This absolutely gorgeous concrete girder bridge carries WI-35 over the
Saint Croix River in northern Burnett County about a dozen miles north
of Danbury. The bridge is a combination of fantastic location, an
important river, a practical structure, and a well coordinated set of
modest decorations. This proves that it does not take that much effort
and expense to turn an ordinary bridge design into something spectacular
that an entire community can be proud of.
The bridge structure is a fairly ordinary prestressed concrete girder design.
This is the most common bridge type being built in the upper Midwest.
The deck has the very modern sidewalk configuration where the pedestrian
traffic is protected from car traffic by a concrete barrier. Since the
barrier is towards the inside of the bridge, a decorative metal railing
can be installed along the outside edge of the bridge. That is just the
first of several decorations on the structure. Others include the rock
pattern in the concrete, the cream colored concrete, the arches and angles
on the piers, and the color coordinated rock used as rip-rap.
I was surprised to find this new bridge when I arrived at this location
in May of 2008. The NBI database suggested that I would find a 4 span
deck truss bridge. That bridge appears to have been taken out in 2007,
but I have not been able to confirm that date. Also, since the new
bridge is so new, it is not in the NBI yet, so I have not been able to
confirm any of its dimensions.
Here is the data on the old deck truss bridge:
The photo above is the downriver face of the structure on the west side
of the bridge, as seen from the north side of the river. It is late in
the evening with the sun at a very low angle. This allows the beams of
sunlight to illuminate the underside of the bridge and highlight the
details in the stonework.
The photo above is a view looking southeast from the north river bank.
The photo below is a view of the bridge from the park located on the
north side of the bridge and west of the highway. This is the first
Saint Croix River bridge when traveling north that does not cross the
Minnesota and Wisconsin state line. The border departs from the river
two miles to the west of this bridge, so both riverbanks are in the state
These two photos are looking south from the edge of the west side of the
highway. The photo above is a view of the traffic deck. The photo below
is a view looking down the length of the regional trail path.