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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
US-53 Expressway Bridges
US-53 Saint Croix River Crossing
Gordon, WI

US-53 Bridge

Northbound Span
• Structure ID: NBI B16008200000000.
• Highway: US-53 Northbound.
• Daily Traffic Count: 2,890 (2003).
• Length: 193 Feet.
• Width: 40 Feet, 2 Traffic Lanes.
• Date Built: 1996.
 
Southbound Span
• Structure ID: NBI B16007900000000.
• Highway: US-53 Southbound.
• Daily Traffic Count: 3,753 (2003).
• Length: 171 Feet.
• Width: 40 Feet, 2 Traffic Lanes.
• Date Built: 1997.
 
Statistics Common To Both Spans
• Location: River Mile 162.5.
• River Elevation: 1,014 Feet.
• Bridge Type: Concrete Girder, Concrete Deck.
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable.
• Height Above Water: ???.
These two concrete girder bridges carry the new US-53 expressway bypass around the small town of Gordon, Wisconsin. The bypass was opened in 1998, making it 10 years old as this was written. These are two independent bridges, so both the state of Wisconsin and NBI track them as two different bridges.

These two expressway bridges are very typical bridges from the 1990s. They are built to be low cost yet be totally functional and have a long life. At the same time, there has been zero effort put into these bridges to add any decorative elements, or to give the bridges any of the stature of the river that it is crossing. That sums up the entire US-53 4-lane highway project in northern Wisconsin. It was built to be inexpensive yet functional, and since it does not have the traffic to warrant spending large sums of money, the highway has to be inexpensive to maintain.

The small town of Gordon is an interesting spot given that it has 5 bridges that cross the Saint Croix River in close proximity. These two US-53 bridges are on the west end of town. Moving to the east, we find the old US-53 bridge on Gate Road, the old railroad bridge (now used as a regional trail), and finally the hefty Wisconsin Central railroad bridge.

Note the interesting numbers for the traffic counts above. The southbound bridge is reported as having almost 1,000 more vehicles a day cross that span. I know of no reason that the traffic numbers should differ so widely. Perhaps this is a data error.

The photo above is a view of the deck of the southbound span as seen from the southwest corner of the structure. The northbound bridge is located to the right of this span. The tops of the railings of the northbound bridge are visible in the background.


US-53 Bridge
These two photos are the southbound span. The photo above is the west face of the southbound span as seen from the southwest corner of the structure. The photo below is the southbound span as seen from traffic heading southbound.

US-53 Bridge
US-53 Bridge
These two photos are the northbound span. The photo above is the east face of the northbound bridge as seen from the nearby Gate Road Bridge on a road that is an old alignment of US-53. The photo below is the northbound bridge as seen from traffic heading northbound on US-53.

US-53 Bridge

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