Superior council to consider first step toward replacing Barker's Island bridge

The bipartisan infrastructure law could help the city replace the 1959 bridge to Barker's Island.

Barker's Island Causeway2.jpg
The bridge to Barker's Island could be replaced in 2026 if the Superior City Council approves an agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to help pay for it. The bridge was originally constructed in 1959.
Shelley Nelson / Superior Telegram

SUPERIOR — City officials are taking the first step to reconstruct the bridge leading to Barker’s Island.

The Superior City Council will consider entering a State Municipal Agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to fund a portion of the 2026 reconstruction project at its Tuesday, April 18 meeting.

The city expects to receive about $1.5 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law toward the estimated $2.5 million replacement cost.

Hundreds of Superior residents attended the Memorial Day service on Monday, May 29.
The board will vote following a public interview process Wednesday, May 31.
A crowd of about 240 gathered to celebrate winners, connect.

Originally constructed in 1959, the Barker’s Island causeway bridge was constructed with tied back steel sheet pile abutments, timber girders and timber decking with an asphalt surface. While the decking has been replaced about three times since construction, the remaining structure is original.

“The sheeting is showing section loss, meaning it’s getting thinner,” said Todd Janigo, public works director, about the deteriorating condition of the 64-year-old bridge that provides the only access to Barker’s Island.


The existing roadway is narrow with minimal shoulder width and steep slopes.

Preliminary design for the new bridge and causeway would widen the road by 10 feet, create a more gradual slope, and includes curb and gutter as well as a 6-foot wide sidewalk.

By starting early, Janigo said it will allow the city to address environmental permitting through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that will be required to construct the new causeway bridge.

The public works committee voted April 6 to recommend entering into the agreement.

Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or
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