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Milwaukee River Railroad Bridge

Milwaukee River Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Dave Michaels

Bridge Documented: September 13, 2009

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Chicago and Northwestern) Over Milwaukee River
Milwaukee: Milwaukee County, Wisconsin: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

Lattice trusses (sometimes called Warren Quadrangular trusses) range from uncommon to rare on a national scale, but are much more common locally in Wisconsin and particularly Milwaukee, relatively speaking. This example is further rare on a national scale as a movable lattice truss. As a swing bridge, this structure does not feature a continuous camelback shape, nor does it feature the two through spans connected by a central tower, instead it is simply a continuous trapezoidal truss. This form is a little less uncommon. The bridge tender building is mounted on the location where a tower most often was seen. Other noteworthy details include the riveted, built-up beams which support the wires on the bridge.

There are a few tanks of unknown purpose on this bridge. Two were seen laying on the deck, another wedged in the members of the truss web. It is unclear if these serve a purpose for the bridge (such as being filled with concrete and acting as counterweights) or if they are just a sign of a railroad owner who left them there and does not care about the appearance of their historic bridge.

This bridge reportedly stays in the open position most of the time and has not swung closed for trains since March 2006.


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