The new bridge is being built by Lunda Construction of Black River Falls, Wisconsin. These photos, from the fall of 2007, show the progress about one year into the project, and about 9 months from completion. The piers are built, the steel is installed on the approach spans, and the main spans are ready for steel. In this case, the main spans will be built from steel box girders. These are hallow steel boxes that are welded end to end. They have internal braces to keep them rectangular. There will be four main box beams in all, running the length of the bridge. The piers are made of concrete. They look like large capital letter Y shapes, two side by side. The box girders will sit on the top of each point on each letter Y. From there, a rebar reinforced concrete deck will be installed.
The bridge will be 2,369 feet long overall. The main river bridge with the box girder configuration will be 1,658 feet long. A large concrete abutment will sit at each end of the main river bridge. The abutments will also have smaller approach spans to bring traffic up onto the main bridge section. These approach spans are important because there are road, park, marina, and housing traffic that needs to pass under these bridges. The bridge is expected to be open for 4-lanes of traffic by late summer of 2008. The remaining construction and landscaping is planned to be finished by the end of fall 2008. The old bridge will be removed during the spring, summer, and early fall of 2009.
Update—this bridge opened to traffic on July 31, 2008. Only two lanes are open until the bridge is completed in late fall of 2008.
Update—the old bridge was imploded on October 6, 2008 to make room for the remaining construction on the new bridge.