Abandoned Red Cedar River Bridge

Abandoned Quadrangular Through Truss Bridge over Red Cedar River
Menomonie, Dunn County, Wisconsin

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Abandoned Red Cedar River Bridge
Built By Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway
Contractor Lassig Bridge & Iron Works of Chicago
Currently Owned By City of Menomonie
Length 470 Feet Total, 150 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 30 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Quadrangular Through Truss, Trestle and I-Beam
Substructure Type Timber Pile
Date Erected Ca. 1920
Date Fabricated (Trusses) Ca. 1890
Original Locations (Trusses) Unknown
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Abandoned)
Current Status Abandoned
C&NW Bridge Number D5
Significance Regional Significance
In 1880, the Menomonie Railway built a line from the existing mainline at Menomonie Junction to downtown Menomonie, as well as a line north to Cedar Falls.
By 1893, the WW became part of the Chicago, St. Paul & Minneapolis Railway, which in turn became part of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway in 1880.
The Omaha road became controlled by the Chicago & North Western Railway upon formation in 1880. The Omaha Road was leased by the C&NW in 1957, and was outright merged in 1972. The C&NW continued to operate this as a main track until 1995, when it was purchased by Union Pacific.
While the route to Cedar Falls was abandoned in 1902, the Menomonie spur lasted until 2002, when it was abandoned.
Today, portions are trails while others are abandoned.

Crossing the Red Cedar River between downtown Menomonie and the UW Stout Campus is this large truss bridge.
Built in approximately 1890 at unknown locations, these two spans were joined in approximately 1920 to replace an older wooden truss bridge.
Like the nearby Wilson Creek Bridge, these trusses are each riveted Quadrangular Through Trusses. It is believed that they may have been relocated from near Gordon or Rice Lake, Wisconsin; or from the Iowa division.
Currently, these two spans are abandoned on wooden substructures. The bridge is approached by trestle spans on either side, and an I-Beam span crosses the former Milwaukee Road, now the Red Cedar State Trail.
The bridge has an unknown future. Maps from the City of Menomonie suggest this bridge will be reused as a trail, and the author hopes this is true. This structure is a large and signature bridge, and would be great for a connection between Downtown Menomonie and the Stout Campus.
Overall, the bridge appears to remain in good condition. However, a proper inspection was not able to be completed due to the nature of this crossing.

The author has ranked this bridge as being regionally significant, due to the large scale design, relocation history and unknown future.
The photo above is an overview.

Red Cedar River Railroad Bridges
Upstream UP Red Cedar River Bridge
Downstream Downsville Railroad Bridge


Source Type


Build Date Estimated based on similar bridges
Contractor Lassig Bridge & Iron Works plaque
Original Location Information Unknown
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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