Hudson Swing Bridge

Through Truss Swing Bridge over St. Croix River
Hudson, St. Croix County, Wisconsin
Lakeland, Washington County, Minnesota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Hudson Swing Bridge
Built By Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 568 Feet Total, 319 Foot Swing Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Pratt Through Truss and Parker Pony Truss
Substructure Type Stone Masonry and Concrete
Date Built 1912
Traffic Count 15 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
UP Bridge Number 18.61
Significance Moderate Significance
Between 1868 and 1872, the West Wisconsin Railway would construct 188 miles of track in western and central Wisconsin.
Starting in Elroy, the route would be constructed westwards, reaching Eau Claire by 1870. A short 10 mile branch was built between Warrens and Tomah in 1868.
By 1871, the route would reach Hudson. The same year, the St. Paul, Stillwater & Taylor Falls Railway would build a route between Hudson and St. Paul, Minnesota.
By 1878, 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.
A second main track was constructed along this route between Wyeville and St. Paul between 1911 and 1913, as part of an upgrade to the C&NW system.

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.
Today, Union Pacific operates this line as part of a main line to the Twin Cities.

This iconic structure crosses the St. Croix River at Hudson, just upstream from the I-94 bridge.
The bridge is a rather noticeable structure, employing an odd mixture of spans. The main span is a swing span, containing a pair of 6 panel, riveted Pratt Through Trusses.
In addition, another 6 Panel Pratt Through Truss with riveted connections and a 6 panel Parker Pony Truss with riveted connections make up the east end of the bridge. When constructed, there were nine more pony trusses along the east side of the bridge, which were filled in prior to 1938.
The bridge rests on a combination of stone and concrete substructures.
The current bridge replaced two predecessors. The first structure at this location was a wooden swing span, with a long trestle approach on the east side. This approach was nearly 1,000 Feet Long.
In 1881, this span was replaced with a Lattice Truss style swing span, along with a Lattice through truss and numerous pony truss spans.
This bridge was replaced in 1912 by the current bridge. Much of the long approach has been converted to a long fill in the river.
Presently, best views of this bridge would come by boat. However, walking along the banks of the river or photographing it from the Hudson River Walk works as well.

The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the truss design.
The photo above is from Quant Avenue, on the Minnesota Side of the river.

St. Croix River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Wisconsin Central High Bridge
Downstream Old Prescott Swing Bridge


Source Type


Build Date American Bridge Company Plaque
Contractor American Bridge Company Plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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