Robert Thompson

About Me 

Website: http://www.bridgehunter.com/profile/thompson/

Robert Thompson was born in Shelton, WA in 1956, but grew up in Appleton, WI, which is located on the Fox River. The Fox River has a wide variety of bridge types - particularly swing, bascule and vertical-lift, being part of the historic Fox-Wisconsin waterway. He is quoted as saying "every kid needs a lock and dam system to play with when they're growing up!"

The fascination with structures and water continues. Currently in Marinette WI, for the previous 30 years he had been living in Sturgeon Bay WI, and is employed in the field of Naval Architecture. For 25 years, he was Senior Designer for Timothy Graul Marine Design, Inc. In this capacity, he helped design several of the ferries that appear on this site, including:

Washington Island Ferry Line (M/V Washington, M/V Arni J Richter)

Beaver Island Boat Co. (M/V Emerald Isle)

Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority (M/V Sugar Islander II, M/V Drummond Islander III, M/V Drummond Islander IV)

Madeline Island Ferry Line (M/V Madeline)

Neuman Boat Line, Ohio (M/V Endeavor)

Miller Boat Line, Ohio (M/V Islander, M/V South Bass, M/V Put-in-Bay, M/V William Market)

Wisconsin Department of Transportation (COLSAC III)

Illinois Department of Transportation (Kampsville Ferry, Winfield Ferry)

