On the south end, the line connected to the Milwaukee Road's Valley Subdivision. On the north end, a major turnaround was constructed to haul raw logs back to Merrill to be processed and shipped to paper plants along the Wisconsin River.
The line served a number of lumber companies until 1943, when all but the portions in Merrill were ripped out.
Today in Merrill, only a portion of the grade remains. The portion in Merrill was used into the 1990s to serve some local industry.
The rail beds from Downtown Merrill to the west side of Merrill, including the Wisconsin are planned to become part of the Riverbend Trail in the future.
This bridge is the largest bridge in Merrill, and likely the most interesting in Lincoln County.
The bridge crosses from a small island to the mainland of the west side of Merrill.
The island was once home to a major log processing industry, which is now gone. Today, the island is heavily overgrown, and the railroad ties rotted out.
The main truss span was built in 1895 by Lassig Bridge & Iron Works, and clearly relocated to this location in 1914.
The truss is a five span pratt through truss with pin connections and lattice style portals.
It is supported by wood piers, which the Milwaukee Road used on branch lines as an economical alternative to concrete or stone.
The trestle approach has signs of age, as it was likely last rebuilt in the 1970s.
The best views are from the bridge, which is above. It is looking west across the bridge.
Wisconsin River Railroad Bridges
|Upstream||Lake Mohawkskin Rail Bridge|
|Downstream (West Channel)||CN Barker Island Bridge (N)|
|Downstream (East Channel)||Barker Island Trail Bridge|