The Racine West 6th Street Bridge, situated over the picturesque Root River in Racine, WI, is an iconic piece of the city's architectural history. Originally designed by Charles S. Whitney and completed in December 1928, it quickly became renowned for its beauty and unique open spandrel concrete arch design.
Recently, the 6th Street Bridge underwent a major transformation. The project involved the replacement of the historic bridge, including the removal of the existing structure and its substructures. During the demolition process, great care was taken to preserve historical artifacts, which were then thoughtfully integrated into the new design, maintaining the spirit of the original bridge.
The new structure, that spans over both the river and a 2-lane road, features Wells prefabricated bridge girders on the river span section, reaching over 122 feet each. Wells also designed and manufactured two specialty fascia girders, shown above the stunning archway designs.
The result is a bridge that not only pays homage to its historic roots but also incorporates salvaged historical artifacts and shares them with the local Racine Heritage Museum. Even the iconic terra cotta gargoyle, a symbol of the original bridge, has been preserved and replicated, ensuring that the legacy of the Racine West 6th Street Bridge endures as a blend of past and present architectural excellence.