Someday the Blatnik Bridge will need to be replaced, why not replace it with a tunnel?

MnDOT is "developing a plan to schedule appropriate maintenance, preservation, rehabilitation and, ultimately, replacement of this structure."

When it does come time to replace the bridge a tunnel should be considered. I would think that there would be several benefits to having a tunnel versus a bridge:

  • Safer winter driving conditions. The roadway would still be slippery from time to time, but it wouldn't be nearly as bad as the bridge can get.
  • No winds in a tunnel. Anyone who has driven across the bridge during a windy day knows how much of a white-knuckle experience it can be, that wouldn't be the case in a tunnel.
  • No out of town drivers slowing down to enjoy the view of Lake Superior.
  • Not as scary. I know a lot of people who are scared of driving on that bridge, a tunnel might be a better experience.
  • No bridge blocking the view. Some say that the bridge may add to "the look" of the waterfront area, I think it distracts from the beauty and would rather not see a huge structure blocking the scenery.

It's hard to find data about the cost of a bridge versus the cost of a tunnel, so cost may be a big prohibiting factor in building a tunnel, but I for one would like to see estimates for both presented to the public when the time comes.

I'm sure there are negatives about a tunnel, but I would like to see the option considered and talked about as the project moves forward.

What do you think, bridge or tunnel?