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Gov. Scott Walker Asks Congress to Act Quickly on St. Croix River Crossing Bill

A day after Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton threatened to pull funding if Congress didn't act by March 15, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker urged lawmakers to step on it.

A day after Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) issued a March 15 deadline for Congress to pass a bill authorizing the construction of the St. Croix River Crossing Project, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) urged quick action.

Walker issued the following statement on Wednesday, Feb. 22:

This St. Croix River Crossing Project provides a much-needed transportation solution, while maintaining a balance with the historic, natural, and scenic resources that make the St. Croix River Valley a treasure for residents and visitors alike. It is also estimated to create thousands of good-paying construction jobs in the region.

Without Minnesota’s share of the funds, this much-needed project cannot continue.  I am urging the U.S. House of Representatives to act quickly in bringing this legislation to the floor for a vote before its scheduled adjournment on March 8th.

Over the last three decades, Wisconsin and Minnesota have worked together on this project to ensure the best location was chosen, the best plan selected, and the quality of life in the River Valley would remain protected.  I look forward to continuing this tradition of collaboration, but to do so Congress needs to take action now.  

Susan February 24, 2012 at 02:58 PM
That is not at all what I am saying...my point is that if you believe MNDOT when they claim that this $690 million freeway mega bridge is the only feasible option to replace the lift bridge, then why wouldn't you also believe them when they say that the lift bridge is safe? In other words, I do not believe MNDOT and their claims. I understand the issues involved, and am very versed in both sides of the argument. I have no problem replacing the lift bridge, but I want it done in a fiscally responsible way. Spend less money on a smaller scaled bridge that WILL get the job done for current and future commuters. I believe that the population in St. Croix County is projected to grow by 58% in the next 50 years. If you take the same number and apply it to those that will use the bridge, it raises the number of daily commuters to just over 14,000. The freeway bridge design will be old, and in need of replacement before it ever comes close to reaching capacity. There is no need for such a large, expensive bridge here....the population does not support it.
Chadwick February 24, 2012 at 03:17 PM
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/stcroix/background.html : As owners and operators of the bridge, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (Wis/DOT) have grown concerned about the condition of the Stillwater Lift Bridge and continued operations of the lift mechanism. Built in 1931,the Lift Bridge is approaching the age at which substantial investments will be required to keep the bridge operating, thus maintaining navigation on the St. Croix River. The narrow widths and functional deficiencies of the approach roadways are also of concern as the traffic on these roadways operates at or above capacity.
Chadwick February 24, 2012 at 03:26 PM
3. What options have been considered to cross the river closer to the Lift Bridge: Alts D&E: A3. Multiple options to cross the river closer to Stillwater were studied as part of the project development process and thoroughly reviewed by the project Stakeholders. These options are identified as Alternates D and E in the Supplemental Draft Environmental Assessment (SDEIS). Both options provide a new bridge crossing that crosses diagonally near the Oasis Cafe in Minnesota to the existing Hwy 64/36 roadway on the east end of the lift bridge. The difference between the Alternates D and E is that one of the options uses the lift bridge for westbound traffic. During the development of these options it was determined that they would have greater environmental impacts than the Preferred Alternative Package that was selected. Impacts were greater on protected historic properties, park properties, bluff areas, floodplains and wetlands, commercial properties and other areas. Alternative D and E were dropped because, in general, they did not solve the purpose and need of the project and had more significant environmental impacts on protected resources than the Preferred Alternative. For a complete description of all of the alternative considered, including Alternatives D and E, please see the SDEIS, Chapter 3 and then for reasons why Alternative D and E were not selected as the Preferred Alternative, please see the SFEIS , Chapter 3 pages 5-8
Susan February 24, 2012 at 04:00 PM
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/liftbridge/pdfs/ConditionSummaryApril2011.pdf And here, just last year, MNDOT claims that the bridge is safe, and rated the way it is because of funding. This is why I choose not to believe them. There is also another statement arguing against the diagonal bridge design and it's costs, but if you read it carefully, you see that it is full of phrases like "could be" and "may be". This is because no one has actually done the final calculations on this design. This all comes down to who you believe, and I have heard strong opinions, read detailed reports, and listened to so-called experts in the field. Because of MNDOT's conflicting information, fierce desire for a 65 mph corridor, and refusal to start looking in a new direction in 1996 when the NPS told them this design was in violation of the law, I do not believe them.
Samantha February 28, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Build the bridge and then put all the politicians on it and tell them to JUMP!

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