A bridge built by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation that boosts safety and recreation in Winneconne is one of 12 finalists in a national competition that will award $10,000 prizes based in part by public voting, the America’s Transportation Awards has announced.
Voting for the project can be done until Oct. 25.
America’s Transportation Awards will announce two winners among the 12 finalists. One will be based on public voting; the other will be selected by a panel. Each winner will be able to direct $10,000 to a scholarship or transportation related cause. The new WIS 116 bridge improves traffic flow and safety with the following features:
- A higher fixed deck, which allows river traffic to pass without raising or lowering the bridge;
- Six-foot shoulders;
- Six-foot sidewalk on the north side; and
- A 10-foot sidewalk on the south side, which accommodates snowmobiles in the winter when conditions allow.
The previous structure, constructed in 1934, had reached the end of its useful life. Also, it was built close to the water and had to be raised and lowed for river traffic. The Winneconne bridge was one of the few state highway bridges where fishing was legal. The new bridge supports fishing by providing two platforms that each extend about 220 feet from the shoreline. Significant challenges during construction included environmental protection for migrating fish, extremely high water, and the presence of ospreys within the work area. The project represents an $11.4 million investment in the region’s highway network and in the community. To minimize traffic impacts during construction, crews kept the old bridge open; eliminating the need for a 25-mile detour. America’s Transportation Awards is sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.