Tiffany Stone Bridge

Massive Stone Arch Bridge over Turtle Creek
Tiffany, Rock County, Wisconsin

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Tiffany Stone Bridge
Built By Chicago & North Western Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 387 Feet Total, 50 Foot Spans
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 75 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Reinforced Stone Arch
Substructure Type Stone Masonry
Date Built 1869, Reinforced 1930
Traffic Count 15 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
Historic C&NW Bridge Number 128
Significance National Significance
Documentation Date June 2018
In 1854, the Illinois & Wisconsin Railroad opened a line between Chicago & Cary. The line opened up many possibilities for future expansion.

The next expansion came the following year, when the Chicago St. Paul & Fond Du Lac Railroad opened the line up to Janesville.

This is where the line ended, and it was not extended for years. The line had become part of the Chicago & Northwestern in 1855.

A chunk of the line between Chicago and Des Plaines was double tracked in 1882.

In 1886, a connector line was built between Evansville and Janesville, which created a possible opening to Madison.

The line on its southern end, between Harvard and Chicago was heavily used, while its northern end was not quite as heavily used.

The Chicago & Northwestern was purchased by Union Pacific in 1995, who has let the line north of Janesville fall into disrepair, and rarely accesses Evansville.

Today, the line is used by the METRA from Harvard to Chicago, and north of Janesville is not used as much. The whole line is known as the Harvard Subdivision.

The Tiffany Stone Arch Bridge (C&NW Bridge #128) crossing Turtle Creek near Tiffany, Wisconsin in rural Rock County is considered to be one of the most impressive bridges in Wisconsin.

As the Historic American Engineering Record describes:
"The Tiffany Stone Bridge is the oldest remaining stone arch bridge in the State of Wisconsin. It is an excellent representative example of the stonework done by the Chicago & North Western Railway and is, by far, the most impressive stone arch railroad bridge in the State. The bridge was designed by Van Mienan, the chief engineer for the railroad company, who modeled it after a stone arch bridge in Compiegne, France."

One of the most impressive structures in Wisconsin, as well as the Midwest, this bridge is one of the most unique and historic bridges on this site.
Built in 1869, the bridge would later be lined in 1930 with a concrete reinforcement. The bridge can be accessed from the west end, where Turtle Creek Parkway exists.
While the 1930 rehabilitation does impact the significance of this bridge, the lining is far better than a complete encasement.
Currently, the bridge still consists of five large spans. These spans are set on stone masonry supports, and other than the lining, the bridge has changed very little.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in excellent condition, with the lining holding up well.

Historic Photo
Historic photo of the bridge

The author has ranked this bridge as being nationally significant, due to the large scale design of this historic structure.
The photo above is an overview of the bridge.

These Pictures Start at varying points in the Series
Historic American Engineering Record Photos from post-1968


Source Type


Build Date Historic American Engineering Record
Reconstruction Date Chicago & North Western Railway Historical Society Archives
Contractor Historic American Engineering Record
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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