Mayor hopes ferry will ease Winona driving problems

Bridge inspections
MnDOT workers inspect the gusset plates on the Highway 43 bridge over the Mississippi River in Winona. MnDOT officials closed the bridge on Tuesday after an inspection found potential porblems with the plates.
MPR Photo/Brandt Williams

The mayor of Winona says he hopes the city will have ferry service up and running by Monday morning.

The ferry would carry people across the Mississippi River between Wisconsin and Minnesota, after the Winona bridge was closed this week for safety reasons.

Mayor Jerry Miller says the plan is for buses to pick up commuters at several locations, then take them to the river to catch the ferry. He says the $5 ferry charge would likely be less than the cost of gas to drive dozens of miles out of the way to the next river crossing

"We met yesterday with the businesses, and they're working on car-pooling and things like that, but this might be a good option. There's a lot of people in Fountain City who work in Winona. Maybe it's something that'll work," Miller said.

Miller says the ferry service might be changed or stopped, if MnDOT allows people to cross the bridge on foot. At the moment, no one is allowed on the bridge.

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