Advancing a project long in the works, President Obama signed legislation last week allowing for construction of the St. Croix River bridge connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin by exempting the project from federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act restrictions.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation recently released a revised cost estimate of $626 million for the project.

The department also revised a potential cost range of between $571 million to $676 million. Construction is expected to start in 2014, and completion by 2017.

Environmentalists have criticized the project, which supporters contend is needed to relieve congestion in Stillwater, Minn.

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