STILLWATER  (AP) - Minnesota transportation officials have readjusted the cost of the new bridge over the St. Croix River at Stillwater.

The Department of Transportation now estimates the cost of the project at about $626 million - down from an earlier projection of $633 million. MnDOT's Adam Josephson says some slight design changes and eliminating some work around a railroad helped lower the cost estimate. Josephson says some assumptions regarding inflation were also reworked.

MnDOT plans to build and test sample bridge foundations in the river this summer. Construction of the bridge, which replaces the aging lift bridge connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin, could start in 2014.

The project has finally gotten an exemption from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act with passage by the U.S. House last Friday.

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