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Time limits for new Stillwater lift bridge being considered

Officials in Stillwater, Minnesota hope to avoid traffic congestion in their downtown, by putting new limits on the time that a lift bridge to Wisconsin can go up-and-down to accommodate boats. Under current rules, the Stillwater Lift Bridge can move up to 22 times on weekdays, and 21 times on weekends and holidays - and officials say more of those lifts will be required as construction takes place on a new four-lane bridge between Stillwater and Hudson. Stillwater City Council member Ted Kozlowski is leading an effort by officials and downtown business owners to allow lifts during certain times each morning and afternoon. However, the Coast Guard says the campaign might not get far. Peter Sambor of the Coast Guard says his agency rarely changes lifting schedules for bridges, and water traffic is the top priority. He said the Coast Guard does consider requests that appear to be justified. Public hearings are normally held before final decisions are made. Initial construction work was recently halted on the Saint Croix bridge project due to a couple of issues - but the four-lane bridge is still scheduled to open in 2016.