C&NW Bridge #419

Abandoned Deck Truss Trestle over Unnamed Ravine
Near Benoit, Bayfield County, Wisconsin

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name C&NW Bridge #419
Built By Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway
Contractor Lassig Bridge & Iron Works
Currently Owned By Bayfield County
Length 240 Feet Total, 80 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 20 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Double Intersection Warren Deck Truss and Deck Girder
Substructure Type Steel Tower and Stone Masonry
Date Built 1891
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Abandoned)
Current Status Abandoned
C&NW Bridge Number 419
Significance Moderate Significance
In 1881, the North Wisconsin Railway began building north from Hudson, Wisconsin with a goal of reaching Lake Superior.

They didn't build their line very fast, and only reached Spooner by 1879. At this point, the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway gained control.
The next year, the line would be extended to Cable. It would reach Mason by 1882 and would hit Lake Superior at Bayfield in 1883.

In 1882, prior to the completion of this line, the CStPM&O began operations under Chicago & North Western control.
These operations would continue until 1957, when the C&NW outright purchased the line.

The line was a major agricultural and ore hauling line. The C&NW also had a parallel line which stretched from Eau Claire to Superior.
The two lines crossed in Superior.

The Chicago & North Western was one of the last railroads to pull up all of its branch lines, and decided to pull up this line in 1980.

A small segment from Trego to Hayward still exists as the Wisconsin Great Northern Railway, which is a tourist railroad.

The vast majority of the rest of the line is abandoned grades, with some trail segments using the grade.

Hidden deep in the woods, this unique deck truss bridge crosses an unnamed ravine.
Built in 1891, the bridge was built to replace a trestle during a time of rebuilding on this route.
Currently, the bridge consists of a main Double Intersection Warren Deck Truss. This 80 foot main span features riveted connections, typical of these lightweight deck trusses.
In addition to the main truss span, the bridge also features a pair of deck girder spans on either end. The entire bridge rests on steel and stone substructures.
While this bridge rests on public land owned by Bayfield County, the former right of way is surrounded by private property.
Overall, the bridge remains in very good condition. While it is hoped that the bridge can someday be reused for snowmobile use, it is not likely.

The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the old age of the bridge.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date Eleventh Annual Report of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

Widget is loading comments...

© Copyright 2010- John Marvig and Contributors. All Rights Reserved