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County passes Stillwater bridge measure

The St. Croix County board attempted to revive the stalled Stillwater bridge project at its regular meeting Jan. 4.

A National Park Service ruling on Oct. 15 effectively stopped any future construction plans. Board Chairman Daryl Standafer said that unless Congress exempts the Stillwater bridge project, a new bridge is without hope.

The projected 2013 cost of a new bridge from south of Houlton to Stillwater is $668,493,000. Wisconsin's portion of the project would be $288, 790,500.

The resolution supports construction of a new bridge to replace the current lift bridge.

Supervisor Buck Malick said that he is not opposed to a new bridge, "But I do object to this bridge."

Malick acknowledged the present lift bridge is an impediment to ambulances, which is only one reason the bridge is intolerable. But, he said, federal law requires the current bridge he preserved, if possible, driving the costs much higher.

"We need a bridge, but we don't need that bridge in that package," said Malick.

Supervisor Buzz Marzolf, "The dollar amount is too great for the economy."

The resolution passed by a vote of 15-3. Malick, Marzolf and Supervisor Robert Shearer voted against. Supervisor Eugene Ruetz was absent due to illness.