Merrill Rail Bridge

Through Truss Bridge over Wisconsin River
Merrill, Lincoln County, Wisconsin

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Merrill Rail Bridge
Built By Chicago, Milwaukee, Saint Paul & Pacific Railway
Contractor Lassig Bridge & Iron Works of Chicago, Ill
Currently Owned By City of Merrill
Length 315 Feet Total, 115 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Type Pratt through Truss and Trestle
Date Built 1914 using a relocated 1895 Truss
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Abandoned)
Current Status Abandoned, Waiting Trail Development
In 1914, the Chicago, Milwaukee, Saint Paul & Pacific Railway (Milwaukee Road) built a 18 mile branch line from Merrill to New Wood, Wisconsin. The line was built to serve the major logging industry of the area.

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

Site Search Site Search

Widget is loading comments...

© Copyright 2010- John Marvig and Contributors. All Rights Reserved