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Phoenix Park Bridge

Phoenix Park Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): John Marvig

Bridge Documented: May 12, 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Chippewa River State Rail-Trail) Over Chippewa River
Eau Claire: Eau Claire County, Wisconsin: United States
Structure Type
Metal 16 Panel Pin-Connected Whipple Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 10 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1876 By Builder/Contractor: American Bridge Works of Chicago, Illinois

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
232 Feet (70.7 Meters)
Structure Length
526 Feet (160.3 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

John Marvig provided some additional information on this bridge which answered some of the questions this bridge initially presented. His information follows: Bridge was assembled from three different bridges. The 232'6" Whipple Truss was brought in from the East Channel Bridge over the Mississippi River, at La Crosse, Wisconsin. Originally built 1876, the span was cut down 247' in 1903 when it was relocated, and strengthened in 1941 by additional bracing on the upper angle connections and end panels. The other two spans, a pair of 146'3" Pratt Through Trusses were relocated from side by side bridges. One came from the East Channel Bridge in La Crosse, and the other came from the French Slough Bridge, also in La Crosse. Both were built in 1876 as 160' Spans, and cut down in 1903. Strengthened in 1941 when additional bracing was added to the upper connection. The floorbeams came from the original Shortline Bridge across the Mississippi River in 1903, and were originally built 1880. American Bridge Works of Chicago, Illinois built the La Crosse spans. Information comes from the Milwaukee Road Archives at the Milwaukee Central Library

This bridge has a main span that is a rare example of a pin-connected Whipple railroad truss. Many such bridges once existed, but most were replaced by the early decades of the 20th Century with heavier railroad bridges. This bridge was abandoned around 1981 and is today converted for pedestrian use. In addition to the Whipple truss span, the bridge also has three stylistically similar Pratt truss spans. The substructure is concrete and has a 1903 date cast into it. However, the truss spans, by design, appear to be much older, perhaps from the 1880s.


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