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Bachmann's St. Croix River bridge bill to get a hearing in the House

BEDFORD, N.H. — Michele Bachmann's bill to bypass National Park Service objections and clear the way for a new, high-capacity bridge over the St. Croix River will get a hearing in the House next week, officials with Bachmann and the House Natural Resources Committee confirmed today.

The bill is one of 11 scheduled for the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands hearing Wednesday morning. Bachmann is scheduled to testify in favor of her bill. Rep. Betty McCollum, the bill's most vocal opponent, will not be testifying live but will submit prewritten testimony, her office said.

Bachmann, Gov. Mark Dayton, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and others want to build an interstate-style bridge over the river to replace the aging Stillwater Lift Bridge that connects Minnesota with Wisconsin. However, opponents like McCollum say such a new bridge would both disrupt the riparian ecosystem around the St. Croix River and funnel large amounts of additional traffic headed to the Twin Cities onto roads that can't currently handle an increase nearly that large.

MinnPost will be covering the hearing, and will have much more on this issue next week. In the meantime, here's more on the bridge issue to tide you over.

More details on the bridge plans, and Wednesday's hearingSupport from Bachmann, Dayton and KlobucharOpposition from the National Park Service and American Rivers on the environment, and from Steve Berg on the economic aspect.

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Comments (1)

Bachmanns bill will create damage in so many ways. First it forever weakens the incredibly successful and as yet unchallenged Wild and Scenic Rivers ACT through granting this bridge varriance. Second, it promotes sprawl and inefficient suburban development. Third, it eviscerates the Minnesota transportation budget through its rediculously expensive cost and unnecessary scope. Fourth, it deteriorates the neighborhoods of Stillwater with noise and light pollution and increased traffic levels. Fifth, it guts the HW 36 business district with the construction of a freeway with on ramps, ponds and more bridges. Sixth, it destroys the tranquility of this section of the river with lights and noise turning a relatively quiet valley into a freeway megaphone. Seventh, just the extra concrete of the bridge and companion freeways on each side of the river will pollute Lake St. Croix with the very compounds that landed it on the Minnesota impaired waters list. Eighth, the sprawl that will plague Stillwater for the next half century due to this bridge will place incredible burdens on local storm water systems, city budgets and local property taxes. Ninth, it will make getting around the HW 36 business district much more difficult and frustrating with the proliferation of lengthy stop lights, large areas of freeway condemned land, and increased traffic to and from the bridge. 10th, the views from and ambiance of Stillwater will never be the same, as many tourists have written to warn us. That's just the first ten negative impacts.