House okays new bridge connecting Wisconsin, Minnesota

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation on building a new St. Croix River bridge that will connect Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The House voted 339 to 80 on Thursday in favor of legislation that gives the proposed $700 million bridge at Stillwater, Minn., an exemption from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The Senate approved the legislation in January. It now heads to President Barack Obama.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton had warned GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, the bill's House sponsor, that he would redirect state funding if a vote wasn't held by March 15.

The bill passed over objections from DFL Rep. Betty McCollum, who stands to inherit the bridge in a newly configured congressional district. She's called the bridge a waste of government money.