Wisconsin Lawmakers Push For Mississippi River Bridge At Cassville

Two members of the Wisconsin General Assembly have introduced bills to provide $1 million to study costs and benefits of a bridge over the Mississippi River at Cassville, Wis., according to local media. But a state representative from Iowa, whose cooperation would be necessary, said there are no plans to move forward on the Iowa side. 

Residents of Cassville have wanted a bridge there for about 90 years. They now have to take the slow Cassville Ferry, or drive north to Prairie du Chien or south to Dubuque, Iowa, to cross the river. They say it’s the longest stretch of the Upper Mississippi River without a bridge. A group of proponents called the Badger Hawkeye Bridge Coalition got engineering students at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, to create a computer visualization of what such a bridge could look like in 2018.

Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, and Reps. Travis Tranel and Todd Novak introduced the bills, which would direct the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to spend up to $1 million on half of a feasibility study for the bridge. The other half would have to be funded by Iowa. Marklein says a bridge would benefit the entire area, not just the communities immediately affected. 

Tranel told local media that the recent passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act inspired him and the others to bring forward the bills. A planner for the Iowa Department of Transportation said there were no current plans for a bridge study in the department’s five-year plan, but it could be added in if enough support is generated. 

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