Downtown Stillwater without the lift bridge? Maybe better than ever?

  • Article by: ANDREW KRAMMER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 9, 2013 - 4:14 PM

Business owners and city officials want to make sure visitors know there’s still a reason to come to downtown.

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  • Comments

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antisuburbsMar. 9, 13 5:02 PM

I'm really not looking forward to seeing Stillwater as just another failed town killed by a freeway bypass... :( so long, Minnesota history...

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FrankLMar. 9, 13 5:34 PM

Just nice we have to spend $800MM so Stillwater can have peace and quiet for their antique bandits and chintzy gift shops.

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jaynedrakeMar. 9, 13 6:27 PM

In many countries around the world, there are bridges that are hundreds of years old. And many buildings that are the same age. They are preserved, folks. What ought to really happen to that bridge is that it continue as a bridge for cars and people. An alternative to the new freeway bridge. But, oh no, we have to end its life. As to Stilwater, there is little to draw me there now, except the view and the Lowell Inn. I don't like going in many shops there, as many staff are rude and act as though they are doing you a favor by letting you shop there. One time, not too long ago, one shop resented my 90+ year old mother sitting there while I looked around.

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handlsonMar. 10, 13 9:20 AM

If you want people to come to Stillwater, try keeping the public restrooms open year round. The newest public restroom cost approximately $770,000.00, opened in August 2012, then closed "for the season" in September 2012, and has remained closed since. Newsflash, Stillwater Chamber of Commerce: Tourists and others need to urinate in the winter just as much as in the summer!

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williebutchMar. 10, 1310:39 PM

This bridge was not designed for the level of traffic on it. We are constantly upgrading our infrastructure to improve traffic flow...why should this be any different? We could just ignore the issues with the bridge like we did with 35W and we all remember how that ended!

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Willy53Mar. 11, 13 6:39 AM

Williebutch, you have been duped by the mayor. If there were any structural problems with the bridge it would be closed. In fact when Mayor Haryski said the "bridge will be falling" because of structural deterioration he was repremanded by MNDOT for telling a lie. Haryski also is in the position of having led the efforts to deteriorate the very national park he claims he sells to tourists. By passing the funding for the bridge, legislators created a path to exception from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act that can and will be used on every protected river in the country by highway departments and developers eager to exploit the beautiful valleys the act formerly protected. And the whole foods coop in Stillwater, remarkable getting a 22% of their business from Wisconsin commuters, will find that once development commences on the new freeway across the river their business will suffer greatly. Removing 22,000 cars a day that commute within feet of your front door will be difficult for many business to overcome from Cub Foods out on the strip to downtown retailers. In the end, the bridge could easily have been maintained and every metal part on it replaced for a tiny fraction of the cost of the mega bridge which has hogged our transportation budget and impacted safety on other roads and bridges for the forseeable future. And yes, the bridge could have easily handled that traffic levels with good traffic management plans which the city (for some odd reason) never enacted (like coordinated stop lights and one way changes durring commuter hours). The bad decision has been baked in the cake and downtwon retailers and Minnesota taxpayers will simply suffer the results, whatever they may be. One thing is for sure, MNDOT and the City of Stillwater never allowed the truth to be told, preferring a propoganda campaign in its place.

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sooofedupMar. 12, 13 8:34 AM

I will visit Stillwater more often after the bridge closes. Right now, I avoid it and all the traffic. How many Wisconites fighting their way home actually stop to buy some antiques?

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artievandMar. 12, 13 8:48 AM

Levy = tax. Levee = flood control.

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