UNITED STATES NEWS

Biden returns to a deteriorating Wisconsin bridge to announce $5 billion for infrastructure projects

Jan 25, 2024, 5:52 AM

President Joe Biden speaks with Craig Thompson, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, ...

President Joe Biden speaks with Craig Thompson, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, center left, as they look toward the John A. Blatnik Bridge between Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis., Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, in Superior, Wis. Biden is returning to the swing state of Wisconsin to announce $5 billion in federal funding for upgrading the Blatnik Bridge and for dozens of similar infrastructure projects nationwide. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) — The last time President Joe Biden visited Superior, Wisconsin, he warned of the danger posed by the deteriorating John A. Blatnik Memorial Bridge as he pointed out that years of corrosion had weakened the overpass connecting port cities in Wisconsin and Minnesota and he pledged to fix it.

Biden returned to that bridge at the tip of Lake Superior on Thursday with plans to announce nearly $5 billion in federal money to upgrade it and dozens of similar infrastructure projects nationwide. As the Democratic president jump-starts an election-year push to persuade voters to reward him for his policy achievements in office, Biden is making his pitch in a critical swing state that is part of the “blue wall” trio of states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — where he defeated Republican President Donald Trump in 2020.

More than 33,000 vehicles travel on the Blatnik Bridge every day, but heavy trucks are barred because of its decaying condition and that has caused lengthy detours. Without additional federal dollars, the bridge would have had to shut down by 2030, according to the White House. It is getting $1 billion for upgrades and repairs.

Biden met with iron workers and local officials before a speech highlighting that the repairs to the Blatnik are being paid for by the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that Biden signed into law more than two years ago.

Though his visit is not officially a campaign event, his sharpened focus on Wisconsin with the election less than 10 months away highlights its place as one of a shrinking handful of genuine battleground states.

Four of the past six presidential elections have been decided by less than a percentage point in Wisconsin, with Trump winning narrowly in 2016 against Democrat Hillary Clinton before losing to Biden by a similar margin in 2020.

All signs point to Wisconsin remaining nearly evenly divided, even as Democrats have made gains in recent elections. A Marquette Law School poll released in November showed the 2024 presidential race to be a toss-up with the election a year away.

Democratic leaders in Wisconsin have stressed the importance of Biden visiting the state. Clinton’s defeat in 2016 was blamed in part on the fact that she never campaigned in Wisconsin after winning the Democratic nomination.

“He needs to be here, simple as that,” Democratic Gov. Tony Evers told The Associated Press in an interview this month.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan agreed, saying he has told Biden he must visit Wisconsin to highlight his investments in roads, bridges and broadband internet expansion and his efforts to bring down inflation and fight climate change.

“He wants to do that,” Pocan said. “He certainly understands the importance of Wisconsin.”

It’s not just Biden. Vice President Kamala Harris was in Wisconsin on Monday to promote the administration’s efforts to protect abortion rights. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is coming Friday to talk up Biden’s economic policies.

The visit marks his eighth trip to the state as president and his second to Superior, a city of 27,000 people along the shores of Lake Superior just across the border from Minnesota.

Democrats in Wisconsin have been on a winning streak. They have won 14 of the past 17 statewide elections, including Biden in 2020.

Democrats have been able to chip into the once-reliably conservative Milwaukee suburbs that saw GOP support drop in the Trump era. Democrats also capitalized on population gains in Dane County, home to the liberal capital city of Madison and the University of Wisconsin.

The Democratic moves have been able to help offset Republican gains made in rural areas during the Trump era.

Republicans chose Milwaukee for their national convention in July, with Democrats gathering just across the border the following month in Chicago.

___

Bauer reported from Madison, Wisconsin.

United States News

Associated Press

Teens broke into a Wisconsin luxury dealership and drove off with 9 cars worth $583,000, police say

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A group of teenagers believed to be from the Chicago area broke into a luxury car dealership in Wisconsin and drove off with nine vehicles worth more than a half-million dollars, police said. Sunday’s heist at a Jaguar-Land Rover dealership in Waukesha was captured on surveillance camera footage showing nine masked […]

7 minutes ago

Associated Press

Watch melted during atomic blast over Hiroshima sells for more than $31,000

BOSTON (AP) — A watch melted during the August 6, 1945 bombing of Hiroshima has sold for more than $31,000 at auction. The watch is frozen in time at the moment of the detonation of an atomic bomb over the Japanese city — 8:15 a.m. — during the closing days of World War ll, according […]

12 minutes ago

Nicholas Jordan, 25, appears for a hearing at the El Paso County 4th Judicial Court, Friday, Feb. 2...

Associated Press

Student charged with murder in fatal shooting of 2 in Colorado college dorm

DENVER (AP) — A student has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, felony menacing and committing a crime of violence in the shooting deaths of two people in a dorm room at a Colorado college. A judge announced the charges against Nicholas Jordan during a court hearing Friday. Jordan is accused in the […]

30 minutes ago

FILE - The residence where a former funeral home owner kept a deceased women's body in a hearse for...

Associated Press

A former funeral home owner has been arrested after a corpse lay in a hearse for 2 years

DENVER (AP) — A former funeral home owner accused of hiding a woman’s corpse in the back of a hearse for two years and hoarding the cremated remains of at least 30 people has been arrested, authorities said. Thursday night’s arrest of Miles Harford, 33, is the latest allegation of misconduct by Colorado funeral home […]

40 minutes ago

Associated Press

A judge has dismissed Fargo’s challenge to North Dakota restrictions on local gun control

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by North Dakota’s largest city that challenged a new law banning zoning ordinances related to guns and ammunition. Fargo sued last year, calling the law unconstitutional and a swipe at the city’s home rule powers. State District Judge Cherie Clark on Tuesday granted the […]

44 minutes ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: Arizona and New York attorneys battle over extraditing murder suspect

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said New York City authorities can extradite a murder suspect, but after he’s prosecuted for violent crimes in metro Phoenix. This comes in response to recent remarks by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg that garnered national attention. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News Photos: Getty Images

57 minutes ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Biden returns to a deteriorating Wisconsin bridge to announce $5 billion for infrastructure projects