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Easement lends support to Blatnik Bridge projects

Agreement allows Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of transportation access on Connors Point.

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Interstate Island, John A. Blatnik Memorial Bridge (also called the High Bridge), and Rices Point fishing pier on July 1, 2021. Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune

Superior’s Redevelopment Authority is lending land to help with upcoming maintenance and investigations on the Blatnik Bridge.

The authority on Tuesday, Dec. 14, granted a 10-year limited easement that will allow the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to access a service road adjacent to its right of way on Connors Point.

With a maintenance project planned for next summer and ongoing investigations for the Blatnik Bridge replacement project, WisDOT project manager Marc Bowker said the DOTs in Wisconsin and Minnesota have been going out on Connors Point quite a bit and the service road is just outside of their right of way.

By granting the 10-year easement, Bowker said it will ensure no one is trespassing and the departments won’t have to keep seeking the Redevelopment Authority’s permission to access the service road.

“Essentially, we have done this before where we entered into a limited use on this section,” said Jason Serck, the city's economic development, port and planning director.

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He said while WisDOT and MnDOT were seeking a permanent easement, city staff suggested the 10-year easement.
After all, the Redevelopment Authority’s mission is to undertake and carry out redevelopment and urban renewal projects in the city of Superior.

Serck said the city would still have access to property and he doesn’t anticipate that granting the easement would have any impact on future development that might take place on Connors Point.

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