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Stillwater lift bridge between MN-WI to stay open, for time being


STILLWATER, MN (WTAQ) - Drivers in northwest Wisconsin may not have to worry about going out-of-their-way if there’s a state government shutdown in Minnesota.

Officials said Monday that the Stillwater Lift Bridge between Houlton Wisconsin and Stillwater Minnesota could stay open.

The DOT says it’s considered a “core critical function” that would continue if Minnesota’s governments shuts down on Friday due to the lack of a new state budget. A final court ruling would have to confirm the DOT’s position.

Officially, the agency says the Stillwater Lift Bridge must stay open to accommodate ambulances between Minnesota and Wisconsin over the Saint Croix River. But the bridge helps take thousands of people from northwest Wisconsin to-and-from their jobs each day in Minnesota’s Twin Cities.

If it’s closed, motorists would have to use bridges at Hudson to the south, or Osceola to the north.