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Local pols to visit bridge site Tuesday morning

Though it likely will bring out less self-congratulatory rhetoric than when U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters came to Bloomington earlier this month to re-announce plans for $133 million in fed money to refurbish the I-35W corridor, state lawmakers are gearing up for a little dog-and-pony event at the bridge site Tuesday morning.

According to a “media advisory” from the state Senate Majority Research staff, “Members of the Minnesota State Senate and House Transportation Committees will tour the I-35W Bridge reconstruction site. Legislators will meet with representatives from Mn/DOT and Flatiron to begin the tour at 10:45 a.m. near Washington Avenue S. and 19th Avenue S. in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 24.”

No word on who will actually show, but even money is on at least two lawmakers.

Immediately after the bridge collapse, Senate committee chairman Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, went after the Pawlenty/Molnau administration pretty hard, something that he toned way down after the last legislative session started. He and the House transportation finance Chair Bernie Leider, DFL-Crookston, were instrumental in initiating the independent report by Minneapolis law firm Gray Plant Mooty that was released in May.

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