Unless Congress intervenes, St. Croix bridge dead!

St. Croix bridge is dealt serious blow


The future of a proposed four-lane interstate bridge over the St. Croix River was in serious trouble Friday after the National Park Service, charged with enforcing federal law on the river, turned thumbs down on the $700 million project.

The decision -- a reversal from park service support of the St. Croix River Crossing just five years ago -- rocked transportation advocates who had hoped to clear a recent court challenge and begin construction by 2013.

Building a bridge where one previously didn't exist would have "direct and adverse effects that cannot be avoided or eliminated," the Park Service said in its decision. The bridge at Oak Park Heights, south of Stillwater, also "would fundamentally change" the scenic qualities that existed when the St. Croix was designated a national wild and scenic river in 1972, the Park Service said. Because the Park Service administers federal laws on the river, Friday's decision probably means the bridge can't proceed unless Congress passes special legislation for it.

Comment: I personally favor a bridge. I sense this is final.

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