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Supporters of a new St. Croix River Crossing officially launched a broad-based community coalition today. They want to build support for the proposed plan to build a new four-lane bridge across the St. Croix River at Stillwater, and they are calling on Congress to take action on a measure that will allow the project to move forward.
The new bridge would replace the 80-year-old Stillwater Lift Bridge, which local residents have been working to replace for the past five decades. The existing bridge was built in 1931 to handle a capacity of 11,000 cars per day, but today an average of 18,400 vehicles travel on it daily between Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Goff Public has assisted the Coalition for the St. Croix River Crossing with its website, social media tools (including Facebook and Twitter accounts, and a YouTube channel), and media relations to help people understand what the project is and why it is needed. The coalition includes local elected officials, labor and business leaders, and community members who are working to gain additional supporters for the new crossing. They are from Minnesota and Wisconsin and from both sides of the political aisle.
The situation is urgent. In addition to the current bridge being a fracture-critical structure, a recent decision by the National Park Service requires Congress to permit any new bridge construction across the St. Croix River.
If Congress grants permission for the bridge to be built, construction will begin in July 2013. If Congress does not take action this year, money in both Minnesota and Wisconsin that has already been allocated for this project could be diverted. And for every month construction is delayed past July 2013, more than $1 million will be added to the project cost.
Goff Public will continue to assist the coalition with strategic communications and media relations. For more information about the Coalition for the St. Croix River Crossing or to join the coalition, visit www.stcroixcrossing.org.