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Wisconsin Avenue Bridge


The West Portal

There seems to be some confusion about the name of the road here. The camera seems to be on Plank Road, paying homage to when this was the Watertown Plank Road, a wooden paved toll road that went from Milwaukee to Watertown. The addresses of the businesses to the east, including the car dealer and The Kiltie drive-in, are on Wisconsin Avenue. Some maps show the name of the road, west of the bridge as Plank Road, as Wisconsin Avenue east of the bridge, then Plank Road east of The Kiltie. Anyone know the story?

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in August 2008


BH Photo #121792


Stringer bridge over Oconomowoc River on Plank Road in Oconomowoc Lake
Oconomowoc Lake, Waukesha County, Wisconsin
Open to traffic
Built 1942
Although this is not a historically significant bridge in and of itself, it is typical of bridges built to standards set by the Wisconsin State Highway Commission for many years. These bridges are being replaced at an alarming rate, this one has survived (so far) because old STH 16 (Wisconsin Avenue) has been replaced by a modern superslab, demoting this old highway to frontage road status.
Span length: 44.9 ft.
Total length: 44.9 ft.
Deck width: 41.0 ft.
Also called
Plank Road Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.10667, -88.47000   (decimal degrees)
43°06'24" N, 88°28'12" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/380389/4773708 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Oconomowoc East
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
Inventory number
BH 37224 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of June 2018)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 72.4 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • August 17, 2008: Added by J.R. Manning

Related Bridges 


  • J.R. Manning - thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net


Wisconsin Avenue Bridge
Posted September 28, 2012, by Tony (milw157 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This bridge is the 3rd roadway crossing of the Oconomowoc River at that location.

The first location is to the south in the Village of Oconomowoc Lake, right alongside Oconomowoc Lake. This location was the original Watertown Plank Road crossing. It is a small arched bridge.

When the railroad was built thru the area in the 1860's, they took a more direct route thru the wetland area and was ultimately located just to the north of the first road bridge for the Plank Road.

Some time after the railroad was built, the state relocated the roadway to follow the railroad right-of-way, and moved the road right alongside the north side of the tracks. This bridge is nothing more than a walking path with a small road remnant covered by trees.

In the 1940's, the state again updated the highway, and built a third bridge over the river, which is the one your web site covers.