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.
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.
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.