Modern MOB bridges are a scam. Cheap Walmart bridges. These companies claim the weathering steel will last forever yet some of these are replaced after 25 years, others require blasting and painting to halt deterioration. I have also heard that these companies will suggest a low price, but that they like to "nickel and dime" the customer.
This is generally true. The marketing has similarities as well. The problem is history (both American and engineering) is being lost because the bureaucracy isn't set up to maintain, only replace. The replaced bridge is generic, it really doesn't matter what truss type is used, that's merely decoration, in this case a 'pretty, white bowstring'.
This historic bridge was adequate for the purpose. However, having it maintained or restored required much more back-office work than simply marking the 'replace' box. Hopefully, the movement to preserve (metal) truss bridges will accelerate as covered bridges (wooden truss bridges) may outnumber historic metal trusses soon.
Oddly/fortunately, there are pockets of preservation such as Hunterdon County, NJ and large swaths of Indiana where people 'get it.' These areas actually feature the bridges in tourism materials and understand that if the infrastructure can be put in place to maintain these bridges, the cost/benefit can work.
Many of the bridges that we love were also mail order bridges, although they were assembled on site. Look at how similar many of them from a given company are.
I wonder if, 140 years ago, people lamented covered bridges being replaced by mail order iron bridges.
After some research about the bridge photo shown here:
I believe that the bridge in the photo is not the "State Street Bridge" but it is the "Main Street Bridge" that was built in Racine in 1906 which agrees with various newspaper articles that I have. That 1906 Main Street Bridge was replaced in 1928.
The 1928 Main Street Bridge was replaced with this:
A "mail order bridge" is a mass-produced, single-piece bridge built to a cookie-cutter pattern, welded together, and lifted into place with a crane. They are normally prefab trusses or arches and have no distinguishing features to set them apart from one another. This is one of two identical footbridges in this area; the other is about 1000 feet to the north over the same river. That bridge did not replace any previous bridge. I live around here, so I see these on a regular basis.
What about the replacement makes it a MOB?
I'll agree that the original bridge didn't look anywhere near like a bridge that would have warranted replacing and that doing so really wasn't necessary, but...I'm confused by what makes the new one a "mail order bridge", so to speak, when there's only the side view to go on.
There was NOTHING WRONG with this bridge!!!!!!!
……………… Briefcase Plaque...…..
Unfortunately, park/golf course use doesn't mean these bridges are safe.
An example that I have personal ties to/find more egregiously short-sighted/wasteful: https://bridgehunter.com/ia/story/veekner-golf-course/
Label me a damn fool for thinking this bridge might be around for the long term, as it was in a park-type setting and was in excellent condition—I drove by today and saw an ugly Walmart-inspired MOB where this bridge once stood!
Older bridge built 1902 after being proposed in 1899.
The replacement to that was built in 1941; Contracted to the Midland Bridge Co. https://books.google.com/books?id=-YI4AQAAIAAJ&dq=%22blue+ri... and that was replaced in 2001.
A predecessor swing bridge?
Found the jackpot of information, the tough part is access.
This bridge is located in Illinois Central valuation section WI-2. Complete circa 1917 bridge records can be found in College Park, Maryland:
In addition, the National Archives appears to have a complete set of bridge records for the entire IC system. These will likely provide a complete description and build date of the structure. Since this route was originally built by the Chicago, Madison & Northern, construction cost records between the 1880s and 1903 (Box 15, Folder 100/101). This source also seems to have a limited amount of IC bridge and culvert information, including contracts with Keystone Bridge Company for the Dubuque bridge:
In addition, there are inspection photos of Illinois Central bridges available at the University of Illinois
Valuation maps from the same year show that four more of the 122' trusses existed (two near Dodds, one confirmed identical span near Argyle, and one near Blanchardville). This mystery is certainly possible to crack.
It's worth noting that John and I have been searching for confirmation on the link for a while (>2yrs), to no avail, but design cues + proximity, as well as the fact the owning bridge company sold off the 1870s Pratts after replacement gives both John & I a solid basis for our hunch.
