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The promotional push for a new bridge over the St. Croix River is picking up steam. On Friday, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb and Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel were among the officials who attended a meeting of the St.
A small group of local residents showed up to cheer a group of politicians who toured the Stillwater, Minn. lift bridge Friday afternoon, March 18. "Build the bridge," they chanted over and over. Democratic Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Sixth District) headed straight for the group when the tour was done, shaking hands and thanking them for their encouragement. Dayton and Bachmann joined Minnesota and Wisconsin state legislators, Stillwater officials and other elected officials from both sides of the St. Croix River for the gathering.
A number of Minnesota and Wisconsin organizations last week released a letter signed by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership and 25 other state and national groups to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton regarding the St. Croix River crossing. The coalition letter calls on the governor and Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Thomas Sorel come up with plans for a smaller-scale bridge in Stillwater that would dramatically reduce impacts on the Lower St.
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin's Third District) sent a letter to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker asking him to invest in transportation projects in the state and specifically support the St. Croix River Crossing Project. "As your administration reviews the urgent transportation needs of our state, I write requesting that you immediately address the future of the Stillwater Lift Bridge and the St. Croix River Crossing Project," Kind wrote.
Less than a week after it was closed, the Stillwater bridge is open to traffic again. As flood waters receded, the lift bridge was reopened late Friday night. Traffic was free to move over the span on Saturday. The bridge had closed at 10 a.m. Tuesday as waters along the St. Croix River rose. It eventually crested at 85.9 feet -- well below the 87.0 flood stage. Motorists will have to deal with another closure in the coming week. To complete some maintenance on the bridge, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will close the bridge from 10 a.m. April 5 to 5 a.m. April 6.
Heads up commuters. If you use the Stillwater bridge, plan for a detour for some time. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has been informed that the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota State Patrol will close the Stillwater Lift Bridge at approximately 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 23, due to high water and ice on the St.
The City of Stillwater is requesting help in sandbagging today (Friday), Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. People interested in helping may go to the parking lot on the corner of Mulberry and Water Street in Historic downtown Stillwater. The parking lot is located directly behind the River Market Community Co-op. If you organize of a group of 10 or more, call 651-430-8830 to schedule a time in advance.
The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for St. Croix County, due to rising waters on the St. Croix River. The warning, issued Thursday, impacts St. Croix and Pierce counties in Wisconsin, and Washington County in Minnesota. The flood warning, which is in effect until further notice, noted that flood stage on the St. Croix River is 87 feet, and the use of the Stillwater bridge could be stopped if water reaches 88 feet.
Here's a trio of culinary treats for your consideration. On the regional front there's "The Bizarre Truth" (Random House, $24.99), by Andrew Zimmern, a Twin Cities chef and TV personality. If you have a strong stomach, you've probably watched this bald guy who runs around the world for the Travel Channel, eating weird foods while being photographed for his TV show "Bizarre Foods." Every time I watch the show or read a chapter from his new book, I'm reminded of a colleague who tells the story of growing up in Milwaukee. One morning Seymour, his uncle, shows up at the house.
I think I've just received the ultimate in John Reading. "The Whole Death Catalog: A Lively Guide to the Bitter End" (Ballantine Books, $18), by humorist/scholar, Harold Sheckter is a delight to dip into during daily ablutions. Sheckter has researched the subject of death from the earliest days (we died back then too) to the present. He shovels out lots of detail on subjects like wills, the hospice experience (titled going out with comfort and style) and the embalmers art. One delightful chapter deals with what famous people said just before they passed on. P.T.