Elected officials have called on the US president Joe Biden for a US$1 billion top-up to fund repairs to a through-arch bridge.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Minnesota Department of Transportation applied for the funding for rehabilitation of the John A. Blatnik Bridge over Saint Louis Bay. The application has been endorsed by a bipartisan group of legislators from the two states.

Minnesota and Wisconsin will contribute a total of US$800 million to the repairs. The bridge has been under weight restrictions since 2019 owing to corrosion (link opens in new tab). It is also under an enhanced inspection and maintenance schedule that has increased disruption to travellers.

The proposed rehab would allow the two states to add a path for pedestrians and improve the safety of interchanges. The bridge is used by 33,000 vehicles a day and provides access to the Port of Duluth-Superior to businesses across the region.