Bridge opposition from metro-area Reps McCollum & Ellison is misguided
After 80 years of increasingly heavy use, the historic two-lane Stillwater Lift Bridge is a landmark in dangerous disrepair while growth along the MN/WI border is steadily creating more traffic.
The proposed 4-lane bridge replacement project has been thoroughly vetted over the course of three decades. This is the plan that citizens and other stakeholders chose to best meet the traffic needs of the 21st century while causing the least environmental harm – and you know if both Rep. Bachmann and Senator Klobuchar can agree on the value and importance that this is not some minor, back-burner issue.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who wrote the bill and co-sponsors it with U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN), discussed why she supports the $690 million bridge project with MPR Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer in November.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar
on MPR’s Morning Edition
Opposition from U.S. Reps McCollum, and Ellison to a project outside their districts — a project supported by all 4 Senators, both Governors, and the elected Congressional Representatives from both the districts in question — is misplaced, and mis-informed. They’re relying on the rhetoric of a group pushing a 3-lane bridge which MNDOT says underestimates both the costs and the greater environmental harm this unpopular alternative would generate.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune agrees: it’s time for the “St. Croix holdouts,” as they describe Ellison and McCollum, to “kindly step aside.”
For the members of Operating Engineers Local 49, it’s a question of leadership on public safety and jobs. Local 49 is pleased with the leadership demonstrated by Senator Klobuchar, who clearly recalls the tragedy of the 35-W bridge collapse, and to put it politely “puzzled” by the posturing from the two Democrats representing the Twin Cities metro.
Jason George, IUOE Local 49 Legislative & Political Organizer:
“We need a return to responsible, common sense based leadership. Every politician in America says we need to improve our infrastructure…
Yet … they let extreme ideological groups influence them not to act. Both political parties are guilty, and we need to hold any and all elected officials accountable when we see this kind of inaction. Local 49 is committed to doing just that.”
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