Walz, Evers ask federal government for more than $1B to replace Blatnik Bridge
The governors of Minnesota and Wisconsin say their prospective transportation departments have asked over $1 billion in federal funding to rebuild the John A. Blatnik Bridge between Duluth and Superior.
As initially reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS sister station WDIO, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced a federal grant application for over $1 billion through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant program.
“For more than 60 years, the Blatnik Bridge has been a vital link for our communities and businesses. But as the bridge reaches the end of its service life, its condition continues to deteriorate—and it’s time for us to exhaust every opportunity to replace this crucial connector with a safer, more efficient, and more reliable structure for the next generation,” said Governor Evers. “This submittal is a major step forward for our two states, and I look forward to continuing to work with Gov. Walz and our partners in Minnesota and our federal partners to build the 21st-century infrastructure the people of our states deserve.”
Both grants are part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, WDIO reports.
“The Blatnik Bridge is a critical connection point for transportation and commerce between Minnesota and Wisconsin – and it needs an upgrade,” said Governor Walz. “I’m proud to partner with Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers as we urge our federal partners to support this project that will foster regional economic growth, bolster our national supply chains, and strengthen the reliability of our transportation network that serves hundreds of communities between our states.”
The total project cost is estimated at $1.8 billion. Each state committed $400 million toward the project this year.
“Replacing this bridge is a top priority. MnDOT is grateful to our federal partners for their consideration. We look forward to working with WisDOT to build the modern and reliable Blatnik Bridge that the Twin Ports deserves,” said Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger.
“Our commitment to improving safety and the long-term sustainability of our bridges is unwavering. I know our partners at MnDOT share this sentiment,” said Craig Thompson, the Secretary of Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation. “These grant applications and deepening shows of support – from local communities and elected officials in both states – demonstrate how important this project is and why we must act with urgency.”