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Sturgeon Bay Bridge

Michigan Street Bridge

Sturgeon Bay Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Dave Michaels

Bridge Documented: October 23, 2011

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Michigan Street Over Sturgeon Bay
Location
Sturgeon Bay: Door County, Wisconsin: United States
Structure Type
Metal Rivet-Connected Warren Through Truss, Movable: Double Leaf Bascule (Rolling Lift) and Approach Spans: Metal 9 Panel Rivet-Connected Parker Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1930 By Builder/Contractor: Wausau Iron Works of Wausau, Wisconsin and Engineer/Design: Keller and Harrington

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
2010
Main Span Length
161 Feet (49 Meters)
Structure Length
1,420 Feet (433 Meters)
Roadway Width
24 Feet (7.32 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 7 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
B15010000030000

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

This bascule bridge consists of a through truss, double leaf Scherzer type rolling lift bascule bridge. Fixed through truss spans provide an approach to the bridge. These approach spans make this one of the most unique historic bascule bridges in existence. In the Great Lakes region, most movable bridges cross relatively small rivers, and as such only a short approach (if any) is present leading up to the movable span. Elsewhere in the country, such as on the east coast, movable bridges do have long fixed approaches that lead up to the movable span. However, even in these locations, the approach system is usually composed of small, mundane span types like steel stringer or t-beam spans. In contrast, the majority of the Sturgeon Bay Bridge's approach spans have a 165 foot span length which is actually slightly longer than the bascule span. As a result, the bridge is an impressive structure composed of beautiful trusses from start to finish. The bascule span itself is also significant as a rare truss bascule bridge in Wisconsin, and a significant example of a rolling lift type bascule in Wisconsin. The engineers who designed this bridge, Keller and Harrington, were previously associated with the Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company, the inventors of the rolling lift bascule bridge type.

This is a large, landmark bridge that is highly significant. It also is located in a county with very few historic bridges. Despite this, the bridge was at risk for demolition until a group of citizens successfully managed to get demolition plans canceled for this bridge and instead have the bridge rehabilitated in 2010, the first major rehabilitation since 1979. The bridge is today one of the greatest historic bridge preservation success stories and an icon for the city. The Steel Bridge Songfest, originally held to raise funds to help save the bridge continues to take place in the wake of the rehabilitation.

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

Above: Aerial view of bridge, August 14, 2020. Click for enlargement. Photo Credit: Doug Heim, Angelcopter, LLC

Main Plaque

STUREGON BAY
BRIDGE

1930

DESIGNED BY
WISCONSIN
HIGHWAY COMMISSION

BUILT BY
WAUSAU IRON WORKS
WAUSAU WISCONSIN
 

Lift Span Plaque

LIFT SPAN

DESIGNED FOR
WISCONIN HIGHWAY COMMISSION
BY KELLER & HARRINGTON
CHICAGO

BRIDGE BUILT BY
WAUSAU IRON WORKS
WAUSAU
1930

Memorial Plaque

DEDICATED TO HONOR
THOSE OF
DOOR COUNTY
WHO ANSWERED
THEIR COUNTRY'S CALL
AND
GAVE THEIR SERVICES
IN TIME OF EMERGENCY

National Register Plaque

STURGEON BAY
BRIDGE

THIS PROPERTY
IS LISTED IN THE

NATIONAL REGISTER
OF HISTIORIC PLACES

BY THE UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

AND THE CITIZENS FOR
OUR BRIDGE ORGANIZATION

OPENED JULY 4, 1931

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Sturgeon Bay Bridge

 
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
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
View Video
Drone Footage, Courtesy Doug Heim, Angelcopter, LLC
Full Motion Video
Note: The downloadable high quality version of this video (available on the video page) is well worth the download since it offers excellent 1080 HD detail and is vastly more impressive than the compressed streaming video. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.
View Video
Bridge Raising and Lowering, By Jim Redelfs
Full Motion Video
Note: Video Courtesy, Jim Redelfs, CC BY 3.0, youtube.com/watch?v=vdGIE4tkYwI Note: The downloadable high quality version of this video (available on the video page) is well worth the download since it offers excellent 1080 HD detail and is vastly more impressive than the compressed streaming video. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.

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Maps and Links: Sturgeon Bay Bridge

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