Work On Bridge Connecting Superior, Duluth Nearly Complete

$18M Project Took 2 Years To Finish

Greenmnm (CC-BY-SA)

Work is wrapping up on a two-year maintenance project on the bridge that connects northwestern Wisconsin and northeastern Minnesota.

Around 16,000 drivers a day travel back and forth between the cities of Duluth and Superior over the Richard I. Bong Bridge. The roughly $18 million overhaul to the bridge is one of the largest improvement projects for the structure since it was first built in the early 1980s.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation project manager Matt Dickenson said the bridge was due for some major maintenance.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“Twenty to 30 years later, they need to have maintenance work done on them. Usually, the surface of the bridge needs to be milled off and repoured,” he said. “Bridge components, cables, bearings — all that needs to be looked at, replaced, painted.”

Dickenson said crews are finishing up painting, but lanes to and from Superior are open.

He said much went as planned except for one incident during construction that killed one worker and injured another.

“It truly was an unfortunate accident,” said Dickenson.

OSHA officials are looking into the incident. An agency spokesman said the matter couldn’t be discussed further because an investigation is still ongoing.

Correction: This story originally featured a photo of a bridge misidentified as the Richard Bong bridge. It has since been replaced with an accurate photo.