Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Karen Pratte

To the Editor:

Black Hawk Bridge in Lansing is vital connecting Iowa to Wisconsin where over 2,000 vehicles cross on a daily basis. The bridge allows workers to get to their jobs, Iowans to access La Crosse’s hospitals and clinics, and tourists to visit Allamakee’s beautiful Driftless Area.

The excellent reporting in The Standard has kept us informed about the bridge’s history (built in 1931), its lifespan, the cost and structural problems leading to its recent closure. Fortunately, the new bridge is being built alongside the old bridge so we do not face years of bridge closures.

The new Black Hawk Bridge will cost $140 million. Your first reaction may be, “That’s a lot of money and who is going to pay the bill?” Eighty percent of the money is paid by the federal government’s Infrastructure & Jobs Investment Act.  The states of Wisconsin and Iowa will pay 20%.

Unlike his predecessor, the President delivered on his campaign promises.  He vowed to provide badly needed money for public works projects and pledged to work with the other party to get it done. In November 2021 he signed the Infrastructure Bill. When the former president was running for office, he promised infrastructure investments bigger and better than his opponent’s, Hillary Clinton.   When he was president, he announced “Infrastructure Week”  for weeks on end but never proposed a bill. It got to the point that the former president’s “Infrastructure Week” became a running joke and finally reported as RIP Infrastructure.

Iowans deserve leaders who value its people and their communities by investing in good roads and safe bridges. That is exactly what the President has done. When you drive over the Black Hawk Bridge, remember who is working for you.

Karen Pratte