What’s the right size for a new Stillwater bridge?

Here’s the view offered recently by a group that wants a smaller span.

stillwater bridge.jpg

They argue this version would be less than half the cost of the bridge proposed by most members of the group involved in years of negotiations aimed at replacing the Stillwater lift bridge – about $263 million versus about $633 million.

Here’s another equation to think about: What’s going to happen to the price of gasoline? How will that affect development in New Richmond and other western Wisconsin communities and the volume of vehicles using the bridge to get to and from the area?

The down-sized bridge idea landed with a thud among the big bridge proponents who view sizable growth and increased traffic volume as inevitable.

Boosters of the smaller span ask, among other questions, why taxpayers should in effect subsidize western Wisconsin development with a big bridge – the “Build it and They Will Come” view of how development happens.

Tell The Cities your view.