N Williams Bridge.JPG

The bridge on North Williams Road in Wood River has a failed center pier under the bridge that helps support the bridge. There are many other piers under the bridge and since finding the failed pier there has been a 10-ton limit posted.

Highway Commissioner Mike Hoefs said there were four options to fix the problem before the bridge gets rebuilt next year.

In March, Wood River was awarded over $250,000 from a grant program with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to replace the bridge next year. But in the meantime, Hoefs and the town of Wood River have agreed to remove overburden pavement on the bridge.

The other options included reduce the posted weight limit and closing the bridge which Hoefs said were not plausible or recommended. He said strengthening the bridge is another option but would be very expensive.

According to Hoefs, there is approximately 10 inches of overburden pavement on the bridge and that is by far the most overburden pavement on any bridge in the county.

Usually the thickness of pavement on a timber bridge deck is around four inches, Hoefs said.

“I'm not sure why there is 10-inches of pavement on the bridge on N. Williams Rd. It very well could be how the bridge was originally designed. Nonetheless, that amount of asphalt pavement adds a lot of weight to the bridge,” Hoefs said.

The Town of Wood River has already approved removing the excess pavement and the project could be done as early as this week. The rehab project should be finished for next year.