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Dunnville Bottoms Railroad Bridge

Dunnville Bottoms Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 4, 2013 and October 17, 2021

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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 (Double-Intersection Pratt) Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 6 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1881 By Builder/Contractor: Morse Bridge Company of Youngstown, Ohio
Rehabilitation Date
1932
Main Span Length
233.5 Feet (71.2 Meters)
Structure Length
860.0 Feet (262.1 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 29 Approach Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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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 Whipple truss span 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 notes that the Pratt truss span is a known 1885-1886 design and may date to that time. Another aspect of the history of this bridge is its piers appear to be concrete... suggesting a more recent construction/reconstruction of the substructure. 

John Marvig did extensive research and after an exhaustive search he figured out the story of this bridge, which is extremely complicated. The key finding was the source of the unusual Whipple truss which was the previous bridge at Kingsford.

The bridge consists of the following spans:
2 Spans Pine Trestle, constructed 1930
1-233'6" Whipple Through Truss, converted from a deck truss built ca. 1881 and moved here from Bridge #U-464; Iron Mountain (Kingsford), MI; moved here 1908
1-103'6" Pratt Through Truss, originally constructed in 1886 at Bridge #B-256 (Spring Green, Wisconsin) and moved here in 1928
2-84' Twinned Deck Girders, Originally built at Bridge #Z-100, Fox River (Elgin, IL) in 1881, replaced 1920-1, and moved here and twinned 1928
14 Span Pile Trestle (332') Renewed 1932

Information comes from the La Crosse & River Division bridge index at the Milwaukee Central Library (Box 79, Folder 1)

 

 

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Dunnville Bottoms Railroad Bridge

 

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2021 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.
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2021 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.
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View Photo Gallery

2013 Structure Overview

Original / Full Size Photos
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.
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View Photo Gallery

2013 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

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View Photo Gallery

2013 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

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View Photo Gallery

2013 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

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

Search For Additional Bridge Listings:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

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HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

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