Gilbert Creek Trail Bridge

Pratt Pony Truss Bridge over Gilbert Creek
Menomonie, Dunn County, Wisconsin

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Gilbert Creek Trail Bridge
Built By Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railway
Contractor Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Company of Milwaukee
Currently Owned By Wisconsin DNR
Length 195 Feet Total, 90 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track, 2 Trail Lanes
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Pratt Pony Truss and Trestle
Substructure Type Timber Pile
Date Erected Ca. 1920
Date Fabricated (Truss) Ca. 1900
Original Location (Truss) Unknown
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
MILW Bridge Number G-358
Significance Regional Significance
In 1882, the Chippewa Falls and Superior Railway wished to build from an existing line in Wabasha, Minnesota to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
The same year, the route was extended to Menomonie from Red Cedar Junction.
The route was completed to Chippewa Falls by 1883, but never was extended north to Superior. It was purchased by Milwaukee Road.
At Reeds Landing, a large pontoon bridge allowed bridges to cross the Mississippi River.
By 1882, the railroad was purchased by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway. Known as the Milwaukee Road, this route became a spur for the railroad giant.
The Milwaukee Road was renamed the Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific Railway in 1915. By 1951, the Pontoon Bridge was dealt a severe blow by ice, and the line was abandoned from Durand to Wabasha.

The remaining portion was purchased by the State of Wisconsin in 1979, and was operated by private owners. Despite the promise, a bridge strength issue in Eau Claire would not allow train operations to be feasible, and the route was abandoned in 1981.
In the 1980s, Wisconsin turned it into a trail, and by 2004 the trail was complete to Eau Claire. The Red Cedar branch is also used as a trail.
These trails are named the Chippewa Valley and Red Cedar State Trails.

This Pony Truss bridge across Gilbert Creek carries the Red Cedar State Trail.
The truss is a 6 panel, pin connected standard Milwaukee Road Pratt Pony Truss.
The bridge is supported by wooden pile piers, and approached by Wooden Trestle.
This type of structure was built in approximately 1900, and would've been relocated to this location from an unknown location.
Overall, the bridge appears to remain in good condition. It is located near the back side of Riverside park, just off WI-29.

The author has ranked this bridge as being regionally significant, due to the relocation history.
The photo above is an overview of the deck level of the truss.


Source Type


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

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