White House backs St. Croix bridge, supporters say

WASHINGTON — Supporters of a new bridge spanning the St. Croix River in Stillwater say they’ve got the Obama administration’s backing.

The Coalition for the St. Croix River Crossing said Thursday that bridge supporters spoke with both Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley about the bridge last week. Both officials affirmed their support for the project.

Per a press release:

In response to a question from [Oak Park Heights City Councilmember Mary] McComber during his presentation to the group, LaHood said that President Obama and his administration are well aware of the St. Croix River Crossing and are committed to getting it done.

“Secretary LaHood said, ‘I know about your project. I know what the problem is. I am committed to getting it done. The President is committed to getting it done,’” McComber stated.

After LaHood spoke of his commitment to the St. Croix River Crossing, Councilmember McComber spoke directly with Daley, who reiterated LaHood and President Obama’s support for the project.

“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,” said Councilmember McComber. “Having the support of the administration is crucial as we work with our elected officials in Washington to secure approval for this bridge.”

Pending legislation would allow the construction of a new $700 million bridge. A House committee approved the plan in October. It has bipartisan support among some members of the Minnesota and Wisconsin congressional delegations.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by chuck holtman on 11/03/2011 - 02:26 pm.

    Amazing how the single thing to get bipartisan agreement is a pure waste of taxpayer money with absolutely no rationale. To reiterate, Stillwater’s problem can be solved by closing the lift bridge to motorized traffic, period. Whether to spend $1B on an entirely new, duplicative span to a lightly populated part of Wisconsin is an entirely independent proposition that needs to be assessed on its own merits, and those merits are trivial.

  2. Submitted by William Pappas on 11/04/2011 - 06:34 am.

    It is unbelievable that the Megabridge over the ST. Croix is considered a top priority for our national infrastructure needs. Think about it. A bridge that benefits commuters from Sommerset and New Richmond that need to get to HW 36 and business owners in downtown Stillwater rates an investment of 700 million dollars? That is an indefensible position. With bridge and highway needs on roads that have nearly ten times the traffic, the cost of the St. Croix crossing is absurd. Add to that the necessity to weaken forever the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act that has faithfully protectd 168 designated rivers for nearly 4 decades and you have a really bad policy and fiscal decision. This project has a tiny parochial interest but has somehow managed to request nearly a billion dollars. How? Through lies, misconceptions, MNDOT propoganda and old outdated data and concepts. Add to that Klobuchars fundamental failure to understand sound environmental policy, Bachmanns grab for pork for her district and the Obama administration’s failure to grasp its responsiblity for environmental stewardship and fiscal sanity and the result is horrendous government.

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