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Cobban Bridge free for those who can move it

Chippewa County, with assistance from the WisDOT, is offering the historic Cobban Bridge free of charge for relocation. The recipient must be willing to relocate the bridge from its current location on County Hwy. TT over the Chippewa River, between the towns of Eagle Point and Arthur, and maintain its historic integrity at a new location.

The Cobban Bridge is a two-span, Pennsylvania throughtruss bridge. It features two ,241-foot spans and is 486 feet, 5 inches long, and 16 feet, 1 inch wide. The structure originally was built in 1908, and later dismantled, moved and reconstructed at its present location, between Jim Falls and Cornell, in 1918-19.

However, it has reached the end of its service life and needs to be replaced. Construction of a new structure at the the Cobban Bridge’s present location, is expected to begin in summer or fall 2022, and be completed in spring or summer 2023.

To acquire the structure, interested parties, including private citizens, non-profit groups or local units of government, must prepare and submit a proposal for the WisDOT and State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) review.

Proposals should follow guidelines specified in an information packet, which is available by mail from: Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Attn: Matthew Thornsen, 718 W. Clairemont Ave., Eau Claire, WI 5470. Guidelines can also be mailed to [email protected]

Requests for information packets must be submitted to the address or email address above, no later than Oct. 9. Requests received after this date cannot be guaranteed for consideration. Proposals will be due 60 days from receipt of the information packet.

The recipient of the Cobban Bridge must agree to relocate the structure to a suitable location, and assume all future legal and financial responsibility for it. The structure is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under criterion C – engineering – as the single remaining example of a Pennsylvania through-truss bridge in Wisconsin.

Work and repairs on bridges eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, must be made according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings, and are subject to approval and review by the WisDOT and SHPO.

Proposals will be selected based on the feasibility of the relocation and funding plan. Ownership of the bridge will be transferred at no cost, after review and approval.

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