Soo Line "S" Bridge

Warren Deck Truss Bridge over Eau Claire River
Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Soo Line "S" Bridge
Built By Minneapolis, Saint Paul & Saint Sault Marie Railway
Contractor Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Company of Minneapolis
Currently Owned By City of Eau Claire
Length 440 Feet Total, 100 Foot Truss Spans
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 35 Feet (Estimated)
Type Warren Deck Truss and Deck Girder
Date Built 1910
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
Significance Moderate Significance
In 1873, the Chippewa Falls and Western Railway built a connection from Chippewa Falls to Eau Claire, to connect to their thriving rail market.

The line would be purchased by the Minnesota, St. Croix and Wisconsin Railroad in 1882, which was in turn purchased by the Wisconsin Central in 1888.

With the Wisconsin Central purchasing the line, they wanted to extend it. To do so, it required a large "S" Shaped Bridge over the Eau Claire River.

The Wisconsin Central was in turn purchased by the Minneapolis, Saint Paul & Saint Sault Marie Railway Company in 1908, which was held by the Canadian Pacific Railway.

The line was abandoned by the Soo Line in 1991, ending its history, leaving only the S Bridge as a reminder of the railroad.

This bridge is another largely unique bridge in Eau Claire.

The bridge was built in 1910 to replace an older structure. The bridge uses 3 large riveted warren deck trusses to create its signature shape.
These deck trusses are in turn approached by the deck girders on either end.
The bridge is supported by concrete substructures.

The bridge was deemed eligible for the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, and was re-decked into a trail in 2002. It has since been declared an Eau Claire landmark.
Today, the bridge serves pedestrians. While it is a significant landmark, it unfortunately does not seem to include a decent angle to take a picture.
The author has ranked the bridge as being moderately significant, due to the shape, design and excellent landmark status.

The photo above is an overview from the south bank.

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