Friday, June 19, 2020

1909 Kilbourn Dam and Milw Bridge on Wisconsin River in Wisconsin Dells, WI

(dam construction photo; Bridge HunterSatellite, I chose a wide angle to include the RR bridge)

This 1909 dam has a capacity of 10 MW. It was the biggest dam west of Niagara Falls. (The 142 MW Keokuk Powerhouse wasn't finished until 1913. Each of the 15 units in that dam could do 10 MW.) It is nearly 350' long and 55' high. "Kilbourn was the first major power-generating dam built on the Wisconsin River; later, more than two dozen others were built....The dam evened out water flow and raised water levels on the river, making some of the scenic spots amid the high sandstone cliffs accessible to tourists....Made of concrete, the Kilbourn Dam was the first permanent, power-generating dam on the Wisconsin River. Earlier dams, built of wood in the 1800s, were blown up by loggers." [madisonAlliantEnergy]

Roggy Gragg posted
The westbound Empire Builder departs Wisconsin Dells, WI and passes over the Wisconsin River. In the foreground is the historic Kilbourn dam.
Zooming in on the sluice gates.
Digitally Zoomed

The 1903 pin-connected Pratt truss replaced an 1877 Whipple truss, which replaced an 1856 Howe truss.
Street View
A steam loco crossing the RR bridge in 2004.

Clarissa Peterson Flickr, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)
[After the road deck was removed and extra bracing was added.]

Street View

Street View

WiscNews, ED LEGGE/Dells Events
[A lady was able to save herself in March 2017 by grabbing the cable until some fire fighters were able to rescue her. The cable and buoys had been installed just the previous July. I never did figure out which bridge she jumped off because WI-13+16 does not cross the river and Google Maps doesn't know about "Kilbourn Bridge."]

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