PROJECT UPDATE: Based on an overall assessment of our improvement alternatives that included public feedback, WisDOT is moving forward with Alternative M4, a high-level fixed bridge on a partially offset alignment, as our preferred alternative. A draft version of our environmental document is anticipated in Summer 2023. A layout of the M4 preferred alternative is shown on the 'Alternatives and maps' page.
Oregon/Jackson Street Bridge crosses the Fox River in downtown Oshkosh, Winnebago County.
The existing bridge was constructed in 1956 and is nearing its service life. While the bridge is still safe for all travel, a recent investigation of the bridge (April 2021) has confirmed a number of issues that need to be addressed. WisDOT is leading an environmental study that is investigating a wide range of improvement alternatives including:
- A no-build alternative
- Rehabilitating the existing bridge
- Replacing with a high-level fixed bridge on the existing location
- Replacing with a bascule bridge on the existing location
- Replacing with a bascule bridge on a new location
You can view all alternatives from the study at the
alternatives and maps page.
- Environmental study resumed in August/September 2021.
- Construction 2028
- WisDOT will conduct targeted maintenance activities on the existing bridge until construction begins in 2028. Maintaining the bridge will utilize the structures additional service life while still allowing for potential reconstruction/replacement well within the timeframe when more costly repairs are anticipated.
View project design and construction schedule
The purpose of the project is to continue providing a safe, reliable crossing for Oregon/Jackson Street over the Fox River. Any bridge improvement will address structural and geometric deficiencies of the existing bridge, maintain safe access and passage for all users including motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, persons with disabilities, and waterway users, meet transportation demand, and comply as much as possible with all state, regional and local plans, including city redevelopment planning.
Current bridge deficiencies
WisDOT bridge engineers determined the bridge is safe and structurally sound, and there are no significant safety concerns to traveling public that would necessitate a high-cost improvement project prior to 2028. While scheduled and preventative maintenance will allow WisDOT to utilize the remaining service life of the existing bridge, there are deficiencies that have been grouped into three general areas (deficiencies, operations, safety). These deficiencies do not compromise safety of the traveling public and many of he deficiencies can be addressed with maintenance operations until a reconstruction/rehabilitation/replacement project in 2028.
- Movable bridge machinery shows signs of wear and corrosion and needs replacement
- Deterioration of tack welds and steel plates require repair
- Cracking and spalling on concrete surfaces of bridge piers
- Sidewalks are less than the standard widths
- Approach spans and sidewalks need repair
- Vertical profiles of roadway approaches are below current design standards
- Bridge tender has poor visibility to monitor vehicles and pedestrians when raising the bridge
- Low vertical clearance – Bridge had 400 more openings in 2015 than adjacent bridges
- Vehicle crash rate is above statewide average for similar roadways
- Bridge railing of bascule span is offset into sidewalk, creating potential hazards for pedestrians and bicyclists
- Narrow lane and sidewalk widths do not provide safe bicycle accommodations
- Riverwalk pedestrians and bicycle traffic are required to cross road at grade (cannot cross under bridge), creating a mid-block, at-grade pedestrian crossing
- Steel grid panels in deck are offset and present a hazard to bicyclists
- Approach sidewalks have settled and present a tripping hazard
Benefits of replacement or rehabilitation improvement alternatives
Any bridge replacement option has the following benefits:
- Improved safety – A desirable width and profile that should improve safety for all users.
- Replacement options increase the bridge width to accommodate 11-foot travel lanes as well as 5-foot bicycle lanes and 6-foot sidewalks on both sides.
- Improved traffic flow/boat passage – Allows for the potential to improve navigation clearance for boaters.
- Current navigation clearance is 2-3’ less than adjacent bridges. An improved navigation clearance results in less delay for boaters and less traffic congestion in the downtown area from bridge openings.
- Improved multi-modal opportunities - Better accommodations for bicycle and pedestrian travel and links to the river walks on both shores, including the potential to separate the river walks under a new bridge.
- Less future impact – Provides a bridge life of roughly 75 years before the next major bridge improvement is required.
- Under a rehabilitation scenario, a complete replacement could be postponed for approximately 25-30 years, but a replacement will still be required at that point.
A high-level fixed bridge option includes the additional benefits:
- 23' vertical clearance allows for all boaters to pass under the bridge without any need for a lift span.
- Lowest overall cost compared to new bascule bridge or rehabilitation when evaluated over a 75-year typical bridge life span.
- Much less future maintenance compared to any bascule bridge alternative.
- Provides a continuous river crossing without interruptions for emergency services.
A bridge rehabilitation option has the following benefits:
- Cost – Based on initial study estimates, a rehabilitation option addresses the bridge's structural deficiencies at a lower initial cost than the replacement options.
- Real Estate – A rehabilitation option requires less real estate than any replacement option that involves a new alignment or a raised profile.
Bill Bertrand, P.E., WisDOT Project Manager
Tammy Rabe, P.E. WisDOT Project Supervisor
Mark Kantola, WisDOT Communications Manager
Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT)
944 Vanderperren Way
Green Bay, WI 54304
Phone: (920) 492-5643
Fax: (920) 492-5640