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Video: Senator Klobuchar visits Duluth, emphasizes importance of port infrastructure

Apr 02, 2021 05:36AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

Photo: WDIO-TV

From WDIO-TV - April 1, 2021

Sen. Amy Klobuchar joined Mayor Emily Larson and representatives of Duluth Seaway Port Authority at Clure Public Marine Terminal Thursday afternoon to discuss the importance of Duluth’s ports and how they could benefit from President Biden’s newly announced infrastructure bill.

Sen. Klobuchar said, in its current state, the $2 trillion bill features $17 billion dollars for inland water ways and ports around the country.

“This is the first time a president has proposed a package of this size that would really allow us to start competing on the stage of other industrialized nations,” said Klobuchar. “We’ve fallen behind. We just haven’t done enough when it comes to infrastructure.  You can’t fix it with band aids and duct tape.”

Mayor Larson, during the visit, emphasized the importance of local infrastructure in Duluth.

“People come here. They visit here and they love to talk about the ships and the bridge and just walk along the Lake Walk,” said Larson, “I don’t think people quite appreciate or understand all of the infrastructure that goes into that as an entire economy.”

Duluth Seaway Port Authority Executive Director Deb DeLuca further elaborated on that infrastructure and why she feels investment is important and necessary in her operations. 

“We’re like a small city onto ourselves with roads, rail, [and] the buildings.  We have nearly 450,000 square feet of warehouse space,” explained DeLuca, “Then of course, [we have] the maritime infrastructure.  The dock, the walls, the bollards, and all this stuff costs a lot of money to maintain.  We need to replace it and modernize it periodically.”

She continued by explaining the widespread benefits she believes Duluth Seaway Port Authority brings to the region.

“In the Port of Duluth-Superior, iron ore is absolutely king. It’s the number one cargo by tonnage and the port is an economic engine for the region and has been since the late 1800s.  Today we support over 8,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in economic activity”.

The infrastructure bill does have its, critics however, like Representative Pete Stauber who in a tweet said the bill  “would result in tax increases on American workers and employers” and “is the last thing American people need right now.”

More information on the proposition can be found here.

To see the original story and read related articles, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

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