“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Avery in Shoshone County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)

Bridging the Gaps

Bridging the Gaps Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 22, 2011
1. Bridging the Gaps Marker
Wood to Steel

The Milwaukee Road built temporary wood trestles at all but Kelly Creek and Clear Creek. Fire danger prompted the railroad to immediately begin replacing the wooden structures with earth-filled embankments or building steel bridges inside and over them.

The Milwaukee used a relatively new steel design—“deck girder bridges” with solid concrete floors. Large “I” beams on top of steel towers supported “U” shaped concrete tubs. These held a layer of rock ballast on which the ties and rails set.

A Better Bridge

The initial cost of the new design was greater, but maintenance was much less.

Local section gangs, rather than special bridge gangs, could regularly attend the track on the trestle.

The ballasted floors practically eliminated impact stress and vibration from the trains going over the trestles.

The steel bridges were safer, smoother riding and more permanent.

How Long? How High?
Route of the Hiawatha Trestles

Small Creek (trestle #216) – 515’ long, 120’ high
Barnes Creek (trestle #218) – 507’ long, 117’ high
Kelly Creek (trestle #220) – 850’ long, 230’ high
Turkey Creek (trestle
Bridging the Gaps Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 22, 2011
2. Bridging the Gaps Marker
#224) – 494’ long, 146’ high
Russell, “No Name”(trestle #226) – 281’ long, 90’ high
Bear Creek (trestle #228) – 570’ long, 155’ high
Location. 47° 21.112′ N, 115° 38.238′ W. Marker is near Avery, Idaho, in Shoshone County. Marker can be reached from Cliff Creek Road (Federal Road 506) 1.8 miles north of Loop Creek Road (Federal Road 326). Click for map. Located along the Route of the Hiawatha Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Avery ID 83802, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. No One’s “Fault” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Little in Name Only (approx. 0.3 miles away); The 1910 Fires (approx. 0.3 miles away); Section Gangs (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Big Blowup (approx. half a mile away); The Olympian Hiawatha (approx. 0.6 miles away); Olympian Luxury (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Traveler (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Avery.
More about this marker. On the left is a photo with the caption, "The blueprint shows how a steel trestle was built within the old wooden bridge." Photograph courtesy of Montana Historical Society

On the top right is a diagram of "Plans for changing from wooden to steel trestles."
Also see . . .  Route of the Hiawatha Rail Trail. (Submitted on August 4, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsRailroads & Streetcars
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 507 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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