Milwaukee Bridges

Did you know that there are 16 bridges along the Milwaukee River from the northernmost point of the RiverWalk — the Humboldt Street Bridge — to the southern end — the Milwaukee Street Bridge in the Historic Third Ward? Stroll the RiverWalk, enjoy an excursion boat cruise, or paddle the river by kayak or canoe to see them all.

Types Of Bridges Downtown On The Milwaukee River

  • Standard fixed bridge 
  • Bascule bridge (drawbridge): The most common type of movable bridge which opens quickly and requires little energy to operate. 
  • Vertical lift bridge: Rises vertically and remains parallel with the deck. 

Bridge Operation

The movable bridges are operated by a combination of bridge workers, who man the bridge houses at each bridge, and off-site operation using remote control cameras and switches. The bridges have different hours of operation and follow procedures set by the Department of Public Works, including regular opening times and advance call-in guidelines.

Reflecting the time period in which the bridges were built - Neoclassical, Art Deco and Modern - the bridge houses contain the electrical controls and are characterized by a tower-like profile which provides superior overview of passing vessels.

More on Milwaukee's Growth & Development

Like a vibrant ribbon, the Milwaukee River, with its sidewalk cafes, shops, public art, green spaces, and special events, has defined development in downtown Milwaukee.