Croix River bridge sky high

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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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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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.

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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.

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.

MnDOT: Construction on new St. Croix River bridge to begin next spring

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.