For decades, community, business, and government leaders had worked together on plans to replace the decaying yet historic Stillwater Lift Bridge with a better-designed bridge over the St. Croix River that would take traffic out of downtown Stillwater and reduce environmental impact.
Challenges by opponents to the bridge resulted in a complicated situation related to approvals from federal agencies that needed to be secured in order for the project to move forward. The lack of progress to secure the agency approval had reached a point where it threatened the State of Minnesota’s funding. The complex nature of the challenges and federal agency processes required action by the United States Congress and President Obama.
Without action by Congress and the President, the existing funds would go to other projects, effectively ending any chance for bridge construction and potentially requiring an entirely new planning process. Advocates for the existing bridge plan, including the Minnesota Department of Transportation, needed help and support to secure a special exemption from Congress and President Obama.
Members of Velocity was hired to help launch and manage a coalition-focused effort that would involve working with elected officials from two political parties and two states to support the federal legislation.