Bill would allow exemption for Wis.-Minn. bridge - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Bill would allow exemption for Wis.-Minn. bridge

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HOULTON, Wis. (AP) -- A project to upgrade a bridge between Wisconsin and Minnesota might be allowed to continue despite environmental objections.

The 1930s-era wooden drawbridge connects Houlton, Wis., and Stillwater, Minn.

Efforts to replace it have been held up over concerns that the new bridge would hurt the river's scenic and recreational values.  Now a Democratic congressman from Wisconsin is proposing an exemption.

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind has co-sponsored a bill that would grant the project a waiver to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.  He tells Wisconsin Public Radio the old bridge is unsafe and a traffic nightmare.

The Sierra Club has twice sued to stop construction of the replacement bridge. It says it's concerned about a possible exemption but hasn't said whether it would pursue further legal action.

Online Reporter:  Cami Mountain

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