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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CPR to replace LaCrosse bridge within two years


Canadian Pacific Railway Aug. 5 announced plans to replace its nearly century-old swing bridge over the Black River in LaCrosse, Wis., with a lift bridge.

Later this month, contractor Edward Kraemer & Sons plans to start constructing six bridge piers and seven spans to replace four piers and four spans, including a 310-foot swing span. CPR officials believe replacing the truss swing span with a bascule span — which is hinged on one end so it can be lifted — will improve operations, according to a prepared statement.

The railroad expects the $15 million project to be completed in March 2004, when CPR would shut down the bridge for three days to change out the swing span.

CPR crews in spring finished installing a new center pivot assembly on the center pier of a 357-foot swing span over the Mississippi River in LaCrosse, which railroad officials consider strategic to support nearly two dozen freight and two Amtrak trains that daily cross four bridges on CPR's mainline between Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, CPR is completing several other Midwestern bridge projects. The railroad plans to:

• replace a single-track, 72-foot trestle with a three-track, 250-foot bridge for $9.5 million by November;

• replace a double-track bridge with a single-track structure over the Vermillion River between Hastings and Red Wing, Minn., for $2 million by October;

• replace two timber bridges with steel-span on concrete/steel-pile-abutment structures in northeast Minneapolis for $1.1 million by October; and

• soon replace a grade crossing with a bridge in Minot, Wis., for nearly $1 million.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/5/2002