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BNSF - Portage Canal Lift Bridge

Photos 

Looking northwest

The bridge is very short, crossing a narrow navigation canal

Photo taken by Robert Thompson in February 2012

Enlarge

BH Photo #224661

Map 

Description 

This bridge was built as a vertical-lift span to allow for steamboat and barge navigation on the Portage Canal which connects the Fox River to the Wisconsin River. In 1951, Congress removed the mandate for maintaining navigation between Berlin, WI and the connection to the Wisconsin River; soon after, the railroad removed the lift towers, permanently rendering the bridge a fixed span. A few pieces of the mechanism still remain on the span.

Facts 

Overview
Former vertical-lift bridge over navigation canal, now fixed
Location
Portage, Columbia County, Wisconsin
Status
Open to traffic
Builder
- Waddell & Harrington of Kansas City, Missouri
Railroads
- BNSF Railway (BNSF)
- Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (MILW; CMStP&P; CMStP)
Design
Pony plate girder
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.54509, -89.44503   (decimal degrees)
43°32'42" N, 89°26'42" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/302477/4824252 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Portage
Inventory number
BH 51199 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 15, 2014: New photo from Luke
  • February 6, 2012: Updated by Daniel Hopkins: Added category "Railroad"
  • February 5, 2012: Added by Robert Thompson

Related Bridges 

Sources 

Comments 

Portage Canal Railroad Bridge
Posted February 5, 2012, by Robert Thompson

This is one of the last historic (non-modern, non UCEB) Fox-Wisconsin Waterway spans left to be documented on this website. There remains one railroad swing span in a rather out-of-the-way location, which I will try to add by this summer.