Wisconsin and Minnesota ask for $1-billion from federal gov. to fund Blatnik bridge

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Minnesota and Wisconsin lawmakers are calling on the federal government to help fund the replacement of the Blatnik bridge.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Wisconsin governor Tony Evers say each state is willing to put forth $400-million towards the project. They say that’s not enough, the two states asking for $1-billion in government aid.

MnDOT official Pippi Mayfield says the bridge is currently 62 years old and by the time the replacement would be put in, it would be nearly 70. Mayfield notes constant repairs that are done to the bridge to keep it up to standard.

She also says there is now a limit to how many tons trucks can carry when crossing the bridge.

Other Minnesota and Wisconsin lawmakers have also shown their support. Senator Amy Klobuchar released a statement that says, “this bridge is critical to the regional economy and keeps our communities connected, which is why I am calling on the Administration to grant Minnesota and Wisconsin’s funding application to replace the bridge.” 

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin chiming in. “I am proud to support Wisconsin’s application for funding and continue to urge the Biden administration to invest in this much-needed project. Investing in this bridge will ensure that billions of dollars worth of products can get to market efficiently, families can get to work on time, and millions of travelers can get to their destinations safely – and put Wisconsin to work doing it.”

Among this, Baldwin added some statistics on how important it is to have the connection between Minnesota and Wisconsin. She says that 33,000 cars pass on the bridge daily and 265,000 trucks carrying $4-billion worth of international and domestic good cross annually.

The project is up against other major projects around the United States. Mayfield says they first applied for a federal grant last year and did not receive it.

Mayfield says that MnDOT will hold an informational meeting on October 3rd at 5pm at the Superior Public Library for the public to hear more and also give feedback.