$1 Billion grant announced for Blatnik Bridge replacement

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Duluth and Superior with $1,058,398,200 to replace the Blatnik Bridge. U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minnesota), U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) each celebrated the announcement on Monday. State leaders from both sides of the border worked hard to gather funding for this project.

The Blatnik Bridge Reconstruction Project costs an estimated $1.8 billion.

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Congressman Stauber stated in a press release, “By connecting Duluth, Minnesota to Superior Wisconsin, the Blatnik Bridge has helped drive our Twin Ports economy for the past six decades. The Blatnik Bridge is aging, and its restoration is essential to ensuring continued economic success, which is why I have long fought for these funds. Securing the money to help replace this bridge has been a top priority for both states, and I am proud to have worked with my Minnesota and Wisconsin Congressional colleagues to secure this critical investment. I look forward to seeing this project benefit countless industries, employers, health care patients, commuters, and tourists for years to come.”

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has advocated for bipartisan legislative support in gathering necessary federal grants.

“For over 60 years, the Blatnik Bridge has connected commuters, businesses, and communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but it’s in serious need of a replacement,” said Sen.Klobuchar in a statement on Monday. “The significant federal grant we secured for the Blatnik Bridge replacement project will bolster safety and reliability for the thousands of people who use this bridge every day.”

According to the Department of Transportation, the replacement bridge will address geometric deficiencies, increase capacity, and create a new shared-use path for cyclists and pedestrians to access both states easily.

Regarding the funding, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin said “This is what delivering for Wisconsin looks like. I voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to bring federal resources back to Wisconsin, and now we are seeing the results pay off. I have been pushing the Biden Administration at every turn to fund this project because a new Blatnik Bridge is critical for our economy, safety, and way of life.”

“With this investment, we can ensure that billions of dollars’ worth of products can get to market efficiently, families can get to work on time, and millions of travelers get to their destinations safely,” Sen. Badwin added.

Stauber’s announcement drew criticism from the Minnesota DFL party, who pointed out he voted against the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act.

“The Blatnik Bridge is getting funding because of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that President Biden and Minnesota Democrats fought for – the same law that Pete Stauber voted against,” DFL Chairman Ken Martin said in a release.