I-535 Blatnik Bridge

Duluth, Minn. and Superior, Wis.

About this project

A rendering of the Blatnik Bridge location.

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MnDOT and WisDOT are working toward a future project to address concerns about the John A. Blatnik Bridge, one of two bridges that connects Duluth, Minn., to Superior, Wis. Carrying I-535 over the St. Louis Bay, the Blatnik is an important freight and commercial connection between the Twin Ports.

Jointly owned and managed by MnDOT and WisDOT, it is Minnesota's second longest bridge and serves an average of 33,021 cars traveling between the two cities each day. MnDOT will lead the project, which will address aging infrastructure, improve safety and better accommodate oversize/overweight loads.

2024 Traffic Impacts

  • July 8-25: Motorists travelling on the I-535 Blatnik Bridge will encounter both northbound and southbound lane closures Monday through Friday during daytime hours. These closures are needed for inspections and routine bridge maintenance.
  • July 13:The on-ramp from Garfield Avenue in Duluth and the southbound side of the I-535 Blatnik Bridge will close from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Motorists will be detoured to the Highway 2 Bong Bridge.
  • July 15 and 16: The northbound side of the I-535 Blatnik Bridge from Superior will close from 10 a.m. on July 15, through 10 p.m. on July 16. Motorists will be detoured to the Highway 2 Bong Bridge.

Federal INFRA grant

MnDOT and WisDOT received word Monday, Jan. 22, that the two states received more than $1 billion in the form of the federal INFRA grant to replace the Blatnik Bridge. Since then, the Department of Transportation has released a new video talking about Blatnik Bridge and how President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is creating jobs, improving lives and creating stronger communities.

Bridge alignment map

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Finding of No Significant Impact

The FHWA has determined the proposed improvements, as described in the Environmental Assessment (EA) will have no significant impacts to the human or natural environment. This Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is based upon the September 2023 EA/EAW, which has been independently evaluated by FHWA and determined to adequately discuss the need, environmental issues, and impacts of the proposed project and appropriate mitigation measures. The EA/EAW provides sufficient evidence and analysis for determining that an Environmental Impact Statement is not required. Materials that support this decision are provided below.

Appendix E contains the Findings of Fact and Conclusions (FOFC). Through the FOFC, MnDOT has determined that the project will not result in significant environmental impacts, and that the project does not require the preparation of an environmental impact statement per Minnesota Rules. Attachment D of this document provides responses to Agency and Public comments received during the EA/EAW comment period.