Free Plans of a Warren Truss Bridge
Perfect for a Model Railroad Layout
Although built for vehicular traffic rather than railroad use, this little bridge could be adapted for a model railroad layout bridging a small creek or gulley, or for a roadway overpass. It’s simple design would be easily replicated using sheet and angle stock, either brass, or for the ultimate ease of construction, styrene.
The Range Line Road Bridge is a single-span Warren standard truss with a continuous top chord spanning the West Branch of the Eau Claire river in northern Wisconsin. Although the builder’s plate identifying the date and manufacturer is missing, there were only two bridge-building firms that used the continuous top chord: the Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company, and Worden-Allen. County records indicate it was the Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company that built the structure.
The endpost is continuous without a hip-joint. The term, continuous top chord, is potentially misleading. The top chord is actually in three sections, held together by splice plates. The center top chord angles are considerably larger than those on either end. The bridge has an overall length of 61 feet with a 16-foot roadway. The bridge is composed of riveted angles, with some bolted connections. Gusset plates join the diagonals and verticals. The corrugated metal deck is hung above the bottom chord.
The Range Line Road Bridge is significant as a single span Warren truss consisting almost entirely of riveted angles. A distinctive feature is the continuous top chord that extends to the shoe, eliminating the need for a hip joint and separate endpost.
The township of Ackley, in Langlade County, is located in the northern part of Wisconsin, in a region where the lumber industry initiated economic development. The township’s road system was not developed until the 1880s. The area has evolved into a sparsely populated agricultural community. The West and East Branches of the Eau Claire River form the principal water courses through the township. Secondary rivers include the Black Creek and Trappe River. The surface is low and somewhat rolling.
In 1908, Ackley township supervisors in Langlade County agreed to raise funds to remove several decaying wooden bridges and replace them with steel structures. According to county records, the following August, the Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, erected the Range Line Road Bridge over the West Channel of the Eau Claire River. J.C. Hall, a local resident, constructed the approach.
The Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company, incorporated in 1891, erected bridges throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest. It is one of the few bridge building firms to use the continuous top chord design.
The Range Line Road Bridge was recorded by the Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey, part of: Historic American Engineering Record housed by the Library of Congress. Historian Diane Kromm performed the research. Photographs were taken by Martin Stupich. Plans were delineated by Joseph Bilello.