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Bachmann to Testify on St. Croix River Crossing

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN-06) will speak on Wednesday before the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee on behalf of her legislation, H.R. 850, a measure that would facilitate a proposed crossing over the St. Croix River between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Following is an excerpt from her prepared remarks:

“Each month that this project is delayed, the cost escalates by approximately $3.17 million. What started at $80 million dollars in 1982 now has a cost of almost $700 million. The states of Wisconsin and Minnesota are working together to fund the project, with a large portion of the bonding authority already set aside. I am pleased that my underlying bill does not appropriate a dime.

“Therefore, Chairman Bishop, Ranking Member Grijalva, and Members of the Committee, I respectfully ask the Committee to take the necessary action to move this vital project forward. The St. Croix River Crossing Project is no longer a matter of ‘if’ it is necessary. That has been determined. This is an issue of how much we will pay in dollars, and possibly lives, before we act. This bill simply authorizes something that should have been done decades ago.”

The hearing is scheduled to take place Wednesday, May 4, 2011, starting at 10 AM in 1334 Longworth House Office Building. Ten other bills, in addition to H.R. 850, will be presented during the hearing. Bachmann introduced H.R. 850 to move construction forward on a new, four-lane crossing between Minnesota and Wisconsin near Stillwater, MN. A new crossing has been needed for decades, but bureaucratic delays and environmental lawsuits have stopped the project, despite adequate funding from both states. Bachmann’s bill, introduced March 1, 2011, has received bipartisan co-sponsorship from Congressmen Chip Cravaack (MN-08), Sean Duffy (WI-07) and Ron Kind (WI-03).

More information on the effort to begin construction on a new crossing can be found here.