Prior to the Third River Bridge being built, the forest road followed an alignment about one-half mile to the east of the current bridge. It crossed the Mississippi River on a wooden trestle constructed in 1926. That bridge remained in place after the Third River Bridge opened. The trestle caught fire in 1975 and burned almost to the waterline before collapsing into the river. The bridge debris was later removed from the river to allow canoe traffic to pass the site. The remains of the abutments and pilings are still in place some 34 years later when these photos were taken in May, 2009.
These bridge remains can be accessed using off-highway roads in the Chippewa National Forest. These roads are passable only during the dry months of summer. Due to deep ruts, a high clearance vehicle is needed.
The photo above is a view of the remains looking to the north from the south abutment. The photo below is a close view of the abutment on the north side of the river.