About that Senate hearing on the St. Croix River bridge

  • Article by: SUSAN HOGAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 28, 2011 - 7:22 PM

A U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing Thursday on a proposed St. Croix River bridge project estimated to cost up to $700 million appeared to be something of a love fest.

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perronjpJul. 29, 11 3:56 AM

Re: "And subcommittee member Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, wondered if there wasn't something wrong with the legislation since it's taken 30 years to get this far" - Nothing wrong with the legislation, only the liberal left and the Sierra Club.

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stplooklistnJul. 29, 11 6:27 AM

Least persuasive argument "No matter than if Congress doesn’t act by the end of the Sept., monies for the bridge project will be lost, according to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton." Opportunities for money certainly have come and gone since this has been 30 years in the making.

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chavistaJul. 29, 11 8:17 AM

Why wasn't Michele Bachmann at this hearing. I realize that she's in the House and this was a Senate sub-committee hearing but isn't this her issue to push? Of course, it appears from her legislative record that she's only interested in getting a National Squash Day passed. Something like a bridge for her constituents can't be nearly as important.

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imcountryJul. 29, 1110:09 AM

30 years! Enough talk. Get to work and build a bridge. How many times over would this be paid for if the money wasted on talk were used to pay for the thing. The St. Croix is scenic ,yes. With all the boats and houses along its shores the St. Croix is not untouched by man.You still need a bridge.

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hornbillJul. 29, 1110:25 AM

Did Mayor Ken pay for his own mileage? I doubt it. Did they mention that Stillwater City Council has given $80,000 to the very inclusive pro-bridge coalition to pay for a lobbyist, a float in a local parade, post cards to hand out at non-political public events and probably Ken's mileage. Big Kudos to Roger for sticking up for what the informed Stillwater residents understand. This is Old Boy politics in Small Town USA. There is no research that says this bridge will benefit Stillwater or the surrounding area. If there is, let's see it. It is all anecdotal stories. And this is an earmark by Rep Bachmann. She can spin it any way she wants, but it is just that --- an infrastructure project for her district. This is not an environmental issue or a 'view issue'. This is a political process issue, public accountability issue, sustainable development of the St Croix Valley issue. Sen Klobuchar and Sen Franken understand what is being put to them but they do not understand both the petty local politics and the larger sustainable vision we have for the St Croix River Valley. Thank you Roger for your proposal. Sincerely Glen Hill Stillwater resident

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jeffs3000Jul. 29, 11 2:14 PM

This project stinks bad. We are getting ripped off big time. Many politicians pockets are getting lined with cash over this project by Wisconsin developers. There is simply no way anyone can justify the $700 million dollar cost for this mega-boondoggle. That's as much as the new 35W bridge project, the Wakota bridge project and the Crosstown project combined, all for the convenience of 9,000 commuters each day (mostly from WI). When will people wake up and realize the tax-payers are getting shafted once again...?

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FrankLJul. 29, 11 2:25 PM

Since there already is a mechanism in the Scenic Riverway Act to build new bridges. Don't believe me, look at Hudson where 2 4-lane bridges have replaced a solitary 2 lane bridge, or in Prescott where an aging 2 lane lift bridge was replaced with a modern 4-lane drawbridge that is tall enough so it only opens for sailboats. The problem is MNDOT, who can not figure out how to build an acceptable bridge.

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Willy53Aug. 1, 11 6:06 AM

FrankL, you are correct that it is a MNDOT problem. And you are partly right that MNDOT needs to figure out how to design a bridge acceptable to the WSRA. They approached this job from the beginning with the wrong assignment. Build a bridge that will satisfy sprawl in Wisconsin for the next century. That approach has been rejected since then by MNDOT itself. The Editorial is dead wrong. This bridge will provide a template for destroying the Wild and Scenic Rivers ACt. The tragedy is that it doesn't need to happen. Haryski has been incrdibly good at misinformation. The lower and slower version of a bridge closer to Stillwater has NEVER been considered by MNDOT. The version that was studied was a fast bridge that did create problems getting into and out of the Valley. Couldn't be more disappointed by our Senators and Dayton that they cannot understand the bridge is very bad transportation policy and even worse environmental policy. The impact of a smaller bridge would be lighter and closer in scope to the one they are replacing and would stand a much better chance of gaining approval and withstanding court challenges. It is cost effective and satisfies all concerns. Shame on our public officials for allowing old policies, MNDOT propoganda and a misinforming mayor to guide this process. The stakeholders group was a sham and cover for the mega bridge. This bridge is obscenely expensive and inappropriate. Bad for Stillwater and bad for Minnesota.

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