A discussion about "alternative options" for the Blatnik Bridge project will be the focus subject at an upcoming public meeting, scheduled for Thursday, December 9.  The Minnesota Department of Transportation is inviting everyone who has an interest to take part.

The timeline for the project has construction beginning in 2028.  We are currently in the "Preferred Alternative Selection and Environmental Documentation" period of the project - while predates the preliminary and final design process.

Replacement for the 60 year old Blatnik Bridge is necessary due to it reaching the natural end of its expected usable life.  The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation have a management agreement in place to keep the bridge safe for its remaining life and MNDOT is leading the National Environmental Police Act (NEPA) process to assess the projects needs, alternative options, and determine any potential environmental impacts.

While some of MNDOT's public meetings have moved to a hybrid model that allows in-person attendance, this particular meeting will only have a virtual option.  The meeting will start at 6:00 PM.  The link to the virtual meeting site is available on MNDOT's page devoted to the Blatnik Bridge replacement project on their website. Full details about the scope of the project is also available for review.  MNDOT also has the information shared on their social media page that's devoted to the Northeast Region/District 1.

Blatnik Bridge (US Highway 53) between Duluth, MN and Superior, WI
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

Built in 1958-1961, the Blatnik Bridge is one of two major (and one of three total) bridges that connect the border communities of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin.  A median barrier was installed in 1973.  A revamp project that closed the bridge for a year was done in 1994 to widen and paint the structure.  Since that time, various annual inspections and maintenance projects have occurred to continue the lifespan of the bridge.

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