Rating:
2 votes

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge

Photos 

The south face

This bridge was built by Carnegie Steel in 1907 for the Milwaukee Northern Railway, which ran from Milwaukee to Sheboygan until 1940. Service between Milwaukee and Port Washington continued until 1948.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in August 2007

BH Photo #111564

Map 

Street View 

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Cedar Creek on Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Former Electric Interurban Line
Location
Ozaukee County, Wisconsin
Status
Open to pedestrians
History
Built 1907 by Carneige Steel, Used as and interurban rail bridge until 1948, restored and reopened for bike traffic in 2002
Builders
- Carnegie Steel Co. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Iron/Steel Manufacturer)
- Comstock-Haigh-Walker Co. of Detroit, Michigan (Engineering/Erection)
Railroads
- Interurban
- Milwaukee Northern Railway (MN)
- The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Co. (TMER&L; TM)
- The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Transport Co. (TMER&T)
Design
Pin-connected, 8-panel Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Span length: 159.0 ft.
Total length: 159.0 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Cedarburg Interurban Bridge
TMER&L - Cedar Creek Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.29900, -87.98785   (decimal degrees)
43°17'56" N, 87°59'16" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/419873/4794492 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Cedarburg
Inventory number
BH 36237 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 21, 2017: New Street View added by Dave King
  • August 28, 2016: New photos from John Marvig
  • August 23, 2016: Updated by John Marvig: Added information
  • November 28, 2012: Updated by Clark Vance: Added category "Interurban"
  • November 27, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "Milwaukee Northern Railway", "Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Co.", "Railroad", "Rail-to-trail"
  • November 3, 2012: New photos from Robert Thompson
  • April 25, 2008: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added bridge to Railroad overpass category
  • February 8, 2008: Added by J.R. Manning

Sources 

Comments 

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge
Posted November 30, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

The looped strut/upper lateral connectors as well as the slight elliptical shaped and punched eyebar heads suggest to me that Massillon may have fabricated this bridge.

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge
Posted November 30, 2019, by Luke

I do, however, dispute the build date I'd found for the similar Grafton spans (Which bled on to this entry, since the trusses are the same) These are far too heavy for 1850. John & I guesstimated that they're closer to mid-1880s/early 1890s than 1850s.

The source for the date stems from http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/WI/WI-idx?type=turn..., which stems from Central Electric Railfans Association bulletin on the TMER&L from 1972 https://books.google.com/books?id=Uf06AAAAMAAJ&q=The+truss+s...

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge
Posted November 30, 2019, by Matt Lohry

Agreed; locomotives were lighter back then than they are now.

Another example:

http://bridgehunter.com/mn/hennepin/bh45221/

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge
Posted November 30, 2019, by Luke

On the contrary, this bridge (And the matching span at Grafton.) is typical of early railroad bridges.

A different design, but accentuates the point I'm trying to make: https://bridgehunter.com/pa/somerset/wells-creek-bollman/

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge
Posted November 30, 2019, by Marty (classicconnusa [at] aol [dot] com)

Wondering if they ever )past or present) put dead-weighr load ratings on these bridges - (Pier to pier weight limits) and PSI/area rating as well. This bridge has been commented as a possible former R/R bridge. I seriously doubt that - it clearly would not be capable of supporting pier to pier loads of a multi-ton R/R car or locomotive. My opinion only living near it and seeing it daily. Many other Interurban bridges are near clones of this one.

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge
Posted November 30, 2019, by Marty (classicconnusa [at] aol [dot] com)

Photo 13 of 35; This car is leaving downtown Cedarburg and is heading across the Cedar Creek in a NORTHEAST bound direction toward Port Washington. It will travel about 2 miles (Approx) before crossing what is now I-43 Freeway (now a bike bridge later added to pass over the freeway), The walkway is on the right side in the photo which would be the north side with downtown to the car's rear which is to its wouthwest.Once in Port Washington near thje lake-front, it travels down Spring St and meanders around downtown near the power plant before proceeding north (slightly east)to Sheboygan. As is well known - the Interurban bed is now a well-known bike and walking trail (trax2trail)and follows much the original track-bed route with some minor detours due time, terrain and property adjustments. It is a fully paved and well used trail.

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Birdge
Posted April 21, 2017, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

If it did replace an 1850s structure, it would have been built in the 1880s in Michigan. This is the original structure here. Nathan or anyone in that region, do you know if there are archives for the Michigan Central Railroad?

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge
Posted April 21, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I've seen that U-bar once, maybe twice... Very unusual

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge
Posted April 21, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I'm more inclined to think that it replaced an 1850 structure.

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge
Posted April 21, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Looks like an 1880s or maybe early 1890s Carnegie font to me.

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Birdge
Posted April 21, 2017, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

James,

Looking through the photos; I can only make them out on laced members. I did not pay attention to the Carnegie marks when I visited, as I assumed it was a cut and dry date situation.

The sway bracing and portal bracings do not look like they belong on this bridge. In addition, I see a special type of connection (what I've always referred to as a U-Bar) on the underside of this bridge. These type of connections are most common on the 1870s and 1880s trusses that I've seen.

http://bridgehunter.com/photos/36/22/362239-L.jpg

I would think if this bridge date to the 1850s, it has been extensively rebuilt and not much remains of the original structure, specifically the main frame components.

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge
Posted April 21, 2017, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

How many members on this bridge have Carnegie mill marks?

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge
Posted April 21, 2017, by John Marvig

Tony,

Numerous sources indicate the bridge was built in 1850. The floor beams this bridge has tell me it's very old. I suspect it could have been heavily rebuilt. 1850 would make this the oldest railroad truss I know of.

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge
Posted April 21, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

...Could have been acquired from elsewhere and moved here in 07'.

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Bridge
Posted April 21, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I agree John that it's kinda light for a post-1900 RR span, But that 1850 date is even a bigger stretch! I would say more like 1885-1895 maybe.

Ozaukee Interurban Trail - Cedarburg Birdge
Posted April 21, 2017, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge appears to be far too light for a 1907 railway bridge. In addition, it matches this structure:

http://bridgehunter.com/wi/ozaukee/grafton-interurban/

Which was reportedly built in 1850 by the Michigan Central Railway. Input?