Wisconsin’s Most-Traveled Worst Bridges

By Jessica Lee

March 29, 2023

One in three US bridges needs to be repaired or replaced. How safe are the ones you cross every day? 

Every two years, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) publishes a bridge report for every US state. Of Wisconsin’s more than 14,000 bridges, 922 (6.4%) have been labeled “structurally deficient” according to the most recent report. This puts the Badger State right in the middle of the pack at #25 when compared to other states. West Virginia leads the country with 20% of its bridges labeled “structurally deficient.”

And yes, “structurally deficient” is as bad as it sounds. When inspectors evaluate a bridge, they assign a score of zero to 10. Scores below a five indicate the bridge is structurally deficient, in poor condition, and has at least one failing structural element

Before we share the state’s worst, here are some interesting facts about Wisconsin’s bridges:

  • As of 2021, Wisconsin interstates are home to 23 structurally-deficient bridges. 
  • More than 91% of the state’s structurally-deficient bridges are outside of the National Highway System, meaning you’re more likely to find a dangerous bridge on a county or city road. 
  • Wisconsin currently has 1,760 bridges that need to be repaired, down from 1,955 in 2018. 

We compiled a list of the most-traveled worst bridges in Wisconsin. NOTE: Our list is organized by interstate and highway, followed by bridges on other roads and arteries. 

Not included on this list? Use this interactive map to see how the bridges you drive scored.

This map shows the of structurally deficient bridges by state Purple is 0 49 Orange is 5 89 And Blue is 9 or higher

Worst Bridges on Interstate 43 

Wisconsin’s I-43 connects the 191 miles from Beloit to Green Bay via Milwaukee. Fortunately, these bridges and some others on I-43 are scheduled to be replaced by the end of 2023. 

Bridge Over Glendale Avenue (North/South)

Location: Milwaukee

Year Built: 1960

Daily Crossings: 126,000

Bridge Over W. Hampton Avenue (North/South)

Location: Milwaukee

Year Built: 1959

Daily Crossings: 107,000

Bridge Over CTH U (North/South)

Location: Milwaukee

Year Built: 1969

Daily Crossings: 21,650

Worst Bridges on Interstate 94

I-94 enters Wisconsin in Hudson, east of St. Paul, Minnesota, and meanders through the state, connecting Eau Claire, Madison, and Milwaukee, before it runs parallel with the Lake Michigan shoreline until it reaches Illinois. The 39/90/94 and Hwy. 60 interchange has been under construction for the last couple of years and is expected to be finished by spring 2024

Bridge Over Wilson Creek (East/West)

Location: Dunn County East of Menomonie

Year Built: 1959

Daily Crossings: 33,200

Bridge Over Mitchell Blvd. (East/West)

Location: Milwaukee

Year Built: 1959

Daily Crossings: 82,500

Bridge Over State Hwy 60 (39/90/94)

Location: Lodi

Year Built: 1961

Daily Crossings: 26,100

Worst Bridges on Interstate 39

I-39 connects Bloomington, Illinois, to the Wausau area, running with I-90 and I-94 in part of the state. Construction on these bridges started in the summer of 2022, but the DOT has not yet released an estimated completion date.

Bridge Over Fv&W Crossing (Northbound)

Location: Plover area

Year Built: 1969

Daily Crossings: 24,700

Bridge Over County Rd. B/Plover Rd. (Southbound)

Location: Plover

Year Built: 1969

Daily Crossings: 21,800

Other Milwaukee Bridges

The Milwaukee area is home to many of Wisconsin’s most-traveled worst bridges. You’ll encounter the majority of them on I-41, county roads, and other major and minor arteries around the area. 

I-41 over W. Mill Rd. (CTH S)

Location: Milwaukee

Year Built: 1967

Daily Crossings: 62,000

Hwy 36 (Loomis Rd.) over I-41/43/894

Location: Milwaukee

Year Built: 1966

Daily Crossings: 31,300

Good Hope Rd. (CTH PP) over the Milwaukee River

Location: Milwaukee

Year Built: 1969

Daily Crossings: 26,100

N. Teutonia Ave. over Lincoln Creek 

Location: Milwaukee

Year Built: 1936

Daily Crossings: 21,700

Redford Blvd. over Green Rd.

Location: Pewaukee

Year Built: 1966

Daily Crossings: 25,350

Worst Bridges in the Madison Area

The Madison metro is also home to two of Wisconsin’s most-traveled worst bridges, both located on the same street in Middleton that were damaged during last summer’s historic flooding.

Century Ave. (CTH M) over Pheasant Branch Creek

Location: Madison

Year Built: 1956

Daily Crossings: 36,178

Century Ave. (CTH M) over Pheasant Branch Creek

Location: Pewaukee

Year Built: 1949

Daily Crossings: 22,998


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