1 vote

MILW - Short Line Bridge (Old)


Public Domain: Published Prior to 1923


View this photo at books.google.com

BH Photo #395562


An article in "The Railway Age" volume 33, from 1902 describs the building of an new bridge. It also discusses the old one. Quoting from page 21:

The old bridge was designed by C. Shaler Smith and built by the Edgemoor Bridge Works. It consisted of three deck trusses of the Whipple type, supporting a highway on the bottom chord, together with five approach spans of the Fink type. Of the three spans included in the river portion of the old structure, the two shore spans were each 272 feet in length, 39 feet in depth center to center of the pins, and 18 feet center to center of the trusses. The shore ends of these two spans rested on stone abutments and the river ends on steel bents 78 feet in height, with the trusses cantalevered over forming the middle span 324 feet in length. One 60-foot and one 40-foot Fink truss supported at their intersections on a rocker bent formed the west approach and three 60-foot Fink trusses on rocker bents on the east approach.


Lost Whipple deck truss bridge over Mississippi River on Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad & Road
Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1880; Replaced 1902
- Charles Shaler Smith of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Edge Moor Bridge Works of Wilmington, Delaware
- Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (MILW)
Single track wide, with 3 Whipple deck truss for the main spans, and 5 Fink truss approach spans.
Length of largest span: 324.0 ft.
Total length: 1,148.0 ft.
Also called
MILW - Minnehaha Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.95608, -93.21253   (decimal degrees)
44°57'22" N, 93°12'45" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/483236/4978093 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Saint Paul West
Inventory number
BH 74982 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • July 1, 2017: Updated by Fmiser: Expanded design and added a description
  • June 30, 2017: Updated by Luke: Added additional image showing fink apporaches
  • December 30, 2016: Added by Luke

Related Bridges 


  • Luke
  • Fmiser - fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com


MILW - Short Line Bridge (Old)
Posted July 1, 2017, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

The Google digitize book that supplied the photo describes the Fink trusses. So I quoted the relevant part in the description and expanded the design section.

Thanks for the additional images, Luke!

MILW - Short Line Bridge (Old)
Posted June 30, 2017, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

The first image shows what may be a Fink or two as approach spans on the far shore. The lack of resolution makes it difficult to confirm. If the build date of 1880 is accurate, it seems quite late for a Fink truss.

Also, does anyone know the type of compression member used on the Whipples?


Art S.

MILW - Short Line Bridge (Old)
Posted June 30, 2017, by Anonymous

Pretty sure I'm seeing fink elements on the main span.

MILW - Short Line Bridge (Old)
Posted June 30, 2017, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is listed as having a fink deck truss approach span. But the photos does not show any fink. What little I have found on it does not mention a Fink deck truss.

Is there really a fink?