I’ve been searching for something to conform or deny the possibility it came from Dubuque. An Illinois Central valuation map from 1918 gives the stations of these trusses, which are a pair of 122’ spans. However, the spans in question were seen at the bottom of the river in the 1911 photo. Is it possible they were saved and rebuilt? Is it possible they could have been “cut down” from 250’ (length of the Dubuque spans) to 122’? Or are the 122’ measurements from the valuation map for a replacement bridge? Preliminary research has been unsuccessful in confirming or denying it. There are however quite a few trusses that were on this branch line.
Information supplied from official railroad blueprints for various railroads certainly provides the possibility for unique situations. I’ve seen blueprints of bridges lengthened, strengthened, shortened, converted between deck and through trusses and girders, and many other unique situations. Railroad engineers were very creative, giving us a plethora of unique structures. Unfortunately, many of these ended up on branch lines which were removed and the bridges scrapped.
The portals and design would seem to match the Dubuque bridge. Some bridges used very unique designs not seen on other bridges. Could this be one, or was it a standardized design to an extent?
I’ll look into and see what records I can find for this railroad. However, it may be hard to find pre-1911 information. It really varies by company. Some I’ve had tremendous luck on (Milwaukee Road, Chicago & North Western, Santa Fe, etc). I’ve also had some railroads with zero luck (Rock Island).
The original bridges - yes. What is the evidence that these sections were from that bridge?
Here are two patents awarded to Linville.
This appears to be the original Linville Patent: https://patents.google.com/patent/US34183A/en?oq=USNNo.+34%2... ()
This appears to be the early/basic Linville & Piper varaint patent: https://patents.google.com/patent/US50723A/en?oq=US50%2c723
And you'd be wrong that Keystone didn't make it:
And this Structuremag article says that Linville himself designed it, so I'm fairly certain that it's a further evolution of his own truss design, as Linville, like Wendell Bollman (Whom he replaced at B&O) he was fond of using his own designs over any other design:
Further supporting that idea is this historic article, which mentions Linville & Piper trusses as an option, so I think these may be smaller scale versions of the L-P truss, which I've yet to find a patent diagram for (And the article with the most info is locked behind the ASCE's paywall.
While I highly doubt Keystone made this bridge, it definitely does not conform to the Linville patents. The design details are different.
Information was provided to me by the Milwaukee Road Archives, including blueprints showing the relocation and reconstruction of the five steel spans of this bridge. I have included the information provided in the entry.
This bridge is listed in a 1959 track chart as being a "secondhand" girder.
The bridge has not been operational for some time, limiting the size of watercraft that have been able to use the Fox Locks since they were restored. The Fox Locks Authority has announced the bridge has been repaired and the navigation channel is once again open to larger watercraft.
Proposed designs to reuse the bridge have been released:
In 1918, this bridge was listed as a pile trestle. This would seem to indicate that these spans were relocated to this location, probably from two different locations. Further research will be conducted.
A Wisconsin Historical Survey appears to give only the main span an 1882 build date.
My grandparents had a summer cottage over by hwy 23 and county ZZ emerald lake estates and i remember riding my bike over to see this bridge.
Clark,this is the bridge the woman fell into and was rescued.Thanks for finding it.
Bridge's fault; tear it down! :^)
Yeah and people don't realize its not like computer games and movies... its not like its a smooth ramp up to the top... the gap between approach and bridge leaf is huge.
Those gates come down for a reason!
(Condensing multiple posts into one.)
An 1869 article in the Railway Locomotives and Cars, Volume 42 explicitly states Keystone, and a later publication from the Journal of the Western Society of Engineers and an HAER document on one of the 1870s approaches cite Keystone as the builder of the 1868 spans.
