2 votes

UP - Chippewa Falls Bridge


Chippewa Falls Railroad Bridge

Photo taken by John Marvig in May 2012


BH Photo #231894


Originally built 1891 as a 6 span bridge, two spans collapsed in an arson in July 1993. Three secondhand spans (built 1916) from Lake Wissota to replace trusses. Bridge rehabilitated in 2014.


Quadrangular lattice through truss bridge over Chippewa River on Union Pacific Railroad
Chippewa Falls, Chippewa County, Wisconsin
Open to traffic
Built 1891 as a 6-span bridge; two spans burned and replaced with secondhand girders in 1993, Piers Rebuilt 2014
- Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Girder Fabrication)
- Chicago & North Western Railway (CNW)
- Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway (CMO)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
From North to South:
1-24' I-Beam Span (24')
3-100' Deck Plate Girder Spans (300')
1-12' I-Beam Span (12')
2-160' Quadrangular Truss Spans (320')
2-100' Quadrangular Truss Spans (200')
4 Spans Trestle (51')
Length of largest span: 160.0 ft.
Total length: 907.0 ft.
Also called
C&NW Bridge #614
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.93479, -91.37920   (decimal degrees)
44°56'05" N, 91°22'45" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/627888/4976984 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Chippewa Falls
Inventory number
BH 51867 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 20, 2021: New photo from Luke
  • December 23, 2015: New photos from Charles Kuehn
  • August 24, 2015: New photos from John Marvig
  • March 26, 2014: New photos from John Marvig
  • April 27, 2012: Photo imported by John Marvig
  • March 26, 2012: Updated by Daniel Hopkins: Added category "Railroad"
  • March 24, 2012: Added by John Marvig

Related Bridges 



UP Chippewa Falls Bridge
Posted March 11, 2014, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The bridge is getting another face lift. This time, timber components of the bridge are being replaced, and the trusses shifted about 25 feet to the east on new concrete piers. The comparison between 1894 trusses, 1994 deck girders and 2014 piers will be interesting. The trusses were deemed far stronger than minimum freight rail requirements, and are expected to last much longer. Photos coming soon. Work to be complete in May...

UP Chippewa River Bridge
Posted November 14, 2013, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)

Zachary S,

I haven't been to this bridge in a while. Its only a couple hours from home, and I now have a drivers license. I'd love to revisit, mainly because its easier to access the far end now. They replaced the trestle approach and the wooden piers this summer. This bridge has seen its better days. This whole area is worth a visit. Wisconsin has some good bridges.

Union Pacific Chippewa River Bridge
Posted November 13, 2013, by Zachary S

It's always interesting how, particularly with railroad bridges, events through time such as the fire and partial replacements, etc. can eventually lead to a bridge with an odd and unusual span configuration and type, with varying ages and truss designs mixed in with girder spans and trestle approaches. Gives 'em a lot of character, though of course it does damage the historic integrity a bit.

Union Pacific Chippewa River Bridge
Posted November 12, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Those fire fighters in 1993 were not too smart fighting the fire standing on one of the spans supported by the burning pier. Fortunately, the span they weren't standing on collapsed first.

Union Pacific Chippewa River Bridge
Posted September 9, 2013, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)


UP is upgrading this bridge. Trestle approach to be replaced, piers to be reinforced.