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 Post subject: Pontoon bridge in the Upper Midwest
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 10:54 pm 

Where did the Milwaukee Road have a pontoon bridge? When was it erected and when was it last used?


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Pontoon bridge in the Upper Midwest
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 5:53 am 

> Where did the Milwaukee Road have a pontoon
> bridge? When was it erected and when was it
> last used?

I do not know a lot here but maybe this will help jog the memory of others. They had such a bridge over the Mississippi River between Wisconsin and Iowa. I think the west end was near Marquette IA and the east end near Prairie du Chien. Incredible as it seems, I believe I have heard stories that a section in the center could swing or float aside to let shipping through.

Apologies if this location is not exact, I do not have an atlas handy right now.

Bob Kutella

68trolley@comcast.net


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Pontoon bridge in the Upper Midwest
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 8:11 am 

Bob,

You're correct, it spanned the Mississippi between Marquette, IA and Prairie du Chien, WI.
It lasted until the late 60's if I remember correctly.

Boyd


bowens@rypn.org


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Pontoon bridge in the Upper Midwest
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:55 am 

> Bob,

> You're correct, it spanned the Mississippi
> between Marquette, IA and Prairie du Chien,
> WI.
> It lasted until the late 60's if I remember
> correctly.

> Boyd
They have pictures at the Musuem in the old Depot at McGregor Iowa
M. Nix


2rivers@upstel.net


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Pontoon bridge in the Upper Midwest
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 10:25 am 

> They have pictures at the Musuem in the old
> Depot at McGregor Iowa
> M. Nix

The attached link has a photo of the pontoon bridge at Marquette, IA. It was removed from service in 1961. Cecil Cook did a history of Marquette and McGregor, IA, and it contained photos, drawings and stories about the "pontoon". I believe that the Milwaukee Road had two other pontoons, maybe Wabasha, MN and Chamberlain, SD?

Don C.

http://www.mcgreg-marq.org/marquette.htm

milw261@sbcglobal.net


  
 
 Post subject: MILW Pontoon bridge
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 1:00 pm 

> Cecil Cook did a history of
> Marquette and McGregor, IA, and it contained
> photos, drawings and stories about the
> "pontoon". I believe that the
> Milwaukee Road had two other pontoons, maybe
> Wabasha, MN and Chamberlain, SD?

One other bridge was on the Mississippi. Cook's work mentions it albeit from the Wisconsin side, which location escapes me for the moment. Having a signed copy of the book, I'll check it this evening.

I'll also check info on the Wisconsin side of the Marquette crossing. It was my understanding that the crossing of the East channel [Prairie side] was made on a conventional trestle..

hi_plain@yahoo.com


  
 
 Post subject: Chamberlain, SD pontoon
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 7:57 pm 

The third and probably least known pontoon bridge crossed the Missouri River at Chamberlain. The local courthouse has a number of photos and postcards of the bridge displayed in the community room on the south end of the second floor. The bridge was later replaced with a swing span which in turn was replaced by the current bridge downstream when the river was dammed in the early 1950's. To compensate for the rise and fall of the river, the trestle legs supported by the pontoon barge were adjustable in length. An attached boiler house on a separate barge provided steam to operate the screw jacks at each "pile" and presumably the winch which pulled the pontoon into line so a train could pass. The local newspaper reported some of the problems with the bridge. At least once the pontoon had to be beached as it was in danger of sinking. Another time a locomotive fell in the river. Photos of the hulk after being fished out and rerailed are in the courthouse.

dsrc512@sd.value.net


  
 
 Post subject: Re: MILW Pontoon bridge
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 8:31 pm 

> One other bridge was on the Mississippi.
> Cook's work mentions it albeit from the
> Wisconsin side, which location escapes me
> for the moment. Having a signed copy of the
> book, I'll check it this evening.

> I'll also check info on the Wisconsin side
> of the Marquette crossing. It was my
> understanding that the crossing of the East
> channel [Prairie side] was made on a
> conventional trestle..

There was a pontoon on each channel. Bridge B-378 was on the east channel and Bridge B-380 was on the west channel. Cecil Cook's book "Marquette" lists Read's Landing, MN, and Chamberlain, SD, as the other two locations known to have had pontoon bridges.

Don C.

milw261@sbcglobal.net


  
 
 Post subject: Re: MILW Pontoon bridge
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 10:37 pm 

> There was a pontoon on each channel. Bridge
> B-378 was on the east channel and Bridge
> B-380 was on the west channel. Cecil Cook's
> book "Marquette" lists Read's
> Landing, MN, and Chamberlain, SD, as the
> other two locations known to have had
> pontoon bridges.

> Don C.

These were really amazing feats of engineering. Although it is understandable why they were replaced, and also understandable why they couldn't be preserved, it would be well if someone could make a detailed model of their workings for posterity. Perhaps at a location near where they were located, or at some rail museum somewhere.

Les Beckman (Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum/North Judson, Indiana)


midlandblb@cs.com


  
 
 Post subject: Re: MILW Pontoon bridge
PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:02 am 

> I'll also check info on the Wisconsin side
> of the Marquette crossing. It was my
> understanding that the crossing of the East
> channel [Prairie side] was made on a
> conventional trestle..

Well, shows you what happens when one tries to access the "cobweb section" of memory..

Cook's book also mentions that the east pontoon [B-378] remained almost one year longer in place, though unused, and that the "powerboat" [a small flatboat lashed at one end of the bridge, containing a stationary boiler and machinery to swing the pontoon open/shut] lived on, at least through the 70's, as someone's garage in Prairie.

hi_plain@yahoo.com


  
 
 Post subject: Can a model of the MILW Pontoon bridge be made?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:05 am 

> These were really amazing feats of
> engineering. Although it is understandable
> why they were replaced, and also
> understandable why they couldn't be
> preserved, it would be well if someone could
> make a detailed model of their workings for
> posterity.

Cook's book has a couple of detail drawings of the pontoon, as well as reproduction of the layout plan, plus pictures, of course. There just might be enough material to make a decent model.

hi_plain@yahoo.com


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Pontoon bridge in the Upper Midwest
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 6401
Stumbled across these photos tonight on the internet. These are the first photos I've seen showing this Milwaukee Road bridge open for Mississippi River traffic. Thought they might be worth adding to this old thread since I don't see any photos of the bridge previously referenced. Here they are:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/photolibr ... otostream/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/photolibr ... otostream/

The riverboat in the second photo is interesting in its own right.


Les


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 Post subject: Re: Pontoon bridge in the Upper Midwest
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:01 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1346
Location: Chicago USA
She still exists! In pieces.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_%28steamboat%29


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 Post subject: Re: Pontoon bridge in the Upper Midwest
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:10 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1731
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
The photos seem to show that these were pontoon drawspans,
and not entire pontoon or floating bridges, as found in Washington State.


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 Post subject: Re: Pontoon bridge in the Upper Midwest
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:06 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 6401
Also found out yesterday that, apparently, the Rutland also had a pontoon bridge across Lake Champlain between Vermont and New York. That pontoon bridge was in use by the Rutland from 1871 to 1923.


Les


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