St. Croix River Crossing is a 'Top Priority' for President Barack Obama
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told Oak Park Heights City Council Member Mary McComber that President Obama and his administration are committed to getting the St. Croix River Crossing Project done.
The St. Croix River Crossing Project is a "top priority" for President Barack Obama, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Oak Park Heights City Councilmember Mary McComber spoke with LaHood and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley about the St. Croix River Crossing project last week during a briefing for city and municipal leaders held at the White House.
“Secretary LaHood and Bill Daley both said that the St. Croix River Crossing is a top priority for President Obama, and he is committed to moving the project forward,” McComber was quoted as saying in a press release from the Coalition from the St. Croix River Crossing. She was invited to the White House on Oct. 27 in her capacity as incoming chair of the Regional Development Committee of the National League of Cities.
“Having the support of the administration is crucial as we work with our elected officials in Washington to secure approval for this bridge,” she said.
The fate of the bridge project is currently being played out on the national stage.
Legislation that would exempt the bridge proposal from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act has been introduced by Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) in the U.S. House of Representatives and by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in the Senate.
Bachmann introduced the bill on March 1. The last action on her legislation was taken Oct. 5, when it passed out of the Natural Resources Committe with a 30-14 vote. A hearing on Klobuchar's companion bill was held July 28 before a National Parks subcommittee.
If passed, the legislation would allow the St. Croix River Crossing to proceed. A date for a vote on the legislation has not yet to be set.
Last week, Reps. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn) asked their fellow House members to send congressional leaders a letter “urging that the controversial and fiscally irresponsible bill, H.R. 850 not be brought to the floor under a ‘suspension of the rules.’”
MNDot estimates that the St. Croix River Crossing Project would cost between $574-$690 million.
In response to a question from McComber during his presentation to the group, LaHood said the president and his administration are well aware of the St. Croix River Crossing project and “are committed to getting it done.”