The arched stone bridge on Berlin Street was originally built in 1906 to cross the Crystal River.
The bridge was later widened to 28 feet and paved several times to accommodate automobiles and a growing amount of traffic.
A June traffic count indicates that 2,820 vehicles cross the bridge daily.
Because Berlin Street is also County Road E, its maintenance falls under the county’s jurisdiction.
Every two years, the Waupaca County Highway Department conducts inspections of all bridges in the county. A recent inspection of the Berlin Street bridge revealed several areas of concern.
“Wing walls have shown signs of bulging, cement mortar is loose or missing, and there is some erosion of the structure along the waterline,” according to Dean Steingraber, the Waupaca County highway commissioner.
Steingraber said the county has requested a second opinion from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s bridge engineers.
“At this time, inspectors do not feel that the structural integrity of the bridge is in question,” Steingraber said. “However, left unattended, the bridge could deteriorate rapidly.”
Steingraber said the highway department anticipates major maintenance of the structure in the near future but hopes that the maintenance will delay having to replace the century-old bridge.