Minnesota, Wisconsin awarded $1.058B to replace Blatnik Bridge

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The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation with a $1.058 billion Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight & Highway Projects program grant.

The departments will use the funding to replace the John A. Blatnik Bridge between Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis.

The program supports highway and freight projects of national or regional significance that will improve the safety, efficiency and reliability.

The project is estimated to cost $1.8 billion with each state committing $400 million in 2023. Design work will begin this year and construction could begin as early as 2025 after the final design is selected.

The more than 60-year-old bridge is jointly owned and managed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Wisconsin Department of Transportation. It carries more than 33,000 vehicles daily and is a vital link between Duluth and Superior via Interstate 535 and US 53 and one of the largest marine links for U.S. trade with Canada.

“This was a team effort – from local communities and elected officials in both states – and we will act with urgency to deliver this important project.” Craig Thompson Wisconsin Department of Transportation secretary said.

The replacement project will be able to accommodate oversize and overweight loads.