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Obama signs St. Croix bridge bill

A rendering shows one of the proposals for the St. Croix River Crossing connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin. President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed a bill clearing the way for construction. (Rendering courtesy of MnDOT)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – President Barack Obama has signed the bill clearing the way for construction of a new four-lane bridge spanning the St. Croix River between Minnesota and Wisconsin.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota says Obama signed the bill Wednesday.

In a statement, Klobuchar calls the bill’s signing “a victory for the residents and businesses along the St. Croix River Valley.”

Construction of the bridge is expected to begin in 2014 and take about three years. The project is estimated to cost between $571 million and $676 million.

As part of the project, the Stillwater Lift Bridge will be converted into a pedestrian and bicycle bridge.

The U.S. House approved the bill March 1 to exempt the bridge under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

The Senate approved the legislation in January.

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