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Funding uncertainty plagues Grand Forks bridges

Sorlie Bridge Grand Forks
Sorlie Bridge Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) -- Uncertainty over federal funding has some state and city leaders worried about projects to renovate or replace two Red River bridges connecting Grand Forks with East Grand Forks, Minn.

The local Metropolitan Planning Organization has the Kennedy Bridge scheduled to be upgraded in 2016, and the Sorlie Bridge scheduled for work in 2018.   Replacing both bridges could cost more than $50 million.

MPO Executive Director Earl Haugen says all options are still on the table, including doing just minimal repairs. But he says uncertainty over congressional funding has put all options in question.

Local officials are pressing ahead, forming an advisory committee and holding public meetings to learn more about the needs and wants of the community for each bridge.