62-year-old bridge has suffered from significant structural deterioration, risking economy and Wisconsinites’ safety
SUPERIOR, WI – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Governor Tony Evers were joined by Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson, Superior Mayor Jim Paine, and local stakeholders to highlight the continued need to replace the Blatnik Bridge and urge the Biden administration to invest in the project. President Biden visited the Blatnik Bridge in 2022 to discuss how the bridge could benefit from the Baldwin-supported Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“I voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to bring federal funding home to Wisconsin to repair our bridges and fix our roads, and I am committed to making sure we get our fair share,” said Senator Baldwin. “It was wonderful to have the President in Wisconsin last year to highlight the need to invest in the Blatnik Bridge because this bridge is essential to our local economy, safety, and way of life. Replacing this bridge will help ensure that the 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 destination safely – creating good paying jobs doing it all. I am proud to work with our local and state partners to replace the Blatnik Bridge and strongly urge the Biden administration to invest in this much-needed project to keep Wisconsin families safe and help grow our economy.”
"The Blatnik Bridge is about helping build the future we want for our state, ensuring our state’s continued positive economic momentum, and improving the quality of life for folks in Northern Wisconsin, so I'm glad we secured nearly $400 million in our budget to support the repair of the Blatnik Bridge,” said Gov. Evers. “With help and support from federal partners like U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, we're making real progress on our effort to build 21st-century infrastructure that meets the needs of a 21st-century workforce and economy, whether it's addressing lead service line abatement to investing in EV charging to supporting critical road and bridge projects or other critical efforts. We’re ready to get this important project over the finish line.”
The Blatnik Bridge is a vital connection between Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin, with over 33,000 vehicles passing through daily and 265,000 trucks transporting nearly $4 billion in goods annually. After more than 60 years of heavy usage, the bridge has suffered from significant structural deterioration, leading to capacity, mobility, and safety concerns. Last March, President Biden visited the Blatnik Bridge to highlight the passage of the Baldwin-supported Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the impact of the investment in our bridges on local communities and economies. Senator Baldwin successfully secured $7.5 million in this year’s federal budget towards the Blatnik Bridge project and is now working with Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Biden Administration to deliver the necessary funding to replace the Blatnik Bridge.
“Senator Baldwin continues to represent Wisconsin as a great champion for improving our state’s infrastructure. Her support raises awareness about the need to improve the Blatnik Bridge to safely move people and commerce not only between Wisconsin and Minnesota, but nationally and internationally,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “The joint federal grant application with MnDOT and matching state funding clearly demonstrates our commitment to invest in the existing infrastructure and restore this important connection. Securing federal funding for this bridge project will not only enhance reliability for local residents and businesses, but spur regional economic growth and modernize the area to benefit all modes of transportation.”
“The Blatnik Bridge is a vital connector for the communities of Duluth and Superior and is often a literal lifeline, connecting us to vital resources,” said Superior Mayor Jim Paine. “I’m grateful for the tireless work of both Senator Tammy Baldwin and Governor Evers, who have been steadfast supporters of Northern Wisconsin. Thanks to their efforts, and with the help of the Biden administration, I’m confident we will build a bridge that not only preserves the link between our states but expands access for everyone.”