By the mid-1960s, the paper mill and local residents needed better access to the highway system. US-51 was being upgraded to a freeway west of the river, and increasingly larger pulp trucks were finding the trip down Brokaw Hill to be increasingly dangerous. The solution was to extend Marathon County Highway WW west across the Wisconsin River and connect to US-51 in the Town of Maine.
The bridge is a steel girder bridge supported by several large concrete piers. The west end is cut into the side of a bluff near a gap between to adjacent bluffs. This location minimized the need for blasting a path for the road. The east end of the bridge connects to a earthen causeway 30 feet tall and approximately 750 feet long that is built across the river flats. The result is that the bridge is relatively flat despite the roadway dropping nearly 300 feet over a distance of two miles.
The village of Brokaw has seen a decrease in population. The mill has been removing houses as they become vacant. Both the store and library have since closed down. The village would probably have disbanded had it not been for a commercial area that was developed to the west of the US-51 freeway. Today, the major industry in the area is a 3M Company mine south of the village where granite is the raw material for the coating that is applied to sandpaper and grinding wheels.
The photo above is a view of the downriver side of the bridge from the southeast corner of the structure. The view is looking east across the Wisconsin River towards the village.