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La Crosse Railroad Bridge

   


La Crosse Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 9, 2013
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Canadian Pacific) Over Mississippi River (West Channel)
Location
Rural: Houston County, Minnesota
Structure Type
Metal Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Movable: Swing (Rim Bearing Center Pier) and Approach Spans: Metal 9 Panel Pin-Connected Parker Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1902 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1952
Main Span Length
359 Feet (109.4 Meters)
Structure Length
1055.2 Feet (321.6 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 5 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge is an increasingly rare surviving and unaltered example of a historic railroad bridge over the Mississippi River. Nearly all the historic railroad bridges on the Mississippi River are at a general risk for demolition or severe alteration. Numerous boats use the river, and the long-held dislike of boats for swing spans with obstructive center piers that has existed for well over a century remains alive today, putting the swing spans that are usually found on historic Mississippi River railroad bridges at risk for demolition. Furthermore, the limited number of railroad crossings over the river tends to funnel a lot of railroad mainline traffic onto the bridges, and so many are also at risk for severe alteration or replacement as railroads seek to run taller loads at higher speeds. The La Crosse Railroad Bridge has been targeted for demolition and replacement for the navigation reason in the past. For now, the plans appear to be halted, but the bridge should be considered to be at a general demolition risk as it is likely only a matter of time before the plans are reignited. As it stands, the La Crosse Railroad Bridge is significant for surviving in an unaltered condition. It has a variety of spans as follows from east to west: One 40.6 foot deck plate girder span, two 164.2 foot pin-connected Pratt through truss spans, one 248 foot pin-connected Parker truss span, one 359 foot pin-connected truss swing span, and one 75 foot deck plate girder span. Built in 1902 to replace an 1875 bridge, the 1902 bridge was originally steam powered but was converted to electrical in 1952. On average, 3400 bridge transits are made annually. A bridge tender is on duty 24 hours a day seven days a week.

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Photos and Videos: La Crosse Railroad Bridge

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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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A collection of overview and detail photos. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
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A collection of overview and detail photos. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
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Bridge Being Opened
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Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.

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