Corps of Engineers authorizes St. Croix River brige permit

MnDOT logo            The St. Croix River Crossing bridge project cleared a last major hurdle when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit Friday to the Minnesota Department of Transportation for the work, officials with the Corps’ St. Paul district office announced today.

The Corps’ permit includes two authorizations under the River and Harbor Act’s Section 10 and the Clean Water Act’s Section 404. Both authorizations were required for $650 million bridge project since it involves working within a navigable waterway and wetlands, according to a Corps news release.

“This is huge. Absolutely huge,” said MnDOT spokeswoman Mary McFarland about the permits. It’s a deal-breaker. If we don’t have those permits we don’t proceed. Everything moves forward.”

McFarland said the Corps’ St. Paul office asked for permit-related information from MnDOT as late as last Thursday before notifying MnDOT the next day that the permits had been authorized.

“Friday morning they called and said they OK’d the permit,” she said.

The Corps’ St. Paul office regulates structures and work in U.S. navigable waters under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and discharge of dredged and fill material in U.S. waters under Section 404 of the Clean Waters Act in Minnesota and Wisconsin.