City salvages ’1899′ rail bridge signs for river walk

The city of Oshkosh has picked up a few extra pieces of lumber with a little bit of history behind them for its proposed river walk bridge.

Canadian National continues to make progress on replacing the 113-year-old rail bridge over the Fox River. But as some key parts of it come down, the city of Oshkosh has worked with CN and Ed Kraemer and Sons to preserve key parts of it, like the portals adorned with the year of the bridge’s construction, 1899.

Photo by Lizzy Schultz

Oshkosh Community Development Director Allen Davis said the portals have been transported by the barge seen in the above photo above down the river to the Boat Works site near Fifth Avenue and Michigan Street where they will be stored for now.

The even cooler part to this is what Davis has said he hopes to do with the portals: Incorporate them into the river walk bridge project the city has developed as a way to reduce the cost of river walk construction in the Boat Works area. The bridge, you might remember, was a last-minute consideration that the DNR and city liked because it avoids disturbing habitat and reduces the price tag by making the river walk segment much shorter in the Boat Works area.

Photo by Lizzy Schultz

The city hopes to commence river walk construction in the boat works area next year and has budgeted $1 million ($400,000 in grants and $600,000 in TIF funds) for the project. The addition of the rail portals to either side of the proposed river walk bridge will only add more character to an already cool idea.

About Jeff Bollier

Jeff Bollier is an award-winning public affairs reporter for the Oshkosh Northwestern who covers everything from city hall to business. As Streetwise, Jeff delivers updates on the comings and goings of Oshkosh's retail and business world. Jeff is an avid Instagram and Twitter user and a member of the Northwestern Bacon Team.
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