DM&E Kent Creek Bridge

Pratt Pony Truss Bridge over N. Fork Kent Creek
Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name DM&E Kent Creek Bridge
Built By Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Canadian Pacific Railway
Length 105 Feet Total
Width 2 Tracks, 1 In Use
Height Above Ground 5 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Pratt Pony Truss
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1900
Traffic Count 3 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
MILW Bridge Number B-616
Significance Moderate Significance
Documentation Date March 2015
In 1880, the Central Illinois and Wisconsin Railway built a 15 mile line from Rockton, Illinois to Rockford, Illinois.

The line split away from a Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Mainline at Rockton, and met up with the Illinois Central Line across the state at Rockford.

Early information for the line is extremely unknown, although it is known the line came into the CM&StP in 1900.

By 1912, the CM&StP (Milwaukee Road) added the title "Pacific" to its name, because of the growing empire towards the Pacific Ocean.

The railroad would never recover the debts of its significant pacific expansion, but would instead falter in its competitions shadow until 1985, when it was finally purchased by Soo Line after a massive liquidation.

When Soo Line eventually became part of the Canadian Pacific, Canadian Pacific found itself unable to turn a profit on many former Milwaukee Road Lines, one of which was this one.

The line would become part of I&M Rail Link, later Iowa, Chicago & Eastern. IC&E became part of Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern (which in contrast, operated former Chicago & Northwestern Lines in Minnesota).

The Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern was purchased by Canadian Pacific in 2008, who currently operates this line as the Rockford Subdivision.

Located in a residentail area northwest of downtown Rockford, this truss bridge crosses the N. Fork of Kent Creek.
Built in 1900, likely to replace an older wooden trestle, this bridge consists of a single 6-panel pin connected Pratt Pony Truss, set onto concrete substructures.
This design was a favorite of the Milwaukee Road, particularly due to the small size and durability. At the time of construction, technology for a large girder at this location was still approximately 10 years off.
Today, many of these bridges still exist. Oftentimes, they could be disassembled at one location and moved to another for reassembly. It is not believed that this bridge came from another location.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition with little serious defects easily apparent.

The author has ranked the bridge as being moderately significant, due to the truss design.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date Date stamp
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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