Why are we keeping the existing bridge?


From: Jim R. Miller

I know it’s too late to change anything with the new bridge plan, but I really wonder why we are keeping the old bridge. Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) didn’t take care of it when it was the only bridge, why do we think they’ll take any better care of it now?

A structure made of metal like a bridge must be maintained to keep it sturdy and safe. When driving over the current bridge, one can observe rusty holes, one can assume that it isn’t being taken care of. Does anyone actually believe that just because we build a newer bridge beside the old one that Mn/DOT is going to change its care of the old one?

I suppose we could have built a three lane bridge using two lanes in the morning for those drivers coming into Winona, and reversing the lane usage in the afternoon with commuters returning to Wisconsin. I’m sure that engineers familiar with electronic controls could have figured out a plan like those used on toll roads around major cities.

However, Winona remains on the poor child side of Mn/DOT and we couldn’t expect anything above the bare minimum.

If we could somehow move the Mississippi River so that it was necessary to cross it to get to Rochester, we might have a chance.


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