Janesville Rail Bridge

Double Intersection Warren Deck Truss Bridge over Rock River
Janesville, Rock County, Wisconsin

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Janesville Rail Bridge
Built By Chicago & Northwestern Railway
Contractor (1896 Trusses) Lassig Bridge & Iron Works of Chicago
Contractor (1907 Trusses) Bates & Rogers Construction Company of Chicago
Contractor (Girders) American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 720 Feet Total, 150 Foot Largest Span
Width 2 Tracks, 1 In Use
Height Above Ground 45 Feet (Estimated)
Type Double Intersection Warren Deck Truss and Girder
Date Built 1896, Rebuilt 1907/1908
Traffic Count 2 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
Historic C&NW Bridge Number W-128
UP Bridge Number 90.52
In 1854, the Illinois & Wisconsin Railroad opened a line between Chicago & Cary. The line opened up many possibilities for future expansion.

The next expansion came the following year, when the Chicago St. Paul & Fond Du Lac Railroad opened the line up to Janesville.

This is where the line ended, and it was not extended for years. The line had become part of the Chicago & Northwestern in 1855.

A chunk of the line between Chicago and Des Plaines was double tracked in 1882.

In 1886, a connector line was built between Evansville and Janesville, which created a possible opening to Madison.

The line on its southern end, between Harvard and Chicago was heavily used, while its northern end was not quite as heavily used.

The Chicago & Northwestern was purchased by Union Pacific in 1995, who has let the line north of Janesville fall into disrepair, and rarely accesses Evansville.

Today, the line is used by the METRA from Harvard to Chicago, and north of Janesville is not used as much. The whole line is known as the Harvard Subdivision.

This bridge is by far the most unique in Janesville, Rock County and probably southern Wisconsin.

The bridge is a complex design, where the double track trusses are actually a pair of single track trusses pushed together, one much heavier than the other.

The bridge rests mainly on stone substructures, with girder approaches on either side. The Small Bridge crosses under the south end of this bridge.

The bridge is a massive double intersection deck truss, with four spans of varying lengths.

On the north end, the deck girder is only for the SB track, while the NB track uses a stone parapet, from an older bridge.
On the south end, the bridge crosses a deck girder span, on which the NB track has its span resting on a stone parapet. The Through Girder span crosses the Wisconsin & Southern.

The Northbound track was originally built in 1896. In 1907, the bridge was reconstructed with new approaches and a new SB track.
The current design is as follows:

61' Through Girder
72' Deck Girder
1-138', 1-150', 1-130', 1-110' Double Intersection Warren Deck Truss
50' Deck Girder

Today, the bridge is in good condition, with the NB track being unused. The photo above is an overview from the south bank of the Rock River.

Rock River Railroad Bridges

Upstream Jeffris Park Trail Bridge
Downstream WSOR Rock River Bridge (S)

These Pictures Start at varying points in the Series, for the Pictures taken by others
Detail Photos from June, 2014

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