Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge

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Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge
Bong Bridge.jpg
Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge from the Duluth, Minnesota hillside looking southwest toward Superior, Wisconsin and Billings Park.
Coordinates 46°43′53″N 92°08′38″W / 46.73142°N 92.14376°W / 46.73142; -92.14376Coordinates: 46°43′53″N 92°08′38″W / 46.73142°N 92.14376°W / 46.73142; -92.14376
Carries Four lanes of US 2
Crosses Saint Louis Bay
Locale Duluth, MN and Superior, WI
Characteristics
Design Tied-arch bridge
Total length 11,800 ft (3,600 m)
History
Opened October 25, 1985

The Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge, also known as the Bong Bridge, connects Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin, via U.S. Route 2 (US 2). Opened on October 25, 1985, it is roughly 11,800 feet (3,600 m) long, including about 8,300 feet (2,500 m) over water. It crosses the Saint Louis Bay that drains into Lake Superior.

The bridge’s namesake, Richard Ira Bong, was a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II who was named the United States' all-time "Ace of Aces". The bridge was originally to be named Arrowhead Bridge, after the old wood trestle–bascule bridge it replaced.[1]

Tied arch spanning the main channel

The bridge is one of the largest public works projects undertaken by the state of Wisconsin. Ayres Associates, an architectural/engineering company based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, managed the project and designed the 1.5 miles (2.4 km) length of approach bridges. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation designed the channel span (tied arch). Its central suspension section is made of Japanese steel.[2]

In 2007, the Bong Bridge won a Wonders of Wisconsin Engineering Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies, Wisconsin Chapter, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary.[3]

The bridge was the scene of a 16-vehicle pile-up on January 27, 2005, in which a newborn baby was killed and 10 people were hospitalized.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The late, great, Arrowhead Bridge" Duluth News Tribune http://attic.areavoices.com/2008/02/19/the-late-great-arrowhead-bridge/
  2. ^ "MDVA: Roads and Bridges named in honor of Veterans and Military". Mdva.state.mn.us. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  3. ^ Transportation Development Association Newsletter, April 2008. http://www.tdawisconsin.org/data/publications/0408news.pdf
  4. ^ "MPR: Major accident closes bridge between Duluth and Superior". News.minnesota.publicradio.org. 2005-01-27. Retrieved 2011-08-25.