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County Board approves St. Croix bridge resolution

Washington County commissioners reaffirmed their support for the construction of a long-delayed new St. Croix River bridge in Stillwater.

Legal and legislative wrangling has halted plans for a new river crossing between busy downtown Stillwater and Houlton, Wis. A new span would replace the historic Stillwater Lift Bridge.

A new bridge is needed to ease traffic gridlock in the area of the bridge, county officials assert, and to spur economic growth in the Stillwater area.

County Board members on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution declaring support for construction of a new bridge.

"It is astounding" that a new crossing hasn't yet been built, said board Chairman Gary Kriesel, who represents Stillwater on the County Board. "There's nothing we are going to say up here that hasn't been said multiple times over the last few decades. We have bridge fatigue up here."

The longer the project is delayed the more construction of a new crossing will cost, Commissioner Dennis Hegberg said.