Even though the impending replacement for the Blatnik Bridge is still a good five years or so off, that time will go by quickly.  And, with a project that that's estimated to be one of the bigger ones in that both the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation have undertook, the engineers involved are taking this time to draft and finalize their plans.

MNDOT and WISDOT have already hosted a few joint-public meetings about the project - to solicit input, comments, and to share the details that they have so far.  The next one of those sessions is scheduled for Tuesday, December 13 - an in-person meeting at the Superior Public Library:  1530 Tower Avenue.  The formal presentation part of the meeting will start at 5:30 PM.

Since the project was first announced, there has been considerable conversation about what the replacement would look like and where the traffic-connections and alignments would be.  At an earlier meeting, MNDOT and WISDOT announced that any hopes for an underwater tunnel had been ruled out.  In addition, many people were perhaps taken by surprise at potential design plans that would move the connection at the base of the bridge on the Superior side to a different location from where it currently exists.

At the meeting on December 13, MNDOT and WISDOT officials will "include information on the narrowed-down list of bridge alignments and interchange alternatives being studied".

As part of the session, an interactive large-scale map will be available for review.  In addition, the state agencies will be collecting feedback and comments.  There will also  be the opportunity for questions to be asked.

According to MNDOT's timetable, the Blatnik Bridge Replacement Project is currently in the "Preferred Alternative Selection and Environmental Documentation" phase.  Preliminary Design will occur between 2024 to 2026; with a Final Design happening between 2026 and 2028.  The actual construction for whatever ends up replacing the Blatnik Bridge connection between Duluth and Superior will happen from 2028 to 2032.

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