Abandoned Forest Street Underpass (North)

Trestle and Steel Stringer Bridge over Forest Street
Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Old Forest Street Underpass (North)
Built By Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By City of Eau Claire
Length 80 Feet Total, 30 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 13 Feet
Type Steel Stringer and Trestle
Date Built 1918
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Abandoned)
Current Status Abandoned, Future Uncertain
Significance Minimally Significant
In 1870 and 1871 the Western Wisconsin Railway and St. Paul and Taylors Falls Railway began a joint project to build a line connecting St. Paul, Minnesota to Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

The line also connected to Augusta and points east via a line that was built the same time.

Starting in St. Paul, the line would leave on the east side, cross the St. Croix River at Hudson, and continue through such towns as Roberts, Baldwin, Woodville, Knapp and Elk Mound before arriving on the north side of downtown Eau Claire. The main terminal was east of Eau Claire in Altoona.

The railroads were purchased by the Chicago, St. Paul Milwaukee and Omaha, which later started to dissolve into the Chicago Northwestern.

Over the next 40 years the line experianced major changes. Many sections of the line were relocated.

Also, in 1911, 1912 and 1913 a second mainline track was built. This resulted in many relocations, and many new bridges.

Perhaps the most famous of all these is the relocation off of the 1880 bridge over the Chippewa River in Eau Claire, and onto a new bypass around the north side of town. This also meant a new double track bridge was built about a mile above the old bridge. This happened in 1903, and the bridge was rebuilt in 1911.

The line was heavily used to get to Milwaukee from places such as Sioux City via the Twin Cities.

The second mainline was removed in many places around 1963. Although some segments of it still exist.

The Union Pacific came into control of the Chicago Northwestern in 1995. Today this line still is a mainline, and is known as the Altoona Sub. It sees a half-dozen trains a day.

This is the northern of the 2 bridges that cross Forest Street in this area. The other is the Abandoned Forest Street Bridge (S)

This is also the lowest. This one served the Cascade Tissue plant as a spur. It is also near the Northwestern Railroad Bridge

There isn't anything too unusual about this bridge. It is just a simple bridge.
Its future may be uncertain however, as Eau Claire looks to redevelop the area.

The author has ranked the bridge as minimally significant due to the common design.

The photo above is looking at the north face of the bridge.

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