MnDOT won't extend Sept. deadline for Stillwater bridge planningby Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota transportation officials are holding to a Sept. 30 deadline for having a new St. Croix bridge plan in place.
Minnesota Department of Transportation officials say a bridge plan needs to be in place by the end of September or they will not be able to start construction in 2014.
Tom O'Keefe, MnDOT's metro district director of program delivery, says the time between now and 2014 is needed for additional environmental study and planning; time for Congress to approve federal funds; and an allowance for legal action by opponents to the bridge.
"If the project is, in fact, stopped at that time period, we need to be able to have other projects to move into its place, and that takes some time," said O'Keefe.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is asking state officials to consider extending the September 30 deadline, in case Congress needs to pass a federal exemption for the bridge.