Ironic, iconic: the saga of a new St. Croix River bridge?

stillwater lift bridge. jpg.jpg

The 80-year-old hated and loved Stillwater lift bridge was built in 1931 in the depths of the Great Depression.

Would anyone else find it ironic if the deciders – members of Congress and state lawmakers – came together on a replacement as we struggle to climb out of the Great Recession?

Our elected leaders tell us we’re broke. But we now have Democrats (Gov. Dayton) telling us all the options for the stalled project are reopened, Rep. McCollum saying a new if smaller bridge is ok, and Republicans (members of Congress — Bachmann in Minnesota, Duffy in Wisconsin) telling us the time is right to build a new St. Croix river crossing to replace the creaky Stillwater span. The diagram is fun because it shows the old lift bridge in hot pink and the proposed new span in vibrant orange. And note all the road expansions on either side. They account for at least half the project cost.

What should a new bridge look like? Submit your design ideas to The Cities. We’ll send ‘em to MnDOT, WisDOT.

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