Brule River Trail Bridge

Quadrangular Deck Truss Bridge over Brule River
Tyran, Florence County, Wisconsin
Rural Iron County, Michigan

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Brule River Trail Bridge
Built By Chicago & North Western Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Florence County/Iron County
Length 210 Feet Total, 130 Foot Main Spans
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 20 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Double Intersection Warren Deck Truss and Deck Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built Ca. 1902
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
C&NW Bridge Number 787
Significance Moderate Significance
In 1880,the Menominee Railway built from Florence, Wisconsin to State Line, Michigan. This short new line skirted the top of the Menominee River.
At the same time, the Menominee River Railroad was building from State Line to Quinnesec, Michigan. This included a new bridge across the Menominee River near Iron Mountain.

The Menominee Railway became a part of the Menominee River Railroad in 1880. The Menominee River Railroad continued building northwest, where it would reach Crystal Falls.

The railroad became a part of the Chicago & North Western in 1882, who was already operating several lines in the area.

The last major expansion to the line came in 1887, when a connection from Quinnesec to Powers, Michigan was built.
This connection provided connections to the rest of the Chicago & North Western system, as well as Escanaba.

By the 1890s, some small mine branches were built near Crystal Falls. However, the line stayed as part of the Chicago & North Western System.

However, the rail line was abandoned in 1979. Currently, it is used as an offroading trail. The portion from Powers to Iron Mountain is still active, and is owned by Canadian National.

This large bridge crosses the Brule River near Tyran, Wisconsin. It lies in a heavily rural area, surrounded by dense forest.

The bridge is a centerpiece on the State Line Trail in the area. The structure features a single double intersection warren deck truss span. This span features riveted connections and is set on concrete substructures.
In addition, the bridge is approached by a deck girder span on either end.

The bridge overall appears to be in excellent condition with little structural deterioration noted. The bridge is quite a hike, but can be accessed from the trail at Second Crossing Road.

The bridge has been ranked as being moderate significant by the author due to the more modern age of the structure. However, the structure is still an exemplary example of this design.
The build date is a likely build date, based on two identical trusses (one in Minnesota and one in Iowa).

The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date Estimated based on identical bridges
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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