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Governor Walker signs emergency declaration for Leo Frigo Bridge


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin's governor is taking the first step in securing federal relief funding to cover what it will eventually cost to fix the Leo Frigo Bridge.

On Friday, Scott Walker signed a declaration of emergency, making the bridge carrying Interstate 43 over the Fox River potentially eligible for federal emergency relief funding through the Federal Highway Administration.

“Our number one objective is public safety,” Governor Walker said in a statement.  “The Leo Frigo Bridge is a critical transportation link for motorists and commerce in Brown County and the state of Wisconsin, and we are committed to fixing this bridge in a timely and responsible manner.”

The funding would reimburse 100 percent of the costs of repair for the first 180 days of the project. 

However, Walker and Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb said during a conference call Friday that it depends upon the cause of the bridge failure whether or not they get the declaration approved.

The bridge has been closed since Wednesday, when a section was discovered to be sagging. Transportation officials say a pillar on the east side of the bridge sunk more than 20 inches into the ground.

DOT officials say inspectors will evaluate the bridge over the weekend. They say they hope to have a cause of the damage as soon as possible.