Bridge No. 4

NW of La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin

Fourth of six bridges on McGilvray Road


Barrel Shot Looking West

This is a two-span, bowstring truss bridge that was built by the La Crosse Bridge & Steel Co. in 1907. It is 131 feet long and 17 feet wide.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in July 2015




Alexander McGilvray saw an opportunity in 1854 and launched a ferry across the Black River. In 1892, the county built a steel bridge across the river, ending the ferry service. Since McGilvray Road went through backwaters of the Black River and a slough, six wooden bridges were built. The moist environment wrecked wooden bridges quickly, so between 1905 and 1908, a series of five bowstring truss bridges were built with one wooden bridge left behind.

The road was closed in 1948 due to flooding, and in 1954 the steel truss bridge was removed. This is the fourth of five bowstring truss bridges that remain in place. The maintenance of the old bridges is accomplished with volunteer labor, the Friends of McGilvray Road in partnership with the Wisconsin DNR.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on February 27, 1980
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Bowstring Arch Truss Bridge
Areas of significance
Engineering; Transportation
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Road-related; Pedestrian related
Current function
Pedestrian related
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899
Significant years
1892; 1902

Update Log 

  • July 17, 2015: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status, Added Description and Added Photos