DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has endorsed a plan for a new four-lane bridge over the St. Croix River near Stillwater. Dayton toured the old lift bridge Friday at the invitation of Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, whose 6th District includes Stillwater.
Bachmann recently introduced legislation that would override National Park Service objections to the proposed new bridge. The action would clear the way for construction of a new bridge, but would not fund it.
Some environmental groups have asked Dayton to reject plans for the new bridge, but the governor said it's necessary.
"It's not a project that satisfies everybody. It's very difficult to build major transportation projects by consensus," Dayton said. "But the economics, the social vitality of this region as well as the safety of public transportation from one side of the river to the other all to me point to the need for another bridge, a new bridge."
Bachmann says she thinks her bill will pass in the House. It would need approval in the Senate as well, and Dayton stopped short of saying he would lobby Minnesota's senators to pass it.