It has traveled a long, bumpy path, but a controversial proposal to build a major bridge between Minnesota and Wisconsin has moved a giant step closer to a groundbreaking. Congress has cleared a bill exempting the estimated $626.4-million St. Croix River bridge from the requirements of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The 1968 statute bars federally funded projects that would harm such rivers' scenic qualities.
The Senate approved the bridge measure in January. Final congressional action on the bill came on March 1, when the House passed it on a strong, bipartisan 339-80 vote—a rare event in this Congress. The bill now goes to the White House.