Bachmann pushing for wider I-94 in NW metro

Republican 6th District Rep. Michele Bachmann says she's going to push hard in Congress for upgrades to Interstate 94 and Highway 10 northwest of the Twin Cities.

Bachmann held a Capitol press conference Monday morning to highlight the effort. Earlier, on MPR's Morning Edition program, she told host Phil Picardi that she's been lobbying the House Transportation Committee chairman in Washington and hopes to add a lane to either side of I-94 north of the junction of Interstates 694 and 494.

"We're pleased with the construction that has occurred in the Twin Cities so far," Bachmann said. "Now is the time to focus on this very important congested corridor between Maple Grove and Monticello."

Bachmann said she wants to build on the success Minnesota had building bi-partisan support for the replacement of the Stillwater Lift Bridge. She said I-94 improvements will help add jobs and development west of the Twin Cities.

Business and political leaders in the area say there is already congestion during the daily commute which gets worse when drivers head to their cabins during the summer months.

Backers of the I-94 project are trying to amass $25 million for the first construction phase of an expansion that could reach $100 million when fully complete. The improvements to Highway 10 are priced at $300 million.

A Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman says the I-94 widening doesn't rank high on the agency's project list.

(Click the audio player above to hear the full interview with Rep. Bachmann. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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