Railway Locomotives & Cars Article (1869):
Journal of the Western Society of Engineers Article (1908):
HAER documentation on a relocated 1870s Pratt:
The photo appears to show Phoenix Columns. Perhaps Keystone Bridge Company erected the bridge, but purchased the Phoenix Columns from Phoenix Bridge Company. Maybe they purchased raw columns and used them for their own fabrication, which might explain the portal looking like Keystone's design. The company did indeed sell the columns individually. Note that the connection detail between columns is unusual, they are not the castings used by Phoenix Bridge Company. This further suggests a possibility that the columns were purchased by Keystone with other bridge fabrication carried out by Keystone. On the other hand, if Keystone did fabricate these columns, we would be looking at a patent violation.
Regardless of builder, these were unique spans. This bridge reused two spans,and there were two spans in Linn County Iowa that were replaced in the 20s. This leaves one or two 1868 spans unaccounted for. With some of the 1870s spans ending up in Mississippi, the unaccounted spans could have ended up virtually anywhere in the central US. However, I doubt they still exist.
I realized that I missed your point - the bridge was manufactured in 1868, relocated in 1900 and washed out in 1911. That timeline makes sense.
It still wasn't made by Keystone :^)
I failed to mention this. The 1872 spans added to the Dubuque bridge were keystone spans. I agree that the spans aren’t Keystone. More research is required to find who indeed built the 1860s spans.
The compression members in the photo are Phoenix Columns. Keystone (Carnegie) fought Phoenix all the way up to the Supreme Court regarding the column patents. I highly doubt they would use their competitors products.
The bridge was built using spans relocated from Dubuque, Iowa. They were originally fabricated 1868.
Keystone is unlikely as the builder as the bridge was made using Phoenix Columns. Also, the build date is considerably earlier than 1900.
I was the bridge tender on this bridge as well as two bridges on the KK river during the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s. My favorite time there was when the circus train would come to town and cross the bridge to be unloaded at CJ Transport, now Summerfest parking lot.
David, your postcard is of the road bridge at Portage: https://bridgehunter.com/wi/columbia/bh81626/
Manners Matter on One Lane Bridge. Car waiting on south side, while one crosses from the north. According to WisDOT, Smith Road Bridge is slated for replacement in 2019.
Current conditions abutments. North side and south side, close up of missing rubber/plate on northeast side.
I placed photos of the wreckage with the others--be sure you have a barf bag handy before you view them.
I stopped to see this bridge earlier today, and I wish I hadn’t. It’s a truly heartbreaking sight. Damage is far worse than I imagined. It would take a miracle worker to fix this one :’(
The geography from google maps for the given location seems to match Luke's photo's foot hill.
Some local photos might confirm this.
This was the bridge over the Chippewa River before it was torn down in 2004.
A very interesting bridge. The trusses are confirmed to have been relocated from St. Paul, Minnesota. They were originally built in 1888 and moved here in 1915. However, the approach girders are also interesting. They are examples of some of the earliest girders I've seen for railroad use. A bridge in Minnesota built by the same railroad used 1879 deck girders (as confirmed by blueprints and railroad records):
Thoughts to the idea of the approach girders?
Quite a unique bridge. According to blueprints, the bridge was originally built in 1908, but the bridge was rebuilt and widened in 1912, hence the center girder being larger.
Does anyone happen to know what the clearance is under Spans D through M-48' Deck Girders? Wondering if my Hobiecat sailboat mast (26'6") would clear. Thanks.
Recent photo of South Smith Road Bridge is attached
Attached a recent photo I took of this beautiful bridge.
Hey man, I never said it was a GOOD idea. There are just some cool spots along the road that I thought would make good photos. I realize the road isn't really supposed to be driven. It would be a pain in the ass to get over that bridge anyway, the re bar is literally poking out of the concrete.
It's not open to cars, so...
Yo that bridge is falling apart, kinda dangerous, but pretty cool. That is so interesting that it was built in the 20's. Either way, hopefully I can get my car over that bridge safely so I can get the photo op I've been dying to get. Probably not though, that bridge seriously needs work, my friend who lives near it is just waiting for it to fall into the creek. Also I should point out it is presently vandalized to hell, some hicks from my class in high school drove their trucks out there to spray paint the living crap out of it. Either way, cool road, cool bridge, seems like a good place to drive on pavement with non-road legal vehicles if you feel like cruising on a minibike or something.
