NOTEBOOK: Tidbits from the bridge eventRepresentatives of the building trades were out in force Saturday to thank elected officials for their efforts to build a new bridge.
Representatives of the building trades were out in force Saturday to thank elected officials for their efforts to build a new bridge.
Union officials claim that thousands of jobs will result from the project, and many unemployed construction workers will finally get a chance to work.
Among the workers hoping to secure a job was David Wolner of Somerset, who talked briefly with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar at Saturday’s event in Stillwater.
A carpenter by trade, Wolner said the economic impact of the bridge project will be huge. The “living wage” jobs it will create will ensure that money is pumped back into the local economy, he noted.
“All that money will be staying here,” he said.
The bridge’s impact on the regional economy after it’s finished will also be significant, he added.
“It’s a major plus for us in northwestern Wisconsin,” he said. “It’s needed infrastructure.”
Wolner said a four-lane freeway will attract business and new residents to the region, recalling what Interstate 94 did for Hudson after it was completed.
“I think it’s a win-win-win situation for everybody,” he said.
New Richmond was front and center in a report on the proposed Stillwater bridge on KARE 11 television Friday night.
Among those interviewed for the story were John Soderberg, who has been working on the bridge for 15 years; Russ Korpela, executive director of the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce; and Dell Zehm, owner of St. Croix Harley-Davidson in New Richmond.
Visit http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=965206 if you’d like to see the piece.
Actual copies of the Stillwater Gazette newspaper from the 1800s through the 1930s received quite a bit of attention from those in attendance at Saturday’s celebration. One story about a soon-to-be constructed bridge in Stillwater talked about the ongoing debate over where the span should be constructed. Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki said things haven’t changed much over the past 100 years.
U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisc.) was dressed in a lumberjack-type coat and jeans for the morning press conference and bridge tour. Duffy, who has competed in various lumberjack competitions through the years, chose the right apparel for the day. Stillwater is known for its lumberjack history and hosts its annual Lumberjack Days event in the summer.
Bill Berndt, River Falls, was in Washington, D.C. on the day of the big U.S. House vote to help lobby members of Congress. He said backers of the bill took nothing for granted as it related to approval by the House and lobbying continued until the last minute.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said she was especially pleased that former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi voted for the measure.