Some western Wisconsin commuters face a much longer drive because a bridge linking Wisconsin and Minnesota over the Mississippi River is closed. Inspectors found gusset plates showing signs of corrosion and rust on the Highway 43 bridge at Winona. Dan Dorgan with the Minnesota Department of Transportation says the discovery came during a statewide inspection of truss bridges like the 35W bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis. Drivers will detour 30 miles one-way to find the nearest river crossing.
“We have a lot of industry here where a lot of people from Wisconsin come over here to work,” says Winona mayor Jerry Miller, adding that many Winona residents work in Wisconsin. Miller says officials are already brainstorming ways to get people across the river for work in the affected communities: they've even thought about using a ferry. The Minnesota DOT says the bridge will likely be repaired instead of replaced.