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Wisconsin to chip in on Winona bus and ferry service costs

Wisconsin will help pay for the bus and ferry service created when the only bridge from the state to Winona, Minn., was shut down for 11 days.

It cost Winona more than $200,000 to move people across the Mississippi River, when a defect caused the bridge to be closed for more inspections.

Corroded gusset plates were found earlier this month and Minnesota officials decided to make repairs which will continue until late summer.

The Gopher State is reimbursing $190,000 for Winona's costs in running the ferry boats, improving the city dock and expanding the city's bus routes.

Wisconsin will pay $20,000 for the buses that shuttled commuters to five locations in the Badger State.

About 2,800 Wisconsinites travel to Winona to work each day.

Before the ferry system was set up, they had to drive up to 100 miles out of their way to use another bridge for three days.

Pedestrians and heavy trucks still can't use the Winona bridge until the repairs are done.