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.
Original / Full Size Photos
|A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer|
Mobile Optimized Photos
|A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer|
Bridge Being Opened
Full Motion Video
|Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.|
Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
View Bridge Location In:
© Copyright 2003-2022, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.