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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Black River Channel Bridge
I-90 Mississippi River Crossing At La Crosse
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Black River Channel Bridge

Westbound Structure
• Structure ID: NBI B32003500000000.
• Highway: I-90 Westbound.
• Daily Traffic Count: 14,180 (2003).
• Length: 564 Feet.
• Width: 36 Feet.
Eastbound Structure
• Structure ID: NBI B32003400000000.
• Highway: I-90 Eastbound.
• Daily Traffic Count: 13,250 (2003).
• Length: 564 Feet.
• Width: 36 Feet.
Statistics Common To Both Structures
• Location: River Mile 701.8.
• River Elevation: 631 Feet.
• Bridge Type: Steel Girder, Concrete Deck.
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable.
• Height Above Water:  
• Date Built: Built 1964, Rebuilt 1994.
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.

Black River Channel Bridge
Black River Channel Bridge
Black River Channel Bridge
Black River Channel Bridge

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2016, all rights reserved.
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