Sisterville Ferry, West Virginia

Grafton Ferry, Illinois

Recent Updates 

E&LS Porterfield Trestle (Marinette County, Wisconsin)
Bridge over Mud Brook on Escanaba and Lakeshore Railroad
March 19, 2017: Added
CB&Q - Wisconsin River Bridge (Old) (Crawford County, Wisconsin)
Lost Pratt through truss bridge over Wisconsin River on Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad
January 28, 2017: Updated by Robert Thompson: Removed "replaced by newer bridge", as the existing span was twinned. The existing span appears to be intact.
Wauzeka Railroad Swing Bridge (Grant County, Wisconsin)
Bridge over Wisconsin River on Railroad
January 27, 2017: Added
Boscobel Covered Bridge (Grant County, Wisconsin)
Lost Pratt through truss bridge over Wisconsin River on US 61
January 27, 2017: Updated by Robert Thompson: Changed category from "Railroad" to "Highway" and type from "fixed" to "swing".
Drew Bridge (Lafayette County, Florida)
Bridge over Suwannee River on Suwannee & San Pedro Railroad (1902-1905)
October 30, 2016: New photo
CNW - De Pere Swing Bridge (Brown County, Wisconsin)
Lost Warren through truss bridge over Fox River on Former Chicago & Northwestern Railway
August 27, 2016: New photos
Wrightstown Fox River Bridge (Brown County, Wisconsin)
Twin-leaf bascule bridge over Fox River on Ferry Street (WI 96) in Wrightstown
February 27, 2016: Updated by Robert Thompson: New fixed concrete bridge is open. Old bridge to be scrapped.
McCaslin Brook Trestle (Oconto County, Wisconsin)
Deck girder bridge over McCaslin Brook on Bike/ATV/Snowmobile trail (on RR grade)
February 27, 2016: Added
CN - Fox River Bridge (Racine County, Wisconsin)
Warren through truss bridge over Fox River on Railroad
February 11, 2016: Updated by Robert Thompson: Corrected which Fox River flows beneath the bridge.
Waupaca Foundry Rail Bridge (Marinette County, Wisconsin)
Abandoned timber stringer bridge over South channel of the Menominee River on (abandoned)
August 14, 2015: Added
Pikes Peak Bridge (Pulaski County, Missouri)
Lost through truss bridge over Gasconade River on MO 17 north of Waynesville
July 27, 2015: New photo
Newton Blackmour State Trail - Shiocton Rail Bridge (Outagamie County, Wisconsin)
Deck plate girder bridge over Wolf River on Newton Blackmour State Trail
April 26, 2015: New photo
WC - Manitowoc River Bridge (Old) (Manitowoc County, Wisconsin)
Lost Pratt pony truss bridge over Manitowoc River on Wisconsin Central RR
April 23, 2015: Updated by Robert Thompson: Corrected location of bridge on the map.
CN - Pfeifer Park Rail Bridge (Waupaca County, Wisconsin)
Steel stringer bridge over Embarrass River on Candian National Railway
April 23, 2015: Updated by Robert Thompson: Spelling of "Embarrass"
CN - Wolf River Swing Bridge (before conversion) (Waupaca County, Wisconsin)
Deck plate girder bridge over Wolf River on Canadian National Former Soo Line RR
April 20, 2015: Updated by Robert Thompson: Corrected erroneous information.
Eureka Bridge (Winnebago County, Wisconsin)
Lost Scherzer-type rolling lift bascule bridge (with overhead counterweight) over Fox River on CTH K in Town of Rushford
March 14, 2015: New photos
Wrightstown Fox River Bridge (Brown County, Wisconsin)
Twin-leaf bascule bridge over Fox River on Ferry Street (WI 96) in Wrightstown
March 14, 2015: New photos
GB&W - Sturgeon Bay Swing Bridge (Door County, Wisconsin)
Lost Through truss bridge over Sturgeon Bay
December 16, 2014: Updated by Robert Thompson: Updated buil date and builder.
GB&W - Sturgeon Bay Swing Bridge (Door County, Wisconsin)
Lost Through truss bridge over Sturgeon Bay
December 16, 2014: New photos
Fischer Creek Bridge (Manitowoc County, Wisconsin)
Pony truss bridge over Fischer Creek on Recreational Trail
December 16, 2014: New photo
Broadway St. Bridge (Jackson County, Ohio)
Pony truss bridge on Broadway St.
October 25, 2014: Added
CN - Lawe Street Rail Bridge (Outagamie County, Wisconsin)
Steel stringer bridge over Fox River on Abandoned Candian National Railway
October 1, 2014: Updated by Robert Thompson: Adjusted map pin location to show CORRECT location of bridge.
Indian Creek Bridge IN 135 (Morgan County, Indiana)
Through truss bridge over Indian Creek on IN 135 in Morgantown
July 28, 2014: New photos
CSX - US150 Overpass (Vigo County, Indiana)
Arch bridge on CSX Railroad
July 15, 2014: Added
Peshtigo Paper Mill Railroad Bridge (Marinette County, Wisconsin)
Pony truss bridge over Peshtigo River on Abandoned Railroad Track
January 9, 2014: Updated by Robert Thompson: CHanged status: bridge closed to all access.
CN - Menominee River Bridge (Wisconsin) (Marinette County, Wisconsin)
Deck plate girder bridge over Menominee River on CN Railroad
December 15, 2013: New photo
WSOR - Troy Drive Overpass (Dane County, Wisconsin)
Steel stringer bridge over Troy Drive on Railroad (WSOR)
December 13, 2013: Updated by Robert Thompson: Tweaked spelling.
Merrimac Ferry (Columbia County, Wisconsin)
Ferry across Wisconsin River on Wis 113
December 13, 2013: Updated by Robert Thompson: Corrected build date.
Old Dow Dam Road Bridge (Marinette County, Wisconsin)
Pony truss bridge over North branch of the Pike River on Abandoned routing of Dow Dam Road
November 30, 2013: New photos
CN - Fond du Lac River Bridge (Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin)
Lattice through truss bridge over Fond du Lac River on Abandoned Canadian National Railway
November 16, 2013: New photos
Old US45 Weyhurst Creek Bridge (Winnebago County, Wisconsin)
Concrete through arch bridge over Weyhurst Creek on Old US45 Alignment
November 16, 2013: Added
CN - Fox River Bascule Bridge (Winnebago County, Wisconsin)
Warren through truss bridge over Fox River on Canadian National Railroad
November 16, 2013: New photos
CN - Duck Creek Swing Bridge (Brown County, Wisconsin)
Through Girder Swing Bridge over Duck Creek on Canadian National Railway
November 9, 2013: New photos
CN - Duck Creek Swing Bridge (Brown County, Wisconsin)
Through Girder Swing Bridge over Duck Creek on Canadian National Railway
November 7, 2013: Added
Old Dow Dam Road Bridge (Marinette County, Wisconsin)
Pony truss bridge over North branch of the Pike River on Abandoned routing of Dow Dam Road
November 7, 2013: Added
Michigan Street Bridge (Door County, Wisconsin)
Bascule through truss bridge over Sturgeon Bay on Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay
June 24, 2013: New photo
CSX Bacon Creek Bridge (Hart County, Kentucky)
Deck plate girder bridge over Bacon Creek on Railroad
June 4, 2013: Added
Bacon Creek Bridge (Hart County, Kentucky)
Concrete deck girder bridge over Bacon Creek on U.S. 31W
June 4, 2013: Added
Jefferson Avenue Bridge (Wayne County, Michigan)
Bascule pony truss bridge over Rouge River on W. Jefferson Avenue in Detroit and River Rouge
May 12, 2013: Updated by Robert Thompson: Added info on 2013 collision
CN - Oshkosh Swing Bridge (Winnebago County, Wisconsin)
Lattice through truss bridge over Fox River on Canadian National Railway
April 6, 2013: New photos
Fischer Creek Bridge (Manitowoc County, Wisconsin)
Pony truss bridge over Fischer Creek on Recreational Trail
April 6, 2013: Added
CN - Dutchman Creek Bridge (Brown County, Wisconsin)
Stone arch bridge over Dutchman Creek on Canadian National Railway
April 1, 2013: Updated by Robert Thompson: Updated Railroad company
CN - Dutchman Creek Bridge (Brown County, Wisconsin)
Stone arch bridge over Dutchman Creek on Canadian National Railway
April 1, 2013: Added
M&STL - Willow Creek Bridge (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Lost pratt deck truss bridge over Willow Creek on Railroad
February 25, 2013: Updated by Robert Thompson: Spelling correction
Mountain-Bay Trail/ELS Overpass (Brown County, Wisconsin)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Semi-abandoned Escanaba & Lake Superior Railroad on Mountain-Bay Trail (Former CNW)
February 9, 2013: Added
Mountain-Bay Trail - Velp Avenue Overpass (Brown County, Wisconsin)
Deck plate girder bridge over County Hwy HS (Former US-141) on Mountain-Bay Trail (Former CNW)
February 9, 2013: Added
CN - Riverside Drive Overpass (Brown County, Wisconsin)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Riverside Drive on CN Railroad
February 4, 2013: Added
CN - Big Suamico River Bridge (Brown County, Wisconsin)
Deck plate girder bridge over Big Suamico River on Railroad
February 4, 2013: Added
Twin Bridges (Henderson County, Kentucky)
Pair of cantilevered through truss bridges over the Ohio River on US 41. Rehabilitated 2008
January 12, 2013: New photos
Grayville Railroad Bridge (White County, Illinois)
Through truss bridge over Wabash River on former Illinois Central Railroad south of Grayville
January 12, 2013: New photo

