The bridge featured a 254-foot long through truss span over the Black River. A through truss has a metal lattice-work of beams and cables on each side of the traffic deck, and the truss rises high enough to have support beams crossing the deck above the traffic level. The traffic ends up traveling through the truss structure. The bridge was built in an era of buggy and wagon traffic, so it was a comparatively light structure. It was strong enough to support automobiles and light delivery trucks. Travelers reported, however, that the trip across the bridge was scary due to the rumbling noises and the bouncy ride.
The bridge was incorporated into the state highway system as part of state highway WI-93. The bridge was obsolete prior to WWII, but lack of funds prevented it from being upgraded or replaced. The state declared the bridge to be unsafe in 1948, and it was closed to traffic. A new highway WI-93 was being built about 2 miles south of this location, which opened in 1953. Local residents petitioned the state to leave the bridge intact. The state was fearful that a future accident or collapse would result in a lawsuit being filed against the state, resulting in the state removing the bridge in 1954.
The main channel bridge, often referred to as Bridge #7, is just a memory today. One can hike to the very end of McGilvray Road and sit on a park bench located at the east end of where the structure once stood. While sitting on that bench, it is hard not to consider the generations of travelers that once crossed the river at this location, the millions of logs that once flowed down the Black River, or the agricultural products from hundreds of farms that once moved to market down McGilvray Road.
The photo above is the view looking across the main channel of the Black River where Bridge #7 was formerly located. The river channel is about 190 feet wide at this location.