Town of Corning receives grant to replace nearly 100-year-old bridge
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor
TOWN OF CORNING – The Town of Corning received a one-time $213,109 Multimodal Local Supplement (MLS) grant, one of 152 Wisconsin communities that received awards from the one-time $75 million funding program for local transportation projects.
The MLS program was designed to allow communities to prioritize their transportation needs and submit projects ranging from roads and bridges to harbors and railroads, to transit equipment and pedestrian and bicycle accommodations.
The funds received by the Town of Corning will be allocated to the replacement of a nearly 100-year-old bridge that is located south of County Road Z and north of Highland Avenue on Corning Road, which forms a boundary between the Towns of Corning and Scott. The bridge crossing Devil Creek has severe cracking and is too narrow for some modern farm equipment to pass.
Wisconsin DOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Interim Secretary Randy Romanski, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Senior Economic Development Director Tim Weber, Lincoln County Highway Commissioner John Hanz, Town of Corning Chairman John Kudick, and Town of Scott Chairman Mike Woller were on-hand at the bridge on Wednesday, March 11 to highlight the value of the project.
“What we heard from locals was, ‘Make it as simple as possible,’ so we came up with a two-page application process,” Thompson said. “I think as a result it made it easier, especially for smaller townships and municipalities, to be able to apply.”
Over 1,600 applications for the MLS program were received, totaling $1.4 billion in projects, Thompson stated. To try to stretch the dollars available to as many projects as possible, funding for each project was capped at $1 million.
Kudick said that some farmers with modern equipment have to go four miles out of the way to avoid the narrow bridge.
“The bridge was built in 1920. Obviously they didn’t have the equipment the size it is today,” he explained.
Kudick estimated that work on replacing the bridge would start sometime in 2021.
“I hope the state of Wisconsin continues this program, because only about 10% or less of the projects submitted were picked, so that means 90% of the projects are still out there,” he said. “There’s definitely a need for it.”