U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded $24.9 million in federal funding for infrastructure improvements in Duluth. Specifically, the grant, provided through USDOT’s RAISE program, will revitalize a two-mile section of West Superior Street by replacing outdated utilities systems, expanding broadband connectivity, and building electrical vehicle charging stations.
“Investments in our infrastructure serve as down payments on the long-term economic well-being of our state,” said Klobuchar. “This federal funding will make a real difference for communities in Duluth, enabling critical infrastructure improvements that will strengthen downtown, while helping to replace aging utilities and increasing broadband connectivity for local businesses and residents.”
“Minnesota is paving the way to a clean energy future and this project exemplifies Duluth’s commitment to prioritizing the environment while upgrading the city’s infrastructure,” said Smith. “From installing electric vehicle charging stations to investing in green infrastructure and expanding access to broadband, this project will both make critical improvements to the city’s infrastructure while remaining committed to the future of our planet. I’m glad we’re able to be a partner at the federal level to ensure this project gets done.”
“I am deeply grateful to Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith for understanding the value of this enormous investment in our community,” said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. “This is a highly competitive grant process – receiving this RAISE grant is a truly monumental achievement and speaks to the commitment our Senators have to Duluth and our residents. This grant will provide critical West Superior Street infrastructure upgrades in the Lincoln Park Business District, along with supporting multimodal transportation: including safer bike and pedestrian access, electric vehicles, and local bus transit. The project will also better connect residents, businesses and visitors via a broadband corridor. Thank you to our city staff and community partners like Ecolibrium3, and especially to Senators Klobuchar and Smith for securing these dollars which will go to work in support of business, residents and visitors.”
These resources will enable a complete reconstruction of the two-mile increment on West Superior Street to incorporate more resilient infrastructure while also modernizing underground utilities, including sewage and stormwater systems, and installing fiber optics to ensure stronger broadband connectivity in the neighborhood.
RAISE grants can be used by communities across the country for a wide variety of projects with significant local or regional impact. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which Klobuchar and Smith supported and was signed into law last year, delivered a 50 percent increase in the amount of available funding for the RAISE grants, as well as resources for improving the state’s roads, bridges, public transportation, and water infrastructure.