Today U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced that her bipartisan legislation to allow the St. Croix River bridge project to proceed will be considered by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, paving the way for a Committee vote. Klobuchar thanked Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for allowing the mark-up to move forward.
"This is an important step in advancing this critical project so that residents and businesses in Stillwater and the St. Croix River Valley can finally have a safe, more efficient alternative to the 80-year-old Lift Bridge,"Klobuchar said. "I will continue to work closely with my colleagues in the Senate and House to move this legislation forward in a timely manner."
Klobuchar led the effort in the Senate to draft the bipartisan legislation, which is cosponsored by Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI), Al Franken (D-MN), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) and would authorize the project that both Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker support.
The St. Croix River Crossing Project Authorization Act will be marked up by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday, November 10, 2011, at 9:30 am ET. In July, Klobuchar pushed to hold a Committee hearing where Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki testified in support of the project. She has also been working with Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) who has introduced similar bipartisan legislation in the House with Representatives Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Chip Cravaack (R-MN), and Sean Duffy (R-WI).
The current St. Croix River crossing is at the historic Stillwater Lift Bridge. As the bridge has aged, closings for structural and vehicle collision repairs and maintenance inspections have increased. In addition, the bridge's unique function as a lift bridge, which lifts frequently to allow boats to travel the St. Croix River, is a source of severe traffic congestion.