The Cobban Bridge: A Testament to Resilience, Ingenuity, and Community Spirit

Posted By: Jason Isaacson Blog,

Written by: Jason Issacson, PE, of CBS Squared Inc.

A Treasured Symbol

Tucked away in the heart of Chippewa County, Wisconsin, CTH TT, locally known as Cobban Bridge, has stood as a beloved symbol of unity and strength against the backdrop of the region’s scenic landscapes. However, in 2017, this Pennsylvania Through Truss bridge, rich in history and community significance, was closed due to extensive deterioration. This closure left the community in need of reconnection and initiated a remarkable journey of revival.

Balancing Nature and Necessity

The revival of the Cobban Bridge was not without its challenges, but it became a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and the preservation of community heritage. A significant challenge lay in striking the delicate balance between preserving the ecosystem, specifically protecting the endangered Wood Turtle, and ensuring efficient construction.

A Vital Partnership

To address this unique challenge, a partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was formed. CBS², through performing construction observation and eventually taking ownership of closing the project, played a pivotal role in breathing life back into the bridge. These partnerships rekindled the vital link that connects Cobban with its neighboring regions.

Harmony Between Construction and Conservation

The project made a remarkable stride by permitting in-stream work during the Wood Turtle’s overwinter nesting phase, contingent upon regular underwater inspections to ensure the turtles’ safety. This harmonious coexistence between construction and conservation was a critical breakthrough that bolstered the project’s success. The new Cobban Bridge brought immeasurable benefits to the community. It now signifies improved accessibility, enhanced safety, and a renewed connection to nearby rural communities. Agricultural users enjoy a more efficient route to access fields on both sides of the river, leading to increased operational efficiency.

Preserving Heritage and Fostering Unity

This project underlines the critical importance of preserving community heritage and maintaining the bonds that connect us, all while embracing innovation and environmental stewardship. It stands as a blueprint for future projects that harmonize engineering excellence and community values. The Cobban Bridge is more than just a bridge; it’s a symbol of what we can achieve when we come together with a shared vision for the future.

About the Guest Blogger

Jason is a highly experienced construction project manager/project engineer with a background in transportation facility construction and design. He has over 12 years of experience working on WisDOT projects, including 8 years as a project leader. In addition to his primary responsibilities, he assists with highway design and has provided mentorship to new project leaders and construction project

Return to blog home