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Stillwater City Council votes to seek approval to close bridge

A closure of the Stillwater Lift Bridge could come as early as Monday due to rising flood waters.

STILLWATER - Officials in Stillwater Minnesota say they're sick of the Wisconsinites who drive through their community to get to-and-from work each day in the nearby Twin Cities. And the City Council voted 5-0 this week to seek legislative approval to close the 80-year-old lift bridge between Stillwater and Houlton over the Saint Croix River.

Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki said it's costing his city money to have thousands of Wisconsinites go through town each day. And he'd like the state to declare the bridge unsafe and shut it down. But a DOT official says the city shouldn't hold its breath. Adam Josephson calls the bridge an important regional connection, and his crews monitor it closely so they know it's safe.

Minnesota Representative Kathy Lohmer says she can't blame Stillwater for its stance. She hopes it draws attention to the need for a new bridge south of the city that's been proposed for decades. But the National Park Service has rejected that project, because the Saint Croix is protected under the nation's Wild-and-Scenic Rivers Act. And only Congress can change that.