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Small group of Minnesotans line 10th Avenue bridge in support of Obama jobs plan

While President Obama worked to sell his jobs plan Thursday with a speech in front of a bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky, a smattering of people stood on the 10th Avenue bridge in Minneapolis waving signs supporting his jobs plan.

The mini-demonstration, quickly put together by Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, was among a dozen around the country. Organizers said the small turnout at the bridge wasn’t a reflection of support for the president’s plan, but rather of the short notice.

The president chose the Brent Spence Bridge because it connects the Ohio district represented by House Speaker John Boehner to Kentucky, home of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Organizers of the demonstration in Minnesota chose the 10th Avenue bridge not only because it looks to be in rugged shape, but because the I-35W bridge is in the background.

The Minnesotans unfurled a banner over the side of the bridge “Fix This, Put America Back to Work.’’ At least one local television station showed up to tape the event.

The Minnesotans said that the state would receive more than $600 million for infrastructure repair under the Obama plan.

There are nearly 13,000 bridges in the state. About 3,600 of those are on state roadways, and the rest are controlled by local jurisdictions. Slightly less than 3 percent of the state bridges are considered “structurally deficient,’’ but that does not mean they are consider unsafe. Rather “structurally deficient’’ means the bridge needs some repair, or may have weight restrictions.

Back to those people on the 10th Avenue bridge. They didn’t seem discouraged by the small turnout or the nippy winds.

“There is energy especially among younger people,’’ Melissa Hysing said. “This [poor economy] has hit younger people especially hard. Higher tuitions, lack of jobs when you graduate. I just see the whole American Dream that hard work is rewarded slipping away. We need to rebuild that hope.’’

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