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Ground-breaking ceremony for new bridge to be held next Tuesday

STILLWATER - Officials from both Wisconsin and Minnesota will hold a ground-breaking ceremony next Tuesday afternoon for the new four-lane Saint Croix River bridge between Hudson and Stillwater.

Actually, construction began earlier this month - and the program will be held a couple miles north of the bridge site at Lowell Park in downtown Stillwater. Part of the new bridge is in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, but Mary McFarland Brooks of the Minnesota DOT says there's not a viable place there where folks can park and gather.

The project was debated for decades until last spring, when Congress and President Obama granted an exception from the Wild-and-Scenic Rivers Act so the $600-million-plus bridge could be built. Taxpayers in Wisconsin and Minnesota are splitting the cost.