Local and area lawmakers are reacting to the decision by the Minnesota Department of Transportation to recommend the construction of a second two-lane Highway 43 bridge across the Mississippi River in Winona.
State Representative Gene Pelowski and State Senator Jeremy Miller issued a joint statement that said it is encouraging that Minnesota state agencies, federal agencies. the City of Winona, and elected officials from all levels of government, came together to ensure that the needs of those crossing the essential transportation link were addressed properly.
Congressman Tim Walz, along with Senators Amy Klobachar and Al Franken, plus Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, said the announcement was good news for the people of Winona and the surrounding region. They said the announcement shows what's possible when officials set their differences aside and work together towards a common goal.
The construction project is now slated get underway in the spring of 2015.
Once the new bridge is completed, the current bridge can be restored to full and safe capacity. The plan allows for full traffic across the river and should be within the current budget of between $150 and $175 million.