Bachmann wants congressional action on St. Croix bridge

The St. Croix River
The St. Croix River, with the Stillwater Lift Bridge in the foreground.
MPR Photo/Tom Weber

Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann says she will ask Congress to intervene in the ongoing dispute over a new bridge across the St. Croix River near Stillwater.

A lawsuit by the Sierra Club stopped plans for the bridge last week in federal district court.

It's the latest turn in decades of legal and political wrangling over an alternative to the existing lift bridge that connects Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Bachmann, whose district includes part of the St. Croix river region, said she hopes to respond with legislation that can win support from Democrats like Wisconsin Rep. Ron Kind, whose district includes the region on the other side of the river.

"There are various suggestions that we're going through. One would be to take this portion of the river out of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and make it off limits," Bachmann said. "There's other ways of approaching it. We just want to make sure we approach this the right way that brings us the quickest possible solution."

Critics say the new bridge would ruin the natural beauty of the river valley and contribute to urban sprawl in western Wisconsin.