Sen. Al Franken took some time Saturday to consider the construction proposal of the Stillwater bridge over the St. Croix river.
Franken toured the bridge with Nancy Daubenberger, the State Bridge Engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, and Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki looking at the current two lanes and structure of the bridge.
According to the Star Tribune, environmental groups are opposing the idea of the construction of the new Stillwater bridge and would prefer one close to the old bridge. But officials say that the preferred site would "detract from the attractiveness of the historic downtown district."
As reported in the Pioneer Press, the environmental groups who are opposing the idea say that construction would "conflict with the U.S. Wild and Scenic Rivers Act."
So far, Gov. Mark Dayton, and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Ron Kind and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker approve the construction of a new bridge.
Rep. Betty McCollum and former Vice President Walter Mondale, however, oppose it. Franken is listening to both sides and will consider the idea for a few days, or weeks, he said.
If the plan is put forward, the cost would be $574 million to $690 million, and splitting it between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Walker's office expressed that Wisconsin might not be able to help pay for this cost and would have to make sure that Minnesota is willing to help out.