Unfortunate that they will not be reusing the truss..just one more span to bring in a new trail span for.
I've been getting pics almost daily of the work crews dismantling the bridge. Here's one of them bringing the truss span over to the work area by barge. It was then rolled off on dollies and cut up and hauled away.
Another one bites the dust.
Work has begun on replacing one of the few steel truss spans on the State Highway system with a modern UECB.
This bridge now bears a sign which states "Joseph Brault Memorial Bridge 1824-1888".
Below is a link to Peshtigo Times Newspaper dedication.
You've gotten the bricked-up CNW tunnel confused with the still in use MILW tunnel: https://bridgehunter.com/wi/monroe/bh54347/
cp Railway is currently looking at putting in a cellular repeater in the tunnel. I don't know of any collapse or that it was ever bricked but it is in use.
The Cobban Bridge has been receiving news lately in light of winning the Ammann Awards for Bridge of the Year. A decision on the bridge's future and its replacement will come before month's end. More here: http://chippewa.com/news/local/cobban-bridge-wins-internatio...
LINK 2 OF 2
Bridge removed September 2015.
Source: Ozaukee Press newspapers,
09/09/2015 "HIGHLAND DRIVE TO BE CLOSED THREE WEEKS FOR RECONSTRUCTION"
10/07/2015 "HIGHLAND DRIVE EXPECTED TO REOPEN IN TOWN THIS WEEK"
According to "History of Waupaca County, Wisconsin" from 1890, this was the first bridge: https://books.google.com/books?id=VGZCAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA121&dq=f...
I enjoy seeing pictures of this bridge. However, they are slightly misplaced. They should be located on the page for the successor bridge:
I've heard rumors that this tunnel is currently being daylighted as part of a frac sand operation. Can anyone confirm this?
Photo 2 of 2
Photo 1 of 2
This bridge was razed on November 9, 2017. Pre-and-post razing photos to follow
Based on the depth at the abutment I'm going to guess there aren't concrete stringers. This could be a concrete encased steel stringer or a concrete girder.
The three spans that are collapsing will be removed in early 2018. However, the swing span will remain in place.
Information from the Milwaukee Road Archives at the Milwaukee Central Library provided some information on this unique structure. The two pony truss spans were relocated from other locations. The 112' span demolished in 2002 was originally located in Oxford Junction, Iowa and built in 1899; while the 96' Span was originally located somewhere else.
Okay, I have only visited a very small number of bridges in Wisconsin, but based on what I've seen on here, this was probably one of the state's most significant pony trusses. It was an uncommon design and it was built by a local company. There are relatively few Bridges left built by the Milwaukee Bridge & Iron Works. No doubt about it, this is a terrible loss.
There are NO words...
So they demolished and replaced a preserved historic bridge that even had interpretive signage installed? Working with historic bridges, I see a lot of stupid things, but this is probably in the top ten! Wisconsin is weird because they never had many historic bridges to begin with, but this has not translated into an appreciation of what is left; the preservation rate remains very low. At this rate, soon the only reason to visit Wisconsin will be to...
Good golly, that is nasty--no point in wasting fuel to drive the 8 miles from my house to see it! Thanks for the head's up. EPIC FAIL!
You're gonna find a disgusting MOB: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/allenton+walking+bridge/...
I just saw a notice in our county newspaper that the dedication for the "New Walking Bridge" in Allenton is set for Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, a pic of the old bridge was the only pic there is...I am very fearful of what I'm going to find here, but I have to go check. I'll update with whatever nasty news I come up with! :'>(
This bridge is easily accessible with a street crossing on the north bank and public park on the south bank. Please use caution as rail traffic is frequent and they don't slow down much going through town.
