MN - $1.87 Billion Bonding Bill to Help Shore up Duluth's Failing Seawalls
District 7B Rep. Liz Olson, DFL-Duluth, is looking to the funding to provide jobs and help jump-start Minnesota's economy.
It took five special sessions, but the Minnesota Legislature finally passed a bonding bill Thursday afternoon. That legislation will provide some sorely needed funding to fix seawalls in Duluth and armor much of the city's shoreline with boulders.
In all, the bonding bill earmarks $13.5 million for seawall and related surface improvements along Duluth's waterfront.
"The city of Duluth is very grateful to our legislative delegation for their persistence and hard work in delivering support for a project that is at once exciting and badly needed," said Jim Filby Williams, Duluth's director of properties, parks and libraries.
"This funding support will enable us to reconstruct two vitally important sections of coastal infrastructure along our waterfront, and that infrastructure does two really important things for us," he said. "One, it protects public and private property from the battering of the lake — a battering that has thoroughly gotten the better of our existing infrastructure, such that without these funds we would be much more vulnerable to coastal storm damage."
"The second thing that this coastal infrastructure does for us is to provide public access to our extraordinary waterfront and thereby fuels our powerful tourism economy — a tourism economy that is going to need a boost in the years ahead after this difficult pandemic year," Filby Williams said.