Kewaunee Trail Bridge (West)

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

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Name Kewaunee Trail Bridge (West)
Built By Green Bay & Western Railway
Contractor Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Company of Milwaukee
Currently Owned By Wisconsin DNR
Length 105 Feet Total, 52 Foot Main Spans
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Plate Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1904
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 simple deck girder bridge crosses the Kewaunee River west of Kewaunee, near a small town known as Footbridge.
It is simply built, consisting of two spans. These spans are supported by concrete substructures. The east span has been reinforced with an H-Pile column, which is a common technique for strengthening such aging bridges.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition.

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


Source Type


Build Date Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Company plaque
Contractor Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Company plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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