NEW INFORMATION: Deputies investigating cause of partial collapse of bridge in Buffalo Co.

Courtesy: Buffalo County Sheriff's Office
Courtesy: Buffalo County Sheriff's Office(WEAU)
Published: Feb. 21, 2017 at 7:13 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The Buffalo County Highway Department is still investigating what led up to a partial bridge collapse that caused two car crashes Monday night. The bridge in the Town of Waumandee is now closed as highway crews work on coming up with a plan to replace it.

The Buffalo County Sheriff's Department says the collapse happened around 7 p.m. on County Road U near County Road EE northwest of Arcadia.

Farmer John Rosenow knows the area well, he owns a thousand acres of land in the Town of Waumandee. Rosenow’s land is divided by a small creek and was connected by the now collapsed bridge.

“We have about 1,000 head of cattle and we have 850 on this side of the bridge and 150 on the other side,” he explained.

Rosenow says he's traveled across this bridge countless times with tractors, trucks and other farm machinery to take feed to cattle at his other farm. Now with the bridge out, that task will take much longer.

“It normally takes about half an hour. Now we have to haul about 15 miles up and over the bluffs so it will take us two hours a day to feed them all,” he added.

Buffalo County Highway Commissioner Bob Platteter says he is thankful no one was seriously hurt Monday night after two separate vehicles crashed due to the partially collapsed bridge.

In the daylight on Tuesday, crews got to work assessing the damage and figuring out what comes next. Platteter says he believes a flood last August may have contributed to the collapse.

“The south abutment failed. We don't know what made it fail yet, we suspect it has something to do with the flood from last late summer that there was probably an undermining going on that we didn't know about,” Platteter said.

The highway department will be meeting with the Wisconsin DNR and the Department of Transportation to figure out what comes next.

For Rosenow, he hopes the rebuilding process will be quick.

“It's a nice area and I hope we get the bridge back,” he added.

The highway commissioner says crews may have a temporary bypass to the bridge in place soon as crews work to replace another nearby bridge, but a timeline for the bypass and permanent replacement aren't in place yet.

TOWN OF WAUMANDEE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Deputies are trying to figure out what caused a bridge on a rural road west of Arcadia to collapse.

The Buffalo County Sheriff's Office took a report that the bridge on County Road U near County Road EE in the Town of Waumandee had collapsed and that one vehicle had rolled. Crews found that the bridge was partially collapsed when they arrived at the scene. A vehicle was upside down on the road. The driver, Carlos Txompaxtle, 33, of Waumandee, ended up with minor injuries. He declined medical attention. Txompaxtle was heading south on County Road U when his vehicle rolled and hit the bridge abutment.

Deputies said that another vehicle going north on County Road U headed toward the scene. The driver, Karen Pronschinske, 54, of Waumandee couldn't stop before driving over the edge caused by the collapse. Her vehicle went airborne. She was treated for minor injuries at the scene and released.

County Road U at County Road EE is closed to traffic right now. There's no word on when the bridge will re-open to traffic.

TOWN OF WAUMANDEE, Wis. (WEAU) --Near the Town of Waumandee, a bridge located on County Road U near the intersection of County Road EE has collapsed.

You can click "View Map" above to see the exact location where the bridge collapsed.

According to the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page, all traffic will have to use a different route until the Highway Department can fix it.