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 1881 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 1881, Two Spans Built Ca. 1886 and Relocated Here Ca. 1930
- Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (MILW; CMStP&P; CMStP)
- Rail-to-trail
Pinned Pratt through truss
Length of largest span: 120.0 ft.
Total length: 440.0 ft.
Also called
MILW Pecatonica River Bridge
Browntown Railroad Bridge
Brownton Trail Bridge
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 

  • 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 August 28, 2015, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Found more information on the bridge.

The bridge originally consisted of the western two spans, and stone piers. The stone substructures were built 1880 and the trusses added 1881. In 1889, the bridge was expanded. The eastern two spans were added on wooden substructures. The wooden approach was also added at this time.

This information was found via the Milwaukee Road Archives, at the Milwaukee Central Library.

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.