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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Walnut Street Causeway Bridge
Former US-12 Saint Croix River Crossing
Hudson, WI

Walnut Street Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI: P55070900000000 (WI).
• Location: River Mile 16.7.
• River Elevation: 675 Feet.
• Highway: Walnut Street, Former US-12.
• Traffic Count: 0.
• Bridge Type: Steel Girder, Concrete Deck.
• Length: 154 Feet.
• Width: 24 Feet, 2 Traffic Lanes.
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable.
• Height Above Water: 11 Feet.
• Date Built: Opened 1940.
The Walnut Street Causeway Bridge is part of the former Hudson Toll Bridge, now fondly remembered as the Old Toll Bridge. The river crossing consisted of this smaller bridge on the Wisconsin side of the crossing, a half-mile long earthen causeway, and then a main channel bridge steel truss span on the Minnesota side of the river.

The original bridge at this location was built in 1913. It was worn out and narrow, so it was replaced with a more modern bridge in 1940. The 1940 bridge was retired in 1951 when a new US-12 bridge was built about a half-mile downstream resulting in the Toll Bridge being closed. While the main channel span was quickly removed and recycled, the causeway bridge remained in place.

Today, the causeway bridge allows for pedestrians and bicycles to use the causeway. One can walk or bike out to the very end, which was the location of the toll booth. It is a nice spot to watch boat traffic, and there is a small sandy beach. The other use for the causeway bridge is to support tour boats. The tour boats dock along the causeway, and passengers walk a short distance from shore to board the vessels. Vehicles in support of the boats, such as those bringing out food, ice, and mechanical parts, are also allowed to use the causeway.

The photo above is looking northwest towards the Walnut Street Causeway from high over the river on the bluffs in Birkmose Park. Minnesota is in the background while Hudson, Wisconsin, is on the near shore.


Walnut Street Bridge
These two photos are views of the south face of the causeway looking west from Lakefront Park in Hudson. The photo above is a shallow angle that includes the boat dock on the Wisconsin side of the Saint Croix River. The photo below is a little wider angle from slightly downstream of the causeway.

Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge
Our journey to the end of the causeway starts here at the famous Hudson archway on a chilly autumn afternoon in 2010. The photo below is looking west down the center of the causeway.

Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge
The photo above is a view looking west down the causeway from about one-third of the way towards the site of the old Toll Bridge. The photo below is the park at the end of the causeway. Since the afternoon sun was in the west, most of the photos of the causeway were taken while walking back towards the Wisconsin shore.

Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge
The photo above is looking north from the park at the end of the causeway. A large sandbar has built up over the past century that is a popular beach area for both folks walking in from Hudson and those arriving by boat. The water is several feet higher than normal, resulting in the small island to the north being flooded. The photo below is looking east towards Hudson along the north face of the causeway.

Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge
These two photos are views looking back towards Hudson from the west end of the Walnut Street Causeway. The photo above is looking down the center of the old highway, while the photo below is looking along the south edge of the road.

Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge
These two photos are looking southeast towards Hudson. The photo above shows the riprap along the edge of the causeway along with some of the accumulation of debris and old boats that have washed up in the flood. The photo below is looking towards Hudson. Birkmose Park is on top of the bluff in the background.

Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge
The causeway park is very well done and well maintained. The photo above is an example of the decorative lighting. Park benches are located in several places along the half-mile long road allowing for places to rest or simply to watch the activity on the river. The photo below is a detail view of one of the street lamps.

Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge
These two photos are views of the bridge at the east end of the causeway, both looking east down the length of the bridge deck. The photo above is looking down the center of the bridge. The photo below is a view from the southwest corner of the structure.

Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge
The photo above is Hudson as seen from the center of the bridge, which shows the slight curve in Market Street as it approaches the causeway. The photo below is the end of our journey as we head towards the Hudson arch.

Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge
These two photos are views of the south face of the bridge at the east end of the causeway as seen from Lakefront Park in Hudson. The photo above is from near the causeway, while the photo below is from several dozen feet downstream of the causeway.

Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge
The photo above is the bridge plate, which suggests that this structure was built in 1940. This was long after the Toll Bridge was built, so this bridge probably replaced an earlier through truss bridge. The photo below is a view of the causeway bridge from the boat dock attached to the south side of the causeway.

Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge
These two photos are looking north towards the south face of the causeway bridge. The photo above is from a period of high water in the fall of 2010. The photo below is a similar view from the spring of 2006 when the water was also higher than normal.

Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge
The photo above is looking northwest towards the causeway from Lakefront Park in Hudson. A tour boat is tied up to the dock that is attached to the causeway. The photo below is the west end of the causeway as seen from a riverside park on the Minnesota side of the Saint Croix River.

Walnut Street Bridge

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