Transportation officials closed the Minnesota Highway 43 bridge over the Mississippi River in Winona recently. The reason: rusted and corroded gusset plates. The same plates were identified as a factor in the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge last summer, and another indication that all is not well with Minnesota's infrastructure.
Perhaps to underline those concerns, U.S. Reps. Tim Walz and Jim Oberstar will visit the recently closed bridge and hear from local leaders about their concerns. Walz sits on the House Transportation Committee and Oberstar is its chairman. Local officials are now considering using boats to cross the Mississippi.
Walz and Obestar will inspect the bridge and hold a press availablity at 4 p.m. Friday.