WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) joined President Joe Biden at an event at the University of Wisconsin-Superior to highlight how the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act will help fix bridges and boost exports in the Duluth-Superior area. 

Klobuchar specifically emphasized that the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act will help enable the replacement of the outdated Blatnik Bridge, which connects Duluth to Superior. A new bridge will bolster bridge safety and boost exports, as the Blatnik Bridge is integral to helping transport Minnesota goods and products for export to global markets. 

Among those joining Klobuchar and Biden at the event were Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), Governor Tim Walz (D-MN), and Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. 

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which Klobuchar and Smith supported, was enacted in November. The legislation delivers significant investments to improve the state’s roads, bridges, and public transportation, as well as Minnesota’s water infrastructure. 

Klobuchar’s remarks are available below and for TV download HERE and online viewing HERE

Senator Klobuchar: Thank you this is so exciting to be here with my pals. Just so you know, they do allow men in the U.S. Senate. Tina, Tammy, great leaders, members of Congress who are here, our mayors, our lieutenant governor, our governor. I mean, this is just a star-studded event for everyone. 

I think what we’re here today is to talk first about this incredible area. I am proud that my grandma and grandpa were in Ely. My dad’s whole life, we lost him last year, was all about northern Minnesota. And I actually got to know Congressman Blatnik at a pretty young age and I think he would be pretty excited that the President of the United States was here to talk about his bridge. I am also glad to be here in Superior. I have to have one Minnesota line - which is a place with unrivaled views of Duluth. But my mom was actually from Wisconsin so believe it or not, we grew up in a family that, yes, cheered on the Vikings but my mom always was truly a Packers fan. 

So today we stand together to talk about bridges. The bridges that our commander-in-chief has built with the rest of the world to stand up for the democracy of Ukraine. The bridge that we saw across the aisle in that chamber last night when everyone actually cheered at one point when we talked about the future, where we talked about, as our great Duluth Mayor calls, getting through this pandemic and seeing the lighthouse on the horizon. We, together, talk about an actual bridge here - the Blatnik bridge. It connects our two states. It sees more than 33,000 cars per day and it makes it possible for commercial ships to export goods from the Midwest to the rest of the world. But like 600 bridges in our state, it’s in need of repairs. 

And we know how important it is in our region to have good bridges. We will never forget when that 35-W bridge fell down on a beautiful summer day in the middle of the Mississippi River. 13 people died. And I said that day, a bridge should never fall down in the middle of America. Not a bridge that people drive over everyday with their families, not a bridge that connects us across the Mississippi River. We worked across the aisle back then we got the federal money and we rebuilt it in less than a year. America can do this. We can come storming back from this pandemic, but we’re only going to do it if we look on that horizon. And no one knows better how to look on horizons than people that live in Superior and Duluth. 

We are here today to celebrate a President and a First Lady that never give up. And they have come on a pretty cold day, so we’re going to give them a warm welcome, right? We’re going to give them a warm welcome because the president did not give up on this bipartisan infrastructure bill. Not when a lot of people thought it couldn’t get done. He believed it could. It got the support of every Senate Democrat and 19 Senate Republicans. And we are here today to talk about the investment, not only in this bridge, but in broadband, in this incredible port, our twin ports, and in the future for this region. I am looking to the horizon and I want you all to do the same because we are coming out of a real tough year and we are going to do it by crossing this bridge together. Thanks everyone.