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Wisconsin commuters scrambling to find ways around Winona Bridge closure

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Wisconsinites who work in Winona, Minn., scrambled to their jobs Wednesday, after the city's only bridge over the Mississippi River suddenly shut down.

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The bridge at Wisconsin's Highway 54 has 10 gusset plates that are rusted and only emergency vehicles are allowed to cross for now.

Minnesota's DOT plans to announce a strategy for repairs by June 14 and it's not known how long the repairs would take.

In the meantime, officials hope to get some form of commuter shuttle service going by early next week.

It could either be a bus, organized car pools or a ferry.

U.S. Coast Guard says any commercial ferry will need to go through a federal licensing process. The options will be discussed this morning (Thursday) at the Winona City Hall. City officials say about 2,800 Wisconsinites work in Winona.

Without public transportation they must drive at least 25 miles to the next open bridge. And with $4 gas, that's a huge attack on their wallets.

The city has asked its businesses to fill out a survey asking how many Wisconsin employees they have, where they live and when they work. That information will help determine the best temporary transit option.

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