GREEN BAY - Gov. Scott Walker has signed a declaration of emergency for the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge.
Governor Walker says he issued the executive order because he calls the bridge a key commercial link.
If the federal government cooperates, the state could be reimbursed for months of work.
But the investigative work needs to be finished first.
Governor Walker's emergency declaration could put the initial costs for the Leo Frigo Bridge closure in the hands of the federal government.
The governor's office says emergency relief funds administered by the Federal Highway Administration would cover 100 percent of the cost for the first 180 days of the project.
"What that would do would be to make the cost of the work that will need to be done to get the bridge back up, open and operational," said Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisconsin.
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Department of Transportation Engineers first need to find a cause.
The Federal Highway Administration would need to approve the report before granting any relief.
"It has to be a specific incident or failure that was caused by some external force," said Mark Gottlieb, Department of Transportation Secretary.
The governor says his administration needs to act quickly. If federal approval is denied, other construction projects could be affected.
"The transportation budget has been set for the next two years, we certainly would have some flexibility with something like this," said Walker.
"There really hasn't been any work done between our office and DOT, in terms of what things would have to be moved down depending on the funding," said Walker.
In the meantime, inspectors will continue to work through the weekend.
"The first thing we're going to do is make sure that area where pier 22 is, is safe. And then we're going to move on into that pier to start to look at it more closely," said Kim Rudat, Department of Transportation Regional Communications Manager.
State officials say this is the first time an emergency declaration has been made since the Hoan Bridge in Milwaukee needed repair 13 years ago.
Firefighters are battling a house fire in Kewaunee County.
Wind, snow, cold and ice played a role as firefighters battled a fire in downtown Ripon Wednesday morning.
Outagamie County's second largest employer is expanding, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
The State Building Commission has approved $5 million to help build the Wisconsin Maritime Center of Excellence in Marinette.
Fond du Lac police have released more information about the weapons they found in the apartment of a man who was at the center of a five-hour standoff on Monday.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is announcing a public meeting has been scheduled to provide road closure and design information for the Velp Avenue interchange area.