WisDOT outlines repairs to Oregon/Jackson Street Bridge in downtown Oshkosh

Nine weeks to replace gears on bridge

Release Date: June 17, 2022

(Oshkosh) The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announces scope, schedule and repair plans for the Oregon/Jackson Street bridge in the city of Oshkosh, Winnebago County. The bridge is currently closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic after a bridge inspector discovered wear on gear components on the south leaf span. The gears are critical to raise and lower the bridge.

At a news conference on Thursday, June 16, 2022 WisDOT Bureau of Structures (BOS), which oversees bridge maintenance and operation on state highways, said there is no structural damage to the Oregon/Jackson Street Bridge beyond worn gear teeth. These new gears must be manufactured and installed before the bridge can be put back into full use. 

Oregon/Jackson Street bridge repair plan, schedule and cost
  • Repair: Remove old gearbox (finished), manufacturer new gears and install in gearbox, reinstall gearbox in bridge.
  • Schedule: Eight-weeks for manufacturing of new gears and another week for reinstallation. Estimated total of nine weeks. 
  • Traffic impacts: The bridge will remain closed to vehicles and pedestrian traffic during repairs. 
    • Repairs may also affect passage of marine traffic for brief periods. 
  • Cost Estimate: $125,000  
  • Updates or modifications to the repair plan will be posted on the Northeast Region maintenance website.

WisDOT worked with the gear manufacturer Regal/Rexnord and movable bridge engineering consultants Hardesty & Hanover to develop the plan for repair. Regal/Rexnord is assisting WisDOT with repairs. 

A WisDOT bridge inspector conducting a routine annual inspection on May 25 noticed a faint, unusual vibration during lifting operations. The inspector identified the gear teeth wear after searching for the cause of the vibration. BOS Supervisor Tom Hardinger, P.E., said inspections are a crucial part of maintaining key infrastructure and ensuring safety.

“The issue discovered on the Oregon/Jackson Street bridge was simply a result of WisDOT’s due diligence inspecting all of our more than 5,000 state-owned bridges,” Said Hardinger. “Bridge inspections allow engineers to identify small defects and potential problem areas in bridges before they develop into major issues.” 

Gears for lift bridges typically outlast the life of the bridge. The cause for the worn gear teeth is not yet determined. The components are under forensic analysis with the manufacture to deduce the exact cause. WisDOT investigated gear components on similar bridges and found no issues with gear wear. 

For more information
Mark Kantola, Regional Communications Manager