Ten years from now, one of Duluth's two main bridges will no longer exist; at least not in the capacity it does right now.  By 2032, officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will have a new replacement structure for the Blatnik Bridge in place and handling daily traffic.

Even as plans are being made and MNDOT moves forward with the project, a lot remains unknown.

That's why the Minnesota Department of Transportation has scheduled another public meeting to share information, solicit response and commentary, and answer questions.  This particular meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, June 21, 5:00 PM at the Superior Public Library:  1530 Tower Avenue. While the session starts at 5, the actual presentation will occur at 5:30 PM sharp.

Those in attendance will receive the absolute latest details on the Blatnik Bridge replacement project, including information on "the latest bridge alternatives" and more.

Those who are unable to attend the in-person meeting have the option to access the materials that will be provided at the session and watch a video on the project website.  You can find that project page and the meeting materials (posted after the meeting occurs) by clicking here.

While MNDOT has begun the process that will eventually replace the Blatnik Bridge, we are only at the beginning stages.  Here is a look at the timetable of stages that MNDOT has provided for the work:

  • 2020 to 2024:  Preferred Alternative Selection and Environmental Documentation
  • 2025 to 2026:  Preliminary Design
  • 2026 to 2028:  Final Design
  • 2028 to 2032:  Construction

Due to the large nature of the project and the early stages of the process, a final cost estimate is unknown at this time.

The current bridge structure known as the Blatnik Bridge is Minnesota's second-longest bridge, serving an average of 33,021 cars per day.  As a border structure, the Blatnik Bridge is jointly owned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. MNDOT, however, is leading the project to replace the "aging infrastructure" which will "improve safety and better accommodate oversize [and] overweight loads".

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