|Ellison Statement on the St. Croix River Crossing Project Authorization Act|
|March 01, 2012|
WASHINGTON—Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) released the following statement after voting against S.1134, the St. Croix River Crossing Project Authorization Act:
“I have consistently supported replacing the Stillwater Lift Bridge. However, the design the House of Representatives authorized today is both oversized and overpriced. Many bridges in our state need repair. Limited transportation funds should be used responsibly for projects throughout the state. For example, the Interstate 35W Bridge, which tragically fell into the Mississippi River four years ago, cost $234 million to rebuild in its entirety and carries 140,000 vehicles daily. By contrast, the St. Croix Bridge is expected to cost $700 million and carry 18,000 vehicles a day.
“Minnesota has 1,400 neglected bridges statewide that need repair, including in the Fifth Congressional District. A right-sized St. Croix bridge would allow other communities to repair the bridges they need, creating good Minnesota jobs and preserving our state’s scenic river areas. By exempting the bridge from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, Congress is also setting a precedent that would justify building bridges over any of the country’s Wild and Scenic Rivers. I join Former Vice President Walter Mondale, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and local and national environmental organizations in opposing this bill.
“I will continue to work for smart investments in Minnesota’s roads and bridges that create good jobs for our state.”