Recent Comments 

Posted March 19, 2017

The one upstream of Burger Boat? Yes, I've posted that one.

Posted January 28, 2017

This is a double span, with the original span upstream and the newer span downstream. It appears that the upstream span still has the swing span that allowed navigation upstream on the Wisconsin River; the newer span does not.

I am hoping to do a kayak run out to this bridge for a few pictures next summer.

Posted January 28, 2017

Well, on the point of covered railroad bridges, I concede that they did in fact exist.

However, they were probably horrible in the cars following the locomotive. And I would be curious to learn the statistics of how often they burned.

Posted January 27, 2017

A few other things to note here:

1. The cited Wisconsin State Journal article of May 24 1935 clearly states that this is a HIGHWAY bridge, carrying US Highway 61 across the Wisconsin River. It also states that the bridge operated as a toll bridge until it was acquired by the state.

2. Can anyone point out ANY instances where a railroad used a COVERED bridge? Coal-fired steam locomotives were capable of spewing live sparks out the smokestack, putting the enclosed wooden structure in great risk of a fire. In any event, the amount of smoke spewing from the locomotive would fill the covered portion of the bridge with smoke.

3. Most truss-type rail bridges are in essence a double bridge; i.e. the truss portion supports a double girder bridge suspended inside it. Photos of the swing span show no evidence of the truss being able to support rail loads.

4. The aerial photo provided by the Wisconsin Historical Society clearly shows a roadway versus a railroad on this bridge. An automobile is clearly seen on the approaches on the far bank.

I rest my case.

Posted January 27, 2017

I hate to belabor the point, but...

the Wisconsin Historical Society is in error when they captioned the photo

"DESCRIPTION Elevated view of railroad bridge over the river. Part of the bridge is covered. Foothills are in the background."

This is a HIGHWAY bridge. The bridge is perpendicular to the river, with a bluff facing the portal. There is NO RAILROAD in the photo; the bridge is clearly servicing a highway with a "tee" intersection

. A railroad branch at this point would have a wide-radiused roadbed leaving the bridge; there is no evidence of there having been one.

Old maps do not show any railroad crossing at this point on the river; there is no reason why a railroad company would invest a fortune installing a swing bridge across a river servicing nothing for no reason.

Several miles downriver, there IS a RAILROAD bridge that still exists, with a swing span. I hope to get out to it next summer by kayak for some photos.

Posted October 29, 2016
Posted March 20, 2016
Good bye to another....
Posted March 6, 2016

Truss bridge at Lily.

I see a road trip in the next couple weeks.

http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/by-region/nc/52wolfri...

Posted February 11, 2016

This is listed under the wrong Fox River. This belongs under Fox River - Illinois:

>>Fox River

Illinois

This river (not to be confused with the similarly-named `Fox River' in Northeast Wisconsin) begins west of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and flows to Ottawa, Illinois.<<

Posted October 11, 2015

Actual photos, instead of pen-and-ink scribbles! Thank you.

Posted September 23, 2015
Another one bites the dust... but at least the replacement is interesting.
Posted September 17, 2015
Railroad swing bridge in Green Bay slated for demolition.
Posted August 25, 2015
Posted July 29, 2015

Well, at least the lower chord is in tension. If it was in compression, the bridge would not be standing.

Not U.S., but...
Posted May 2, 2015