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WI, MN lawmakers applaud final approval for St. Croix River bridge

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WASHINGTON (WTAQ) - Politicians in both Wisconsin and Minnesota are saying “Mission Accomplished,” after President Obama signed a bill Wednesday that allows construction of a new St. Croix River bridge near Hudson.

Minnesota Senate Democrat Amy Klobuchar said, “After 30 years of debate and delay, we finally got it done.” She said folks in the St. Croix Valley have waited long enough for a safe, new bridge – and it shows what happens when people put politics aside and do what’s best.

The National Park Service had blocked the project under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. But Congress passed a bill to sidestep the objections.

Officials in Oak Park Heights Minnesota are still fighting the bridge until they get state and federal aid to connect it to Highway 36 in that community.

The new four-lane bridge will replace a metal two-lane lift structure built in 1931. That bridge will stay open for bikes and pedestrians. And Wisconsin commuters who parade through downtown Stillwater Minnesota each day can use a faster road south of town to get to and from their jobs in the Twin Cities.

John Chiglo will manage the project. He designed the new I-35-W bridge which replaced the one that collapsed in Minneapolis in 2007.

Construction is due to begin in 2014, and will take about 3 years. 

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