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CN - New London Swing Bridge


2 New London 01

A round center pier is a dead giveaway for a Swing bridge.

Photo taken by Robert Thompson in October 2009


BH Photo #148339

Street View 


The swing mechanism has been removed and replaced with a timber cribbing. Information provided by C&NW bridge drawings at the Chicago & North Western Railway Historical Society archives

Historic Significance: 

Written by Robert Thompson

Why is there a swing bridge in this remote location?

The Wolf River was part of the lumber route from northern Wisconsin to the sawmills and paper mills of the Fox River Valley. The Lower Wolf River is a meandering river without steep gradient; here, log rafts were pulled by tugboat to the mills, about 48 miles downstream by water. This swing bridge allowed the tugs to navigate past the rail crossing.


Deck plate girder bridge over Wolf River on Canadian National Railway
New London, Outagamie County, Wisconsin
Swing Bridge on the Wolf River; rendered `fixed' after this portion of the Wolf River was made non-navigable by the construction of a fixed bridge downstream.
Built 1892
- Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Canadian National Railway (CN)
- Chicago & North Western Railway (CNW)
- Fox Valley & Western Ltd. (FVW)
- Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railway (MLS&W)
- Wisconsin Central Ltd. (WC)
One fixed span, one (formerly) swing span.
Length of largest span: 130.0 ft.
Total length: 180.0 ft.
Also called
CN - Wolf River Swing Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.39376, -88.73163   (decimal degrees)
44°23'38" N, 88°43'54" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/362088/4917066 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
New London
Land survey
T. 22 N., R. 14 E.
Inventory number
BH 43565 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 11, 2022: Updated by John Marvig: added builder
  • October 9, 2014: Updated by John Marvig: added build date
  • September 29, 2014: Updated by John Marvig: Added information
  • August 22, 2013: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • November 22, 2009: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected Railroad Data
  • October 31, 2009: Essay added by Robert Thompson


  • J.R. Manning - thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
  • Robert Thompson
  • Douglas Butler
  • Luke
  • John Marvig - marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com


CN - New London Swing Bridge
Posted January 15, 2021, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Reportedly, Canadian National is looking at selling 850 miles of low density track in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ontario. The line between Appleton and Manawa, including this bridge, is on the sale block. The crossings have already been paved over near Manawa as of 2016. I am not sure what will happen to the route if it is not sold to a new operator, although seeing as trails are established in Manawa and New London, that could be a possible future.