5 votes

Cobban Bridge


Long View Of Bridge, Looking South

Photo taken by Martin Stupich, June 25, 1987 for HAER

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #119696


Street Views 

Significance of the Cobban Bridge 

Written by Diane Kromm, Wisconsin Historic Bridges Recording Project, Summmer 1987

The Modern Steel Structures Company of Waukesha constructed the Yellow River Bridge across the Chippewa River in 1908. The firm, incorporated in 1900, developed the most modern and complete steel structural plant in the West. Between 1916 and 1918, the Wisconsin-Minnesota Power & Light Company built a hydroelectric dam four miles downstream from the bridge, putting the site under water. The townships of Eagle Point and Arthur arranged to have the 486-foot span dismantled and re-erected 15 miles upstream near the village of Cobban. The Cast Stone Construction Company, in Eau Claire, installed the new concrete substructure. Crombley and Thailacker, a Milwaukee bridge-building firm, apparently erected the steel work. The Yellow River Bridge is the oldest of four Pennsylvania truss bridges remaining in Wisconsin.


Pennsylvania through truss bridge over Chippewa River on CTH T
Cobban, Chippewa County, Wisconsin
Intact but closed to all traffic
Future prospects
Available for reuse
Built in 1908; Moved 15 miles upriver to avoid inundation, 1918-19; rehabilitated 1995
- Modern Steel Structures Co. of Waukesha, Wisconsin
Two span, pin-connected Pennsylvania steel overhead truss. The two spans are identical.

NOTE: With the destruction of the remaining Pennsylvania truss bridges in Wisconsin, these spans are the last surviving Pennsylvania truss spans in the state.

Length of largest span: 241.2 ft.
Total length: 486.5 ft.
Deck width: 16.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 12.3 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Yellow River Bridge
Chippewa River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+45.10707, -91.20855   (decimal degrees)
45°06'25" N, 91°12'31" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/640930/4996405 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
Inventory number
BH 34696 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of October 2016)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 2.6 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • January 8, 2018: Updated by Dana and Kay Klein: Added categories "Othmar H. Ammann Nominee", "Othmar H Ammann Award winner"
  • January 6, 2016: New photo from Nathan Holth
  • December 29, 2014: New photos from Matt Lohry
  • April 19, 2014: New photo from Max Koehn
  • October 9, 2011: New photos from Steve Conro
  • September 3, 2010: New Street View added by Matthew Lohry
  • August 4, 2008: Updated by J.R. Manning
  • August 3, 2008: Essay added by James Baughn
  • August 3, 2008: Essay added by J.R. Manning



Cobban Bridge
Posted January 21, 2018, by Jason Smith (flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com)

The Cobban Bridge has been receiving news lately in light of winning the Ammann Awards for Bridge of the Year. A decision on the bridge's future and its replacement will come before month's end. More here: http://chippewa.com/news/local/cobban-bridge-wins-internatio...

Cobban Bridge
Posted August 14, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

And a 169 Average Daily Traffic count gives even more reason that a restoration is the more feasible option!

Also, that supposed $13 Million price tag to restore the bridge is an inflated joke and nothing more than an attempt to thwart preservation... Unless they are planning to Gold plate it!

Cobban Bridge
Posted August 14, 2017, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Its also a meaningless decision until Section 106 is conducted (as far as I know it hasn't been unless they have conducted it without my knowledge despite requesting consulting party status). No Section 106 = No Federal Funds.

Cobban Bridge
Posted August 14, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Irresponsible and short-sighted decision, but sadly it seems to be ingrained into government officials in Wisconsin that history means nothing and these landmarks are simply scrap metal... Truly sad indeed!

Cobban Bridge
Posted August 13, 2017, by Marilyn Murphy (mjmurphy1970 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This historic bridge is closed indefinitely. The Chippewa County Board voted to build a replacement bridge if Federal and State money is approved. It appears as though the historic bridge will soon be demolished to make room for the new bridge that may be competed by 2021. Anyone want to buy a beautiful old bridge?

County Board votes to replace shuttered Cobban Bridge


Cobban Bridge
Posted October 1, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I'd love to see the details of that $13,000,000 rehabilitation proposal... Could use a good laugh!

Cobban Bridge
Posted October 1, 2016, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)
Cobban Bridge
Posted June 26, 2016, by Michael Droste (michaeldroste [at] mac [dot] com)


I was traveling through Wisconsin, and came upon a bridge. It inspired me.

...just found out that it might be taken down (it would really be a shame to loose this bridge)

Free Music Video Download: https://vimeo.com/171447559

Best Wishes

-Mr. D

Cobban Bridge
Posted March 10, 2016, by Charles Kuehn
Cobban Bridge
Posted December 31, 2015, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The noted news article proposes replacing the bridge with federal funds, any proposal that has an adverse effect to this historic bridge will trigger Section 106. If Section 106 has not yet been conducted it is required under federal law to consider all feasible and prudent alternatives to demolition: an alternative needs to include a detailed consideration of rehabilitation.

Cobban Bridge
Posted December 31, 2015, by Charles Kuehn (ckuehncnwhs [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The news isn't good. Looks like saving the Cobban Bridge in any fashion isn't one of the options on the table:


Cobban Bridge
Posted August 17, 2015, by Marilyn Murphy (Mjmurphy1970 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Due to recent local news articles about possibly not replacing the bridge, I have started a Facebook page titled, Save the Cobban Bridge. Please LIKE the page to see links to the news articles and other information about the bridge. As new information becomes available I will add it to the page.

Cobban Bridge
Posted September 15, 2014, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This is the last Pennsylvania truss in the state yet is at risk for demolition.