A 53-year-old construction worker was injured Monday while working on a bridge reconstruction project in Rothschild.
The incident happened about 1:30 p.m. as crews worked on the bridge portion of Highway 29 west of the village of Rothschild, in Marathon County, near the Wisconsin River. A beam fell during construction and pinned the worker, whose name has not been released by officials.
Rothschild Police Chief Jeremy Hunt was among those who responded to the scene.
“It appears that the beam was being lifted by a crane to be set in place,” Hunt said.
Hunt said the worker’s upper leg was pinched between the ground and the beam. Hunt said he does not know the cause of the incident.
Hunt said the man suffered a leg injury and was taken to the nearby Aspirus Wausau Hospital.
“It looked pretty serious,” said Glen Engebretson, assistant chief of the Rothschild Fire Department, “but I didn’t get too close.”
Greg Aune, a spokesman for Aspirus Wausau Hospital, said the hospital is not allowed to release information on the patient’s current condition without knowing his name, which village officials have not provided.
Hunt said that his department and the fire department acted as first responders, providing medical assistance. Even so, because the incident involves the construction industry and heavy equipment, and has an unknown cause, Hunt said he believes other agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, will probably investigate. An OSHA representative would not immediately verify whether the agency is doing in response.
Information about the project, including the contractors that were working on it and the company that employed the injured worker, was not available by deadline Tuesday afternoon. Timothy Vergara, administrator of Rothschild’s department of public works, did not immediately return a request for comment.
An $18.8 million reconstruction of the Highway 29 bridge over the Wisconsin river began in September. As part of the project, crews are repaving the roadway in both directions, and also replacing the decks of bridges over the Wisconsin river. Crews will also raise the Sunrise Drive overpass and repair the overpass’ bridge deck. The project is expected to be completed by May 2017.