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New bridge in eastern Minnesota hurts some businesses

STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) — A new bridge in eastern Minnesota has been a boon to some businesses, while other businesses have suffered.

The St. Croix River Bridge has allowed commuters to shorten their drive, given bicyclists a new path over the river and stopped traffic jams in downtown Stillwater since it opened on Aug. 2. The bridge connects Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, and St. Joseph, Wisconsin.

But some business owners who saw traffic from the shuttered Stillwater Lift Bridge, standing 2 miles north, say their companies have suffered.

Al Severson has owned B & L Liquor in Houlton, Wisconsin, for 30 years. He tells the Pioneer Press that business has dropped 85 percent. He says he has had to lay off two employees and isn’t sure if his business will make it.

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