The I-90 Mississippi River crossing at La Crosse is nearly 3 miles
across. The crossing consists of long causeways, the main channel
Dresbach Bridge, the Round Lake Bridges, the French Slough Bridges,
and these two bridges over the Black River Channel. The Black
River flows for about 160 miles, starting in Taylor County in
north-central Wisconsin. The Black river once converged with the
Mississippi near downtown La Crosse, flowing in a channel that
was roughly parallel to the Mississippi over its final 10 miles.
When Lock & Dam #7 was built, the Mississippi River captured
the Black River several miles upstream from the Lock & Dam
structure. Part of the historic Black River channel dried up
and is now farmland, much of it remains wetlands, and the final
few miles is now a backwater of the Mississippi River.
The photo above is a profile shot of the bridge taken on a slightly
gray winter day in early 2007 while repairs were being done on the
bridge decks. Both directions of traffic were routed onto one bridge
while the other bridge was under construction. The bottom photo shows
traffic flowing in both directions on the eastbound span, with the
photo taken as we are crossing to the west. The photo below is the
westbound bridge, while the third photo is the eastbound bridge,
this time, taken during late summer.