St. Croix River bridge bill clears US House vote

Nickalas Tabbert

 The U.S. House passed the bill authorizing the construction of a new four-lane bridge over the St. Croix River Thursday by a vote of 339-80.

The proposed $700 million bridge linking Minnesota and Wisconsin now has the exemption from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act it needs to continue, the Star Tribune said.  It's next stop: President Barack Obama.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who had pushed the bridge measure, said she expects the president to sign it, a Minnesota Public Radio brief said.

"After 30 years of debate and delay, we finally got it done," she said.  "Today is a victory for the residents and businesses along the St. Croix River Valley who have waited long enough for a safe, new bridge."

"I am delighted to see this important project move forward," Gov. Mark Dayton said in a press release this morning.  "The project will put thousands of people in the construction industry to work."

The bill passed over objections from DFL Rep. Betty McCollum, who stands to inherit the bridge in a newly configured congressional district.  She's called the bridge a waste of government money, the Tribune said.