Bachmann bridge support debated

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But St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce president Matt Kramer argued that the plan to build the bridge made sense.

"Reliable, adequate and accessible transportation is one of the most important resources needed to foster a thriving business marketplace," he said. "The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area has grown to include 13 counties; including Pierce and St. Croix Counties in Wisconsin. Our regional challenge is to make strategic investments in the transportation system that not only meet the needs of the three million people who already live and work in this vibrant metro area, but can also handle the future demand as we continue to grow."

Wisconsin Policy Research Institute fellow Christian Schneider said he understand objections to projects like the bridge that are similar to the ones Bachmann has raised about other projects.

But he said projects had to be evaluated individually.

"Even in fractured political times, collective irritation over the Congressional earmark process brings Americans together. Hatred of “pork” buttresses our healthy skepticism of Congress,' Schneider said in the newspaper.

But "ask even the most avowed conservative what the proper role of government is, and road building and maintenance is likely going to be near the top," he continued.  "Having adequate roads promotes business growth and commerce, creates more taxpayers, and, thus, more government revenue."

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has reported that Bachmann has called critics of the bridge project "radical environmental groups."

"You build for the future," the paper reported Bachmann said in defense of the bridge proposal. "You don't build to create a problem. It would be nonsensical to build a bridge that would cause bottlenecks on either side of the river."