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Bill would allow exemption for Wis.-Minn. bridge

Minnesota Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann walk together March 18 in Stillwater, Minn. Dayton and Bachmann teamed up Friday to press for a long-delayed four-lane bridge over the St. Croix River near Stillwater. (AP Photo/The St. Paul Pioneer Press, Ginger Pinson)

HOULTON, Wis. (AP) — A project to upgrade a bridge between Wisconsin and Minnesota might be allowed to continue despite environmental objections.

The 1930s-era steel drawbridge connects Houlton, Wis., and Stillwater, Minn. Efforts to replace it have been held up over concerns that the new bridge would hurt the river’s scenic and recreational values.

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin is co-sponsoring a bill that would grant the project a waiver to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. He told Wisconsin Public Radio the old bridge is unsafe and a traffic nightmare. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is a co-sponsor.

The Sierra Club has twice sued to stop construction of the replacement bridge.

Information from: Wisconsin Public Radio, http://www.wpr.org

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