Klobuchar, Smith Secure Significant Federal Funding for Local Projects Benefiting Duluth and North Shore, Including Investments in Aerial Lift Bridge

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they have secured significant federal funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 federal budget to support local projects benefiting Duluth and the North Shore. These projects will enable critical infrastructure improvements, including modernizing the Aerial Lift Bridge, while expanding housing opportunities and workforce development programs in sectors facing critical shortages. 

“From improving the Aerial Lift Bridges to helping students pursue medical training programs, these projects will address key issues impacting Minnesotans on a daily basis. I am proud to have worked with local leaders to secure these investments, and I know that these resources will make a real difference for Duluth and so many communities across the North Shore,” said Klobuchar. 

“These investments are a big win for Duluth and the North Shore. From key infrastructure improvements like bolstering pedestrian safety on the Aerial Lift Bridge and fixing Beaver Bay’s water system, to workforce development and expanding housing and shelter resources, these projects are going to have a real, positive impact on people’s lives,” said Smith. “I’m proud of the work we did to bring this funding to Northeastern Minnesota.”

Klobuchar and Smith have secured federal investments to further the following priorities:

Improving infrastructure:

  • $500,000 to modernize and strengthen pedestrian walkways on the Aerial Lift Bridge’s underlying steel support system; 
  • $432,000 to repair and replace water intake infrastructure in Beaver Bay.

Expanding housing opportunities: 

  • $2 million for the Churches United in Ministry (CHUM) to increase the capacity of its Congregate Shelter, helping more people meet their basic needs and return to housing;

Supporting workforce development programs:

  • $108,000 for Wilderness Health in Two Harbors to accelerate development of workforce training and education programs in four critical shortage areas: nursing, radiology, ultrasounds, and laboratory technicians. 

“I am incredibly grateful to our US Senators and to Senator Klobuchar and her staff for prioritizing Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge for Congressionally Directed Spending,” said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. “The iconic lift bridge is the symbol of Duluth known worldwide and these funds will assist us in ensuring its longevity toward supporting our international port, our city, and our region.”

“The City of Beaver Bay would like to thank Senator Klobuchar, Senator Smith, and their staff for their assistance in obtaining funding for our water intake repair project.  The city has spent 5 years searching for funding to address issues with our fresh water supply that serves the 120 residents and approximately 3 million North Shore visitors per year. The city struggled with qualifying for funding due to the large number of seasonal residents.  This funding will allow us to make the needed repairs which will assure a safe and healthy water supply to residents and visitors to our small city,” said Beaver Bay Mayor Tom Gmach.

Klobuchar and Smith have been actively involved in securing federal funding commitments to enable projects benefiting communities across the state through a process called “Congressionally Directed Spending” (CDS). Throughout the CDS process, Klobuchar and Smith considered project proposals and advocated for funding in close coordination with leaders from across the state.

Projects are expected to receive funding over the next several months.