WSOR Rock River Bridge (South)

Deck Girder Bridge over Rock River
Janesville, Rock County, Wisconsin

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name WSOR Rock River Bridge (South)
Built By Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Wisconsin & Southern Railroad
Length 460 Feet Total, 85 Foot Largest Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 20 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Girder and I-Beam
Substructure Type Stone Masonry and Concrete
Date Built Ca. 1900, Rebuilt Ca. 1980
Traffic Count 4 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
WSOR Bridge Number A-530
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date June 2014
In 1901, the Chicago, Milwaukee & Saint Paul Railway (Milwaukee Road) built a line, nicknamed the J Line, from Fox Lake, Illinois to the major junction of Janesville, Wisconsin.

The line was built at mainline standards to carry passanger traffic and freight from Janesville to Chicago.

The CM&StP became the Chicago, Milwaukee Saint Paul & Pacific Railway in 1912 when a looming Pacific Expansion added the name "Pacific" to the title.

The Milwaukee Road would never overcome the debts incurred during the construction of the Pacific Expansion, and would suffer until 1985, when it finally fell apart.

This line never saw those days under the Milwaukee Road. In 1980, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation teamed up with numerous parties to continue rail service on many dangered branch lines.
This line was purchased by WisDOT in 1980, and the first train of the Wisconsin & Calumet ran over this line in 1989.

Wisconsin & Calumet was first purchased by the Wisconsin & Southern in 1992, and formally merged into the system in 1997.

Today, WSOR continues to operate this line as their Fox Lake Subdivision, which serves as their only access point to Chicago, via trackage rights.

Crossing the Rock River below a large deck truss bridge, this structure is set on a sweeping curve.
Built in approximately 1900, the bridge was built with seven deck girder spans. These spans were set onto skewed stone piers, and concrete abutments.
At some point in approximately 1980, the southern two spans were replaced with newer deck girder spans. This replacement happened likely to lengthen the bridge for flooding reasons.
A concrete date on the construction of the bridge is unknown. However, it is known that at least two nearby bridges were built in 1900.
Overall, the bridge appears to remain in good condition.

Historic Photo
Historic photo of the bridge

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.

Rock River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Janesville Rail Bridge
Downstream DM&E Rock River Bridge


Source Type


Build Date Estimated based on nearby bridges
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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