3 votes

Cheese Country Trail - Pecatonica River Bridge


Photo taken by David Hudson

View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #241785

Street View 


Bridge is likely one of the most unique in Southern Wisconsin. It consists of numerous different pieces, added at different times.

The substructures were built at two separate times. The stone substructures were built in 1880.

On the west side, spans #1 and #2 are of similar construction. They were both constructed in 1888 for the original two span bridge. Both spans are 103' Pratt Through Trusses with Pin Connections, and 5 panels each. Both have lattice type portals. They are supported by stone substructures.

On the east side, spans #3 and #4 are also of similar construction. Both contain lighter pin connections. Span #3 is 6 panels and 103' while span #4 is 7 panels and 120', with a skewed east end. Both contain a decorative portal bracing. The piers supporting these spans are wooden pile piers. These spans were added after 1919, and were built at at an unknown location in Wisconsin in approximately 1886.

Dates come from the Milwaukee Road Archives at the Milwaukee Central Library


Pratt through truss bridge over Pecatonica River on Cheese Country Trail
Green County, Wisconsin
Open to pedestrians, equestrians, and ATV users
Built 1888, Two Spans Built Ca. 1886 and Relocated Here Ca. 1930
- Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (MILW)
Pinned Pratt through truss
Length of largest span: 120.0 ft.
Total length: 440.0 ft.
Also called
Browntown Railroad Bridge
MILW Pecatonica River Bridge
MILW Bridge #F-182
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.58027, -89.80994   (decimal degrees)
42°34'49" N, 89°48'36" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/269405/4718033 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 54053 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 16, 2022: Updated by Paul Plassman: Added category "Relocated"
  • August 28, 2015: Updated by John Marvig: Added information
  • April 4, 2015: Updated by John Marvig: Added information, commentary and many catagories
  • January 15, 2014: New Street View added by Luke Harden
  • February 13, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • October 23, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Edited status description and fixed typos in the spelling of "Cheese"
  • October 23, 2012: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added truss type and circa date.
  • October 21, 2012: Updated by Steve Conro: Added categories "Rail-to-trail", "Wooden deck", "Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad"



Cheese Country Trail - Pecatonica River Bridge
Posted October 4, 2021, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Perhaps more info found on this bridge:

This photo shows the bridge in the original configuration:


Many plans were found for this bridge dated to 1881, but the bridge is dated as 1888/1889 in ICC reports, and is listed as 1888 in an inspection report from 1900.

The eastern two trusses were added in 1931, according to a drawing at the Milwaukee Road Archives at the Milwaukee Central Library: Details of Piers dated Jan. 23, 1931 (found in the Corporate Records; Inspection and Repair of Bridge F-182)

If this is true, it strongly suggests that the two eastern trusses were added this year. Based on other bridges over the Wisconsin River not far from here, these spans were likely built 1885/86.

Cheese Country Trail - Pecatonica River Bridge
Posted April 4, 2015, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)


Upon field visit, your date may be accurate for the spans, however I don't know if it is accurate for the construction of this bridge in its present form. There are two types of truss spans here, and it appears they may have been built here at different times. Further research will be conducted.

Cheese Country Trail Bridge
Posted October 23, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

A rather old and lightweight pinned Pratt of 4 spans. Pier is cut stone that has been partially encased in concrete. I think it is safe to say this bridge dates to around 1890.