Porlier Street Swing Bridge

Lost Through Truss Swing Bridge over Fox River
Green Bay, Brown County, Wisconsin

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Porlier Street Swing Bridge
Built By Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By City of Green Bay (Remaining Approach)
Length 725 Feet Total, 205 Foot Swing Span
Width 1 Track, 2 Trail Lanes
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Through Truss Swing Bridge and Trestle
Substructure Type Concrete and Timber Pile
Date Built 1902
Date Removed Fall 2014
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Removed)
Current Status Removed but not Replaced
MILW Bridge Number U-22
Significance Moderate Significance
In 1870, the Milwaukee & Northern Railway Company began construction of a line that would stretch approximately 113 miles from Milwaukee to Green Bay.

The line reached Cedarburg by the end of 1870, and Hilbert Junction by the end of 1871. By the early parts of 1873, the line reached Green Bay and the Fox River ports.

When the line was first completed to Hilbert Junction, a branch was built to Menasha, although that would later be turned over to the Soo Line.

The railroad became incorporated into the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway (Milwaukee Road) in 1893. The CM&StP became the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railway in 1913, after a pacific expansion.

The railroad served as one of the multitude of rail lines connecting Milwaukee to Green Bay. This one, however bypassed the Fox Cities.

The Milwaukee Road used the line until 1985, when they were merged into the Soo Line. The Soo became the new operators of the line.

In 1987, Soo Line spun much of its Wisconsin trackage to the Wisconsin Central Ltd, who operated this line until 2001.

By 2001, the Canadian National had taken over the Wisconsin Central, and abandoned a portion from Hilbert to Green Bay.
In 2015, the portion from Saukville to Hilbert would be sold to the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad.

Today, Canadian National operates the line into Milwaukee to Saukville; Wisconsin & Southern operates from Saukville to Hilbert, while the line towards Green Bay from Hilbert is currently the Fox River Trail, ending where the Swing Bridge over the Fox River once stood.

This bridge was the Milwaukee Roads crossing of the Fox River in Green Bay.
Built in 1902, the bridge featured a single 205' long swing span, with riveted connections.
The bridge featured trestle approaches to either side. On the east side, the trestle approach was turned into a fishing pier.
While the east approach made for a good fishing pier, the rest of the bridge became doomed in 2008, when Green Bay voted to not operate it as a trail bridge.
In 2014, the coast guard forced Canadian National to begin demolition proceedings. By the end of 2014, the bridge was gone.

The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant due to the decreasing number of swing spans throughout the region. Unfortunately, losing this structure is another example of such loss.
The photo above is an overview, as demolition of the west approach began.

Fox River Railroad Bridges

Upstream Allouez Swing Bridge
Downstream Phoebe Street Swing Bridge

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