On a side note... not too far to the east of this bridge is a 100+ year old suspended cable "swinging" footbridge that connects Gilman Public Park on the south bank of the Yellow River to South Riverside Drive on the north bank. Sadly I did not know its significance or I would have photographed it too.
Looks like a rather lightweight Warren truss and could be an older example. Chicago Bridge and Indiana Bridge were both building them in the 1890's.
A bridge/the driveway appears in 1967 aerial views from historicaerials
I just discovered this bridge on Google Earth--it's on a private driveway, and as such, has no NBI data associated with it. I don't know how long it has been since the bridge serviced a public road, but the bridge appears to be built in the early 1900's or 1910's.
I rode the #10 streetcar over this viaduct every workday from 70th and Main St (We lived on S. 68th and Main - newly married) to Allen Bradley. I can't remember if it was the 3rd St bus or the 6th St bus that took me from Wells to Greenfield and AB. It was a wonderful ride. I looked forward to the adventure each day. Thank you for the correct information on the bridge, and I found a great photo of the streetcar courtesy of the Milwaukee County Historical Society. I love that it was designed by a man from Pomerania, as am I by way of my ancestry. I am 82 years old and rode the trestle, as I called it, in the years 1955 and 1956.
And a 169 Average Daily Traffic count gives even more reason that a restoration is the more feasible option!
Also, that supposed $13 Million price tag to restore the bridge is an inflated joke and nothing more than an attempt to thwart preservation... Unless they are planning to Gold plate it!
Its also a meaningless decision until Section 106 is conducted (as far as I know it hasn't been unless they have conducted it without my knowledge despite requesting consulting party status). No Section 106 = No Federal Funds.
Irresponsible and short-sighted decision, but sadly it seems to be ingrained into government officials in Wisconsin that history means nothing and these landmarks are simply scrap metal... Truly sad indeed!
This historic bridge is closed indefinitely. The Chippewa County Board voted to build a replacement bridge if Federal and State money is approved. It appears as though the historic bridge will soon be demolished to make room for the new bridge that may be competed by 2021. Anyone want to buy a beautiful old bridge?
County Board votes to replace shuttered Cobban Bridge
Preliminary studies are under way for the eventual replacement of this bridge. A likely scenario involves keeping the girder approach spans and replacing the main truss span. No design concepts have been proposed yet. A detailed inspection and load rating of the approach spans is just getting started. Any replacement project will be at least 10 years down the road, but be forewarned!
Bridge was struck by a coal ship today. The ship also damaged a recreational boat and dock.
County Road M Columbia County UP bridge is completed.
Several stringers were replaced on the wooden bridge at Sterk Road
(next bridge in line from M) on 7/11/2017. Several repairs are still needed .UP no longer owns the bridge.
I Had put up a postcard view. Mr. Butler did a drawing, I deleted and then re added postcard view to make his the default. My preferences are on site photos , then drawings then historic views. Sorry if I caused a controversy BUT was my action to make Drawing default photo. Hate at me if you like!
I agree. I've seen enough of these pen-and-ink scribbles to last a lifetime.
I vote we re-make the postcard the default image.
Got it. Thanks as always
Dana, the image you posted belongs on https://bridgehunter.com/wi/sauk/bryant-street/
This bridge is supposedly going to be replaced with a new drawbridge in 2022.
The trusses have now been moved to a static display.
New location described as "the far east side of the park as part of Harbor View Trail near De Neveu Creek"
I grew up a block from the west end of this bridge. Made many a trek out to the island. The trains stopped running in 1973 when the tracks washed out east of Kellner. Good memories.
I believe that Robert was referring to the category that was assigned to the bridge, not the location. There is no dispute that this is the correct bridge, location, and it is the Fox River--however, the category that was previously assigned was the Fox River that passes between Green Bay and Appleton--Wisconsin has 2 Fox Rivers, which makes things confusing. This Fox River originates just north of Waukesha and passes through Burlington and down into Illinois. Just wanted to clear things up.