Gov. Walz, Wis. Gov. Evers seek federal funds for Duluth-Superior bridge project

(ABC 6 News) – Governor Tim Walz, together with Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, announced on Thursday their departments of transportation will seek $889.5 million in federal funding to rebuild the John A. Blatnik Bridge between Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin.

The application is part of the federal Bridge Investment Program (BIP), which is benefitting from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding and focuses on improving existing bridges.

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.

“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 Governor 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.”

“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.”

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.