HistoricBridges.org Menu: HistoricBridges.org Menu:


We Recommend These Resources:
Bach Steel - Experts at historic truss bridge restoration.

HistoricBridges.org: Bridge Browser

Clairemont Avenue Railroad Bridge

Clairemont Avenue Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: May 12, 2012 and October 17, 2021

View Photos
and Videos
View Maps
and Links

Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Chippewa River State Rail-Trail) Over Chippewa River
Location
Eau Claire: Eau Claire County, Wisconsin: United States
Structure Type
Metal 8 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 6 Panel Pin-Connected Warren Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1886 By Builder/Contractor: Union Bridge Company of Athens, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1911
Main Span Length
145 Feet (44.2 Meters)
Structure Length
670 Feet (204.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
3 Main Span(s) and 8 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

This is a very old example of a railroad truss bridge, and it is unusual because it has four truss spans with three different designs. Three spans are Pratt truss spans, but one of those spans has a slightly different portal bracing, which lacks a pointed shape at the top found on the other two. Then there is the pin-connected Warren truss span. It also lacks a pointed portal bracing. Pin-connected Warren truss bridges are extremely rare, and this railroad example is particularly rare and significant.

It is not known why such a variety of design details appears on this bridge. Could the spans have been relocated from other crossings and reused here? Stylistically, they all appear to be from the same era, which tends to suggest that this bridge's story isn't a case of a couple original spans being destroyed by flood or derailment decades after original construction and being replaced with new spans... however those types of disasters could also be a cause for relocating and reusing spans from elsewhere here. One span has an 1886 plaque crediting the Union Bridge Company with building that span, but given the design differences in the other spans, it is not known if this company built the other spans. All that is known is that there is no coincidence that this bridge has these design differences among the spans. There is a story hidden here. What that story is remains a mystery!

At the north end of the bridge, there are six timber trestle spans. Then, from north to south, there are four main truss spans, ordered as follows. First, a pin-connected Warren through truss with a rectangular shaped portal bracing, six panels. Next, two eight panel pin-connected Pratt through truss spans featuring portal bracing that comes to a point at the top. Finally, a seven panel pin-connected Pratt through truss, but this span is without the pointed portal bracing and has a more traditional rectangular portal bracing. Finally, the bridge ends at the southern end with a concrete slab span.

The bridge's truss spans appear to be largely unaltered, giving the bridge's spans good historic integrity. The bridge has been converted for pedestrian use. The bridge was originally built for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road). It was abandoned in 1981 and converted to pedestrian use around 2004.

John Marvig provided some additional information on this bridge which answered some of the questions this bridge initially presented. From south to north, a detailed description and history. Date comes from the Milwaukee Road Archives and the Milwaukee Central Library 1-19' Concrete Slab (Built 1911) 1-127'9" Pin Connected Pratt Through Truss, Relocated from the Minnesota River Crossing at Chaska, Minnesota in 1911, originally built 1886 to cross the Zumbro River, at Kellogg, Minnesota. 2-142' Pin Connected Pratt Through Trusses, relocated from Des Moines River crossing at Ottumwa in 1911, originally built 1887. 1-134'6" Pin Connected Warren Through Truss, relocated from Madrid, Iowa crossing of the Des Moines River in 1911, originally built 1888 7-14' Timber Trestle spans, built 1969.


This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos

Divider

Photo Galleries and Videos: Clairemont Avenue Railroad Bridge

 
View Photo Gallery
2012 Bridge Photo-Documentation
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
View Photo Gallery
2012 Bridge Photo-Documentation
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
View Photo Gallery
2021 Additional Unorganized Photos
Original / Full Size Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2021 Additional Unorganized Photos
Mobile Optimized Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

Divider

Maps and Links: Clairemont Avenue Railroad Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

View Bridge Location In:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within a half mile of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles of this bridge.

Google Maps

Google Streetview (If Available)

Bing Maps

OpenStreetMap

Apple Maps (Via DuckDuckGo Search)

Apple Maps (Apple devices only)

MapQuest

HERE We Go Maps

ACME Mapper

Waze Map

Android: Open Location In Your Map or GPS App

Flickr Gallery (Find Nearby Photos)

Wikimedia Commons (Find Nearby Photos)

Directions Via Sygic For Android

Directions Via Sygic For iOS and Android Dolphin Browser

USGS National Map (United States Only)

Historical USGS Topo Maps (United States Only)

CalTopo Maps (United States Only)


Divider
 
Home Top

Divider

About - Contact

© Copyright 2003-2021, 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.

Admin Login

Divider