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Wisconsin's only link to Winona undergoes structural tests

Wisconsin's only link to Winona, Minn., is undergoing new structural tests.

The Department of Transportation in the Gopher State is putting weight sensors and strain-gauges on the Highway 43 bridge over the Mississippi River.

Officials are deciding how to replace or rebuild the historic Winona bridge, which was closed for a short time last summer due to faulty gusset plates.

The testing equipment is being installed the next couple of days.

It will collect data on the types and weights of vehicles using the bridge, as well as the stress being placed on it.

The strain gauges will be used for about a year.

Officials hope to start a major construction project in 2014 on the Winona bridge, which connects to Highways 54 and 35 in western Wisconsin.

It's been open since 1941, and it's eligible to be on the National Register of Historic places.