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Minnesota denied stimulus money for Stillwater bridge

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news River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The building of a controversial new bridge on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border will not begin until 2013 at the earliest.

That's because Minnesota has been turned down in an effort to get $300,000 in federal stimulus money. Had funding been approved, officials said a new bridge near Stillwater, Minn., would have started this fall to replace the community's old lift bridge.

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But now, the $668 million project won't go for three more years - if funding becomes available by then.

A new Stillwater bridge has been on the drawing board since 1951, but it's been delayed numerous times.

Supporters say it's needed to move heavy traffic out of downtown Stillwater and boost the economy in northwest Wisconsin.

But environmentalists and others say the new bridge would hurt the St. Croix River, promote urban sprawl and render the current historic Stillwater bridge useless. The Sierra Club has a lawsuit pending to halt the new bridge project.

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