ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Watertown Bridges


Revised City Charter of City of Watertown, 1894

SECTION 230 - Jurisdiction of River and Bridges


All that part of Rock river within the boundaries of said city, shall be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the said city and its council, and all bridges over the said river, within the limits aforesaid, shall be under its jurisdiction, and the mayor and council of said city are fully empowered to build bridges over said river, remove obstructions and filth, and cause the said river to be kept as clean and as pure as possible; and the said common council shall have power to prevent the erection of buildings or structures of any kind in or upon said river, and to prevent the repairing of any building or structure of any kind now erected in and upon said river, within the limits of said city.  All buildings which are or hereafter may be erected in or upon said river, and adjoining or communicating with any bridge crossing said river, shall be liable to a special tax each year, to be levied and expended under the direction of the common council, for the purpose of insuring said bridge against loss or damage by fire, which said sum so to be levied and expended, shall be fixed by the common council, and shall be apportioned among the said buildings, respectively, according to the proportionate risk that in the opinion of the common council each ought to bear; provided, that the taxing of said buildings shall confer no right to continue the same beyond the time for which the insurance may be effected.



06 16       To the Mayor and Common Council:  Your Committee of one has examined the city bridges according to his instruction by the Council.  Blanchard St. [Boughton] bridge is in good passable condition but recommend booming the same to keep the logs from doing further damage.  Labaree [Second St] bridge to be repaired by putting a stringer under center of sidewalk and properly secured to keep the plank[s] in their place, also raising and securing one bent [warped plank?] that has settled out of place.  Cady St. bridge [needs repair to its] long span by replacing 1 1/2 [inch diameter?] rods in place of 7/8 now in, not being of suitable strength to sustain the amount required.  Yours respectfully, S. J. Steele, Committee.   WDT


09 01       Main Street Bridge being repaired   WD




The Common Council held a special meeting, pursuant to the call of the Mayor, on October 8th, 1862.


The Mayor stated that the purpose for calling this special meeting was to advise with the council in regard to a suit brought against the city by C. Achtenhagen for the loss of his son who fell through the Second Street bridge and drowned, claiming damages to the amount of $2,000.


On motion of Ald. Fischer, the Mayor was directed to employ legal assistance to defend the suit.


The Mayor introduced the following resolution which was unanimously adopted:


Resolved, That the Committee on Streets and Bridges be and they are hereby directed to immediately examine the several bridges of the city across Rock River, and if in their opinion any of them are unsafe for travel they are directed to fence up the approaches to the same in a substantial manner and also remove one tier of stringers on each bridge in order to prevent foot travel.  Provided that any bridge which, in their opinion, can be made safe for twenty-five dollars, they shall order the same repaired.



02 08       It might not be out of order to call the attention of the committee on streets and bridges to the wisdom of a thorough overhauling of all the iron bridges in the city.  The season is an unusually severe one, and the dangers from contraction should be guarded against.  WR



Flood and ice jam in April swept away building on middle of Main St. bridge



01 01       Near drownings near Main St bridge




The west walk on North Fourth Street bridge was torn to pieces and hundreds of large shade trees were torn from the roots.



10 27       Bridge connecting Emmet and Market streets proposed



07 25       Plans to rehabilitate the N Fourth Street bridge, resurface the N Water Street bridge




Almost 30 bridges in Dodge and Jefferson counties have been rated as either functionally obsolete or structurally deficient by inspectors, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.  A total of 18 bridges in Dodge County are either functionally obsolete or structurally deficient, while 11 in Jefferson County share that same classification.


Of the 11 functionally obsolete or structurally deficient bridges in Jefferson County, three of them are in Watertown.  The Main Street bridge over the Rock River is considered structurally deficient and the South Church Street bridge over the Rock River and the Highway 16 bridge over Boughton Street are functionally obsolete.


The Main Street bridge, which was built in 1930, had an average daily traffic count of 14,280 vehicles per day in 2003, the last time the DOT did a traffic study on the structure.


A bridge is labeled as structurally deficient it means the structure has some elements needing corrective action, but it is not necessarily unsafe for traffic.  Structurally deficient means the bridge was not necessarily built to today's standards or there may be something wrong with it that is causing some of the ratings to go down.    WDT




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin