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Bridgeport Bridge


General Setting Looking South, Main Channel Bridge

Photo taken by Mark R. Fay, April 1987, for HAER

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #119976


Significance of the Bridgeport Bridge 

Written by Robert S. Newbery, Wisc DOT; Amy A. Ross, Mead & Hunt, Inc., 1993

The Bridgeport Bridge replaced a private toll bridge that had been built here in 1857. The new bridge abutted the bluff above Bridgeport, redirecting traffic away from the town. A fire destroyed much of Bridgeport and a wood railroad trestle. The trestle was rebuilt, but the train no longer stopped in Bridgeport and today, it consists of only a few private residences.

In 1983, the Bridgeport Bridge, comprised of seven truss spans, was one of five remaining Pennsylvania trusses in the State of Wisconsin. However in the subsequent ten years, four of these uncommon truss bridges including the Bridgeport Bridge have been demolished. The Bridgeport Bridge was impressive in its overall length of 3400 feet, including one span over the slough, an intervening island, and nine spans over the main channel. Together with the Marquette-Prairie du Chien Bridge over the Mississippi River, begun in the same year, the Bridgeport Bridge represented the key to an improved transportation link between Iowa and Wisconsin.

NOTE: With the destruction of this, and the other remaining Pennsylvania truss bridges, the Cobban Bridge in Chippewa County is now the last remaining Pennsylvania overhead truss in the state.


Lost Pennsylvania through truss bridge over Wisconsin River on US 18 - STH 35 in Town of Wyalusing
Wyalusing, Grant County, Wisconsin, and Crawford County, Wisconsin
Replaced by new bridge
Build 1931; Replaced 1989; Demolished 1990
- C.H. Kirsch
- Schaffer Construction Co.
- Steven Brothers
- Wisconsin State Highway Commission
7 span, riveted, Pennsylvania overhead truss with concrete decking. The bridge crossed main channel, sloughs and an island. Three short steel beam spans crossed the main channel, a tributary and the Milwaukee Road tracks.
Length of largest span: 232.0 ft.
Total length: 3,400.0 ft. (0.6 mi.)
Deck width: 23.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.1 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.00222, -91.05384   (decimal degrees)
43°00'08" N, 91°03'14" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/658624/4762899 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 37074 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 4, 2008: Essay added by J.R. Manning


  • J.R. Manning - thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
  • HAER WI-54 - Bridgeport Bridge, Spanning Wisconsin River at U.S. Highway 18, Bridgeport, Crawford County, WI