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Wisconsin Governor Evers, Minnesota Governor Walz seek federal funds for major Duluth-superior bridge project

Christian Fernsby |
Governor Tony Evers, together with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, announced their departments of transportation will seek $889.5 million in federal funding, available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to rebuild the John A. Blatnik Bridge between Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin.

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“From students to workers to commerce, the Blatnik Bridge is an absolutely critical piece of our economy and a vital route for workers, business owners, students, and visitors to get from point A to point B every day,” said Governor Evers.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a once in a generation opportunity to modernize the critical infrastructure that makes our economy work, and this project is a perfect candidate for this funding to strengthen our port cities in Wisconsin and Minnesota.”

“I’m proud to partner with Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to ensure the Blatnik bridge gets the funding it needs to be completed safely and efficiently,” said GovernorTim Walz. “This is an important infrastructure project for Northern Minnesota, our neighbors in Wisconsin, and our interconnected economies. We look forward to moving forward on this project.”

The Blatnik Bridge was built in 1961 and carries Interstate-535 and US 53 connecting Duluth and Superior over a tributary of Lake Superior. The route is an important freight and commercial connection between the Twin Ports and serves more than 33,000 cars per day.

“The Blatnik Bridge is the most vital connection between the two cities of Duluth and Superior,” said Superior Mayor Jim Paine.

“Despite the state and natural border between us, the bridge makes us a single, greater community: the Twin Ports. Every day thousands of our citizens rely on this indispensable bridge to connect us to work, home, and commerce. This bridge is not only our link to one another, but to the future of both our cities.”

If successful, the application for federal funding will cover a substantial portion of the project’s budget and streamline scheduling. Design work for the project, which would determine specifications and shape the total cost of the project, will begin in the near future.

Jointly owned and managed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), the Blatnik Bridge is currently load posted for 40 tons. The replacement project will improve safety and accommodate oversize and overweight loads.


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