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

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 Wednesday.

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.

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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.