Dying Minn. man gets wish of crossing new bridge

Published 5:34 pm Friday, July 7, 2017

STILLWATER — A dying man in Minnesota can cross something off his bucket list: crossing a new bridge into Wisconsin.

Jack Bohmert crossed the new St. Croix River bridge Thursday, the Pioneer Press reported.

The 82-year-old suffers from congestive heart failure and a massive blood clot. Doctors told him he has only days or weeks to live.

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Bohmert made a bucket list of things he wants to do before he dies after receiving the news. At the top of his list was crossing the new bridge near his condominium.

The bridge won’t be open to the public until after a Aug. 2 ribbon-cutting, but the Minnesota Department of Transportation made an exception for Bohmert. Bohmert, a navy veteran and retired truck driver, wore a neon-yellow reflective vest and hard hat as he crossed the bridge with some family members.

“Oh man, I can’t believe this! This is beautiful,” said Bohmert, who is legally blind. “I can’t see too good, but it’s beautiful. This is great!”

About 50 people gathered in Oak Park Heights to celebrate the occasion, including color guard units from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10818 in New Richmond, Wisconsin, and the American Legion in Bayport.

The final goal on Bohmert’s list is living until his 83rd birthday on July 17.