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Rail—a train is visible in the scene—has a somewhat challenged recent history in Madison. For a time, the city mandated that trains could not sound their horn when crossing a street. More recently, there is a move to introduce high speed passenger rail, potentially connecting downtown Madison to Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago and places beyond. The Governor has already purchased two Spanish-built trains. A proposed downtown station has been named after him (the Governor elected not to seek re-election this fall).
I thought this place represented a crossroads of sorts, both physically and politically.
The plaque refers to Norwegian Consul Halle Steensland who donated $10,000 in 1904 for a stone bridge over the Yahara River. That bridge was widened in 1950 and replaced completely in 2006. The plaque is from the original bridge.