Well, there's finally a date - and, it's less then ten years away.  After first being discussed about two years ago, officials with Minnesota Department of Transportation have added the replacement of the Blatnik Bridge into their ten-year plan - focusing a completed-by date of 2028 at an estimated cost of $460 million dollars.

The 58-year old bridge connects Duluth to Superior, Minnesota to Duluth - across the St. Louis River.  The connection is a daily-commute for many who travel back and forth for work, shopping, and recreation.

A 1992-1993 rebuild to widen lanes is partly to blame for speeding along the aging process.  That work added additional weight that the original structure wasn't designed for.  For about the last ten years or so (especially since the 2007 Minneapolis/Mississippi River Bridge collapse) the Blatnik Bridge has been subject to annual inspections; those inspections have revealed a structure that is nearing the end of its lifespan.  Work crews have made repairs to allow the bridge to continue in operation, but replacement has become more of an apparent need.

While the total cost to replace will be $460 million, funding would be shared between the two neighboring states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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