Saint Paul, MN – Today, LIUNA Minnesota and North Dakota released the following statement after Governor Tim Walz announced the State of Minnesota secured $1 billion in federal funding to replace the aging Blatnik Bridge between Duluth and Superior:
Joel Smith, President and Business Manager said: “We sincerely thank President Joe Biden for his leadership in passing and signing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, making it possible to replace the deterioriating Blatnik bridge. This essential funding will make passage between Duluth and Superior safer, spur hundreds of family-supporting jobs for Minnesota Laborers, and help move goods more efficiently.”
More than two years ago, President Joe Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). LIUNA anticipated infrastructure jobs bill would create hundreds of thousands of family-sustaining jobs across the country and revitalize communities. “Monday’s announcement is the proof in the pudding,” said Smith. “This is a victory for the more than 3,000 LIUNA laborers and their family members who urged our national leaders to act after decades of inaction to fix our infrastructure. Our members and fellow trades workers proudly stand ready to rebuild Blatnik bridge.”
While some members of congress opposed the infrastructure bill, LIUNA leaders are focused on giving credit where it is due. Dan Olson, LIUNA Local 1091 (Duluth-Superior) Business Manager said, “A bipartisan group of 69 U.S. Senators and 228 U.S. Representatives fulfilled their duty and voted ‘Yes’ to to make the Blatnik bridge reconstruction and countless other infrastructure projects possible. We are especially grateful to U.S. Senators Klobuchar, Smith and Baldwin, and U.S. Representatives Angie Craig, Dean Phillips, Betty McCollum, Mark Pocan and Gwen Moore for taking bipartisan action. Politicians must look beyond partisanship and scoring political points if they want to win the trust of working people.”
LIUNA Minnesota and North Dakota, the Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council, and LIUNA Local 1091 submitted a joint letter of support to Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, the joint Minnesota and Wisconsin in support of the application.