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Dunnville Bottoms Railroad Bridge

Dunnville Bottoms Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 4, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Red Cedar State Rail-Trail) Over Chippewa River
Location
Rural: Dunn County, Wisconsin: United States
Structure Type
Metal 10 Panel Pin-Connected Whipple Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 6 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Morse Bridge Company of Youngstown, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
230 Feet (70 Meters)
Structure Length
860 Feet (262 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 29 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

This is an extremely unusual and fascinating historic bridge that likely has an interesting story. The two truss spans are highly significant, in particular the very rare Whipple truss main span which also has vertical end posts. This bridge has, at one end, Morse Bridge Company builder plaques. The Morse Bridge Company only operated from 1878 to 1888 so the span must date to somewhere in that range, making it a very old surviving railroad truss span. The Pratt truss span next to the Whipple truss span is quite different in appearance from the Whipple truss span. The Pratt truss span has decorative flower buttons on the portal bracing. The differences between the Whipple and Pratt truss spans immediately leads to numerous questions about the history of this crossing. Could it be that these two spans were originally located in other places and were moved here and reused to create this bridge? What other explanation could exist for using two very different designs of truss right next to each other? Why does the Whipple truss have vertical end posts, but the Pratt truss has inclined end posts? John Marvig located an 1894 construction date for this bridge. Since Morse Bridge Company was out of business at that point this date, if accurate, could indicate that the truss spans were reused and moved to this location in 1894. Another aspect of the history of this bridge is its piers appear to be concrete... and look much newer than 1894, suggesting a more recent reconstruction of the substructure. The girder approach spans on this bridge reportedly date to 1910. A subsequent visit to the bridge by John Marvig revealed a 1907 date on the pier for the truss spans. Research into this bridge is ongoing.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Dunnville Bottoms Railroad Bridge

 
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Structure Overview
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A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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Structure Details
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. 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
Structure Overview
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Structure Details
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: Dunnville Bottoms Railroad Bridge

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