Kewaunee Trail Bridge (East)

Deck Girder Swing Bridge over Kewaunee River
Kewaunee, Kewaunee County, Wisconsin

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Name Kewaunee Trail Bridge (East)
Built By Green Bay & Western Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Wisconsin DNR
Length 195 Feet Total, 80 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 5 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Girder Swing Bridge and Trestle
Substructure Type Timber and Steel Pile
Date Built 1909
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
Significance Local Significance
In 1890, the Kewaunee, Green Bay & Western Railroad began construction on a line extending from the Fox River in Green Bay to Kewaunee, a distance of 35 miles.
This new line would open in 1891.

Between 1892 and 1894, the Ahnapee and Western Railway would build from Sturgeon Bay to Casco Junction, at the existing mainline; going through Algoma.

In 1896; the Green Bay & Western Railway purchased the Kewaunee, Green Bay & Western. By 1906, the Ahnapee & Western would become a part of the GBW as well.
The Green Bay & Western constructed a mainline about this time across the State of Wisconsin. The Kewaunee to Green Bay segment would become the eastern leg of the mainline.

The line north to Sturgeon Bay was sold back to local interests and became the Ahnapee & Western again. By 1968, the line north from Algoma would be embargoed and abandoned.
The remaining branch from Casco to Algoma was abandoned by 1986. About the same time, the segment from Luxemburg to Kewaunee would be abandoned.

The remainder of the system would be merged into the Fox Valley and Western in 1993, a subsidiary of Wisconsin Central Ltd.
The WC became a part of the Canadian National in 2001. The remaining segment from Green Bay to Luxemberg is owned by Canadian National, and is still operational. The remainder to Kewaunee and Sturgeon Bay is part of the Ahnapee State Trail.

This small swing bridge crosses the Kewaunee Marsh, just west of Kewaunee.
The bridge is simply built, consisting of a deck girder main span which formerly operated as a main span. This is approached by trestle approaches on either side.
In addition, the bridge rests on wooden substructures, and the entire swing mechanism is still in place on the swing bridge. However, it is likely it has been permanently closed. Some piers of the bridge have been rebuilt with steel pilings for additional support.
The bridge appears to have substantial deterioration on it, and likely will need to be replaced in the coming years.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design and deterioration of the bridge.
The photo above is looking east along the bridge.


Source Type


Build Date Estimated based on nearby bridges
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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