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This graphical Wordle artwork accompanies a presentation prepared by members of the Coalition for the St. Croix River Crossing.

Survey indicates 86 percent of St. Croix Valley voters support proposed bridge

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A recent survey conducted with a scientific sample of 400 St. Croix Valley voters indicates 86 percent of residents in western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota favor replacement of the ailing Stillwater lift bridge with a modern, four-laned version that would soar between the bluffs at Oak Park Heights and Houlton.

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The survey was apparently commissioned by the Coalition for the St. Croix River Crossing, a two-state group of business, labor, government and community leaders that supports building a new four-lane bridge.

It was conducted by Myers Research and Strategic Services and American Strategies Incorporated, two independent public research firms. The firms designed and administered the survey between Jan. 18 and 22nd from a sample of 400 registered voters living in the St. Croix River Valley, including Stillwater, Stillwater Township, Grant Township, Oak Park Heights, Bayport, and West Lakeland Township in Minnesota and Hudson, North Hudson, Houlton, Boardman, Burkhardt, Jewett, Somerset, and New Richmond in Wisconsin. The overall margin of error was +/- 4.9%.

Among the survey results:

-- 92 percent of survey respondents are somewhat familiar with the issues surrounding the decades-long debate about replacing the bridge.

-- 79 percent are concerned about the safety of the fracture-critical Stillwater Lift Bridge. A large majority of respondents believe that the new bridge would make it safer to cross the St. Croix River, shorten travel time between Minnesota and Wisconsin, and result in less traffic in downtown Stillwater.

"This survey proves what we have known for years - St. Croix Valley residents overwhelmingly support the St. Croix River Crossing," said Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki, who is co-chair of the Coalition for the St. Croix River Crossing. "The public is saying that it is time to build the bridge. We are thankful that our elected officials both at home and in Washington are listening to their constituents and taking the final steps to make this bridge a reality."

The survey results were announced during a 2 p.m. press conference at the capitol in St. Paul Monday.

For more information about the Coalition for the St. Croix River Crossing, visit www.stcroixcrossing.org.

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