4 votes

Marquette-Prairie Bridge


Photo taken by Roger W

License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)


View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #331302


The old bridge

Video posted by Don Morrison

Play video on YouTube


Lost suspension bridge over Mississippi River on US 18
Marquette, Crawford County, Wisconsin, and Clayton County, Iowa
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1932; Replaced 1974
- Austin Bridge Co. of Dallas, Texas/Atlanta, Georgia (Design and Some Substructure)
- F.K. Ketler Co. of Chicago, Illinois (Substructure and Superstructure Contractor)
- Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Co. of Des Moines, Iowa & Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Steel Fabrication)
Wire/cable suspension
Length of largest span: 473.0 ft.
Total length: 3,729.0 ft. (0.7 mi.)
Also called
Prairie Du Chien Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.04854, -91.16700   (decimal degrees)
43°02'55" N, 91°10'01" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/649289/4767835 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Prairie du Chien
Inventory number
BH 52654 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 28, 2021: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • October 27, 2021: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added more builders and main span length.
  • September 15, 2019: New photos from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • July 3, 2015: New photos from Luke
  • September 8, 2013: New photo from Luke Harden
  • December 3, 2012: New video from Don Morrison
  • November 29, 2012: Updated by Don Morrison: Changed the coordinates from the current bridge to where the suspension bridge was
  • June 11, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Praire Du Chien, Wisconsin"

Related Bridges 



Marquette-Prairie Bridge
Posted October 27, 2021, by Don Morrison

I was nine in 1974, but probably rode across the suspension bridges a time or two.

what I called the causeway appears as a lazy "S" shaped pair of islands in Google imagery.

I attached an image upon which i drew yellow lines to represent where the bridges were, west abutment on a bluff just north of Marquette, east abutment at St. Feriole island at Blackhawk Avenue.

So the old bridges were north of the current span.

is that what you recall?

Blackhawk bridge at lansing has approach spans that meet the main span at an angle too. I don't take it too fast there. 8^o

I was new to the forum back in 2012...

Marquette-Prairie Bridge
Posted October 24, 2021, by Philip J Auterman (pauterman [at] mchsi [dot] com)

The East channel bridge looked like the west channel, but was not as high. The West channel is the main barge channel, the east channel was for leasure craft. The causeway was not changed from the old bridge to the new bridge - just the roadway was widened to the new standards in 1974.

The bridge was 18' 6" foot between girders. Semis had just a few inches to get past each other. The floor of the bridge was an open grate style, seldom needed a snowplow on the bridge itself. The west bridge consisted of 3 flat sections - a slight rise to the middle section from the west end and a longer steep drop to the causeway - the joints were sharp change of angle - if you were speeding, you would go airborn at the joints. Our drivers ed teacher required you to safely traverse this bridge to pass the class.

Marquette-Prairie Bridge
Posted November 29, 2012, by Don Morrison

Fascinating how you can still see what was then the causeway(s) between the two spans of this bridge in Bing Bird's eye view. You can imagine the bridge being there.

I wonder if it was one causeway and the river cut through it, or if there was a small bridge in between. Perhaps the bridge was raised above the causeways on piers. The current crossing has a causeway in between two bridges.

I'll have to get a boat and go investigate.