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
Design Tied-arch bridge
Total length 11,800 ft (3,600 m)
Opened October 25, 1985

The Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge, also known as the Bong Bridge, connects Duluth, Minnesota with Superior, Wisconsin via U.S. Highway 2. Opened on October 25, 1985, it is roughly 11,800 feet (3,600 meters) long. About 8,300 feet (2,500 meters) of that length is over water. It crosses over 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 and was named the United States' all time "Ace of Aces". The bridge was originally to be named the Arrowhead Bridge after the old wood trestle-bascule bridge which it replaced in 1985.[1] The bridge's central suspension section is made of Japanese steel.[2]

Tied arch spanning the main channel

The bridge is one of the largest public works projects ever undertaken by the state of Wisconsin. Ayres Associates, an architectural/engineering company based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, designed the 1.5-mile length of approach bridges and was responsible for overall project management. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation designed the channel span (tied arch).

In 2007, the Bong Bridge won a Wonders of Wisconsin Engineering Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies, Wisconsin Chapter. The award program was held in recognition of the chapter's 50th anniversary.[3]

The bridge had a major sixteen vehicle pile-up on January 27, 2005, in which a newborn baby was killed and 10 people were hospitalized.[4]


  1. ^ "The late, great, Arrowhead Bridge" Duluth News Tribune
  2. ^ "MDVA: Roads and Bridges named in honor of Veterans and Military". Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  3. ^ Transportation Development Association Newsletter, April 2008.
  4. ^ "MPR: Major accident closes bridge between Duluth and Superior". 2005-01-27. Retrieved 2011-08-25.