This bridge is a significant and relatively early example of a pin-connected highway truss built by an important Wisconsin bridge builder, the Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company. In 1870, the company was formed with the label Weinhagen Brothers, Engineers. In 1880, the familiar name that would live on into the 20th Century was put in place, Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company. While largely a regional company, their work, especially into the first half of the 20th Century extended to a more national level. The company became one of the largest fabricators of structural steel in the state. After well over a century of operation, the company was ended in 1983.
The Lathers Road Bridge, which is 16.2 feet wide, contains eight panels, and is 147.3 feet long, is a fairly long example of a single-span pin-connected Pratt truss. Its length results in higher trusses with more extensive sway bracing than are present on the average length Pratts of this period. The bridge retains good historic integrity. The replacement of the wooden deck with a metal grate in the 1970s is not a significant detriment because it did not alter the truss itself.
This bridge was apparently slated for demolition back in 1984. Obviously, someone at that time saw the good sense in canceling those plans and instead the bridge appears to have been rehabilitated. It is strongly hoped that the preservation commitment to this bridge will remain strong in the years ahead, in the form of continuing maintenance and rehabilitation as needed.
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