UPDATE: Bong Bridge To Close For Repairs; Delayed Traffic Detour, Details On When and For How Long
Northlanders are no strangers to road and bridge repair. There is a biggie coming up that will affect travel across Lake Superior. Don't panic, it won't close completely for the two year project, but you will have to remember which lane is closed each year.
An update on the two year Bong Bridge project that starts on Monday, March 31; The west-bound/Duluth-bound detour that was scheduled at the beginning has been delayed until May. So, you won't have to alter your travel route for another month or so.
The project itself will still commence on March 31 – but drivers will still be able to get to Duluth on the Bong Bridge, albeit with reduced and single-lanes.
After working cooperatively with the contractor and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, we will implement the originally planned detour of westbound US 2 over the Blatnik Bridge on May 5,” said Project Manager Matt Dickenson. “We will still be able to accomplish the work that is scheduled to be completed this year, but reducing the time the westbound lanes are closed will make it more convenient for all motorists.
The Bong Bridge opened in 1984. To preserve the life of the structure, WisDOT will be making improvements starting the end of this month and continuing for the year of 2015.
They plan to do the following:
- Overlay existing bridge deck and make necessary repairs to the sidewalk
- Replace and repair arch components and repaint
- Replace existing expansion joints and repaint girder ends
- Replace street lights and ship navigation lights
During the first leg of the construction, or the "Wisconsin approach" they plan to:
- Reconfigure the existing Belknap St. and US 2 intersection to a modern roundabout
- Add local access connection to US 2 for North Garfield Ave. (city industrial park)
- Bridge deck overlay of the Susquehanna overhead bridge
- Replace roadway lighting
- Replace existing concrete pavement
Those of you who use the Bong Bridge walkway, it will remain open this year, but will be closed all of 2015.
Please Note: Construction suspended November 2014-April 2015 (US 2 open to both eastbound and westbound travel over the winter)
Construction that affects the Superior to Duluth travel will begin in May of 2015 and should be completed by November of that year.
- May-Nov. 1, 2014- Westbound traffic will be detoured to Blatnik Bridge.
- May-November 2015- Eastbound traffic detoured to Blatnik Bridge