Dayton, Bachmann team up to push St. Croix bridge

Published 12:20 pm Saturday, March 19, 2011

STILLWATER (AP) — Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann teamed up Friday to press for a long-delayed four-lane bridge over the St. Croix River near Stillwater.

Dayton committed to support a Minnesota Department of Transportation bridge proposal with a price tag of as much as $690 million, despite opposition from environmental groups. The decades-old project has faced delays from litigation and a National Park Service ruling last year that the proposed bridge would violate the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

“This is the only realistic option for this for the next decade,” Dayton said at a news conference with Bachmann in Stillwater.

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He added: “If this can go forward, then it should go forward.”

The unlikely pairing of the liberal Democrat and a conservative who aligns herself with the tea party movement included a tour of the 80-year-old Stillwater Lift Bridge, which would get traffic relief from a new bridge. After speaking to reporters they headed outside to help volunteers fill and tie sandbags to prepare for flooding.