On Wednesday, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee passed the Bachmann-Klobuchar bill out of committee, sending it to the House floor. The bill would exempt the currently proposed, massive St. Croix Crossing project from the Act.
“This bill amounts to a gutting of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act – to push through a massive, over-engineered and costly new bridge,” said Jim Rickard, Sierra Club St. Croix Valley group spokesperson. “The Sierra Club supports a new crossing that is less expensive and intrusive on the river, and opposes any effort to weaken the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.”
The federal money for the project would come out of Minnesota’s share of highway funds and could be more responsibly used for other critical infrastructure projects in communities across the state.
Already, Mn/DOT projects a $270 million annual repair and maintenance shortfall in coming years. The shortfall is projected at $50 billion for the next 20 years.
“We call on state and federal officials to reconsider the cost and scale of the $690 million proposed design, and support a less costly and reasonable solution,” said Margaret Levin, State Director.