U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar's legislation to allow the St. Croix River bridge project to proceed has passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with bipartisan support, paving the way for a vote in the full Senate. Klobuchar worked closely with the Committee to secure the bill's consideration.
"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."
The vote comes a day after Klobuchar announced an offset for the legislation that allows it to move forward fully paid for. The offset was attached to the legislation as an amendment during today's Committee mark up at which the bill was approved.
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.
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 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.