Obama signs St. Croix bridge bill

WASHINGTON – President Obama signed legislation Wednesday to allow a new bridge over the St. Croix River near Stillwater.

The signing ends a decades-long process to get an exemption from the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to build a replacement for the aging Stillwater Lift Bridge.

“After thirty years of debate and delay, we finally got it done,” said DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, in a statement. “This effort is an example of what can get done when people put politics aside and do what is best for our state.”

“It finally took Congressional action to allow this project to proceed because of years of frivolous lawsuits and bureaucratic holdups, but I’m pleased we could deliver,” said Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, the measure’s House sponsor. “This legislation does not appropriate a dime; rather it allows a project supported by both states’ Departments of Transportation and the majority of local residents to proceed.”

MnDOT said earlier this week that construction of the new bridge will begin in 2014 and will take three years to complete.

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