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McGilvray Road Bridge Number 3

McGilvray Road Bridge Number 3

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 4, 2013 and August 9, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
McGilvray Road Over Black River Bottoms
Rural: La Crosse County, Wisconsin: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1905 By Builder/Contractor: La Crosse Bridge and Steel Company of La Crosse, Wisconsin and Engineer/Design: Charles M. Horton

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
98 Feet (30 Meters)
Structure Length
100 Feet (30 Meters)
Roadway Width
17 Feet (5.18 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

This webpage and narrative you are currently viewing is for Bridge #3 on McGilvray Road. This page provides a discussion of McGilvray Road Bridge #3 specifically. Please also view the McGilvray Road Bridge #1 which includes a general overview discussions of McGilvray Road and the six bridges. It is on that page that you will find a detailed discussion of the details that make the bowstring bridges on this road so unique and significant. The below map shows McGilvray Road as it exists today. You can click on the name of a bridge to switch to a particular bridge's page.

This bridge is one of the two oldest surviving bridges on the McGilvray Road. It is also noteworthy among the bridges on the road because although it is not the longest bridge in overall length, it does have the longest span length. As such, this bridge has the largest trusses of all the bridges on the road. Because its span length is well over 90 feet, it stands out nationally as an extremely long pony truss span for a bridge built before 1920. Prior to 1920, nearly all pony truss bridges were less than 90 feet long. Bridges longer than 90 feet would usually be through truss bridges. Note: the main span length given is an estimate. Based on measurements taken for Bridge 1, the main span length should be a couple feet shorter than the total length given for the bridge, which in this case is 100 feet.

This bridge sits on steel i-beams which in turn rest upon caissons. It appears that the i-beams were added to raise the bridge at a later date and are not an original detail. However adding these i-beams was a smart thing to do, since McGilvray Road and its bridges have always had trouble during floods. Speaking of which, if you visit this bridge during high water, you can expect to have to walk a section of trail that will have water over it that is deep enough that anyone not wearing rubber boots will get wet feet. Depending on water levels however you may be able to keep dry with rubber boots on. It is another story if you wish to proceed to Bridge 4 west of this bridge during high water events. You may encounter a section of trail with deep, and fast-moving flood waters that would be unwise to try to walk through.


Photo Galleries and Videos: McGilvray Road Bridge Number 3

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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


Maps and Links: McGilvray Road Bridge Number 3

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