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a new Pontoon Swing Draw Bridge is Floated to Marquette

a new Pontoon Swing Draw Bridge is Floated to Marquette

My model railroad crosses the Mississippi River, like the Milwaukee Road did for many years
between Prairie du Chien Wisconsin and Marquette Iowa.

My modeling era is before 1999. The real crossing was abandoned in the 1960's, but it lives on here.

My previous bridges were paper and wood mock-ups, but with the help of Cecil Cook's book 'Marquette'
I made a simple model using basswood sticks.

And here she is, coming down the River, being fetched by my Lil Charley tow boat. (see an earlier web page about that)
(I refer to the float as 'she', like many good ships are.)
This a railway and NAVIGATION company, and the pontoon float is registered as a boat,
so it has a legal right to be on the river. Even if it usually just swings across the channel and becomes a bridge.


The boatyard has a scaffold to hold the posts vertical while the glue dries.
The posts are a scale 22 feet tall.


And I drilled post holes with a jig.




Looking north, up stream, at the West channel of the Mississippi River.
Iowa is on the left, and an island on the Wisconsin side of the border is on the right.
This is interstate commerce.


The new float is a braced post design, like the original float from the 1880's,
and that's also the design that was in use at Read's Landing, 120 miles north of my location.
The paper mock-up on the right is the boxed design with cable bracing.
All the gray shaded area is supposed to be open air space.
The square box design would be harder to build, and would have more wood construction and bracing and cable stays that would hide the view of trains going over (or through) the bridge.

Now I have to embargo the rail line for a week while transferring the track and its supports from the old to the new float.

The paper float will go to the boat yard for refurbishing to be used for the east channel.


This is what it looks like 6 months later, when it is nearly done:
Floating Pontoon Swing Drawbridge on my Milwaukee Road model train layout

Here are previous web pages,
Modeling the Milwaukee Road Pontoon Swing Bridges in Spring 2020

Scale Model Plans for a Milwaukee Road Pontoon Float Swing Bridge

. . . . . to My Main Index Page on the TrainWeb site.

This page was filmed and wrote about in October, 2020.