Thursday, May 6, 2021

1967 TVA Nickajack Dam replaced 1913 Hales Bar Dam at New Hope, TN

Nikajack: (Satellite)
Hales Bar: (Satellite, just the lock and powerhouse is left)

I discovered the Nickajack Dam while researching the bridge at New Hope. This town is so close to I-24 that I need to check it out during my next trip to Florida. Although I read  that the visitor center is closed.

The Nickajack Dam replaced the Hales Bar Dam in 1967 because the TVA could not permanently stop the leaks under the Hales Bar Dam.

[The dam is 81' high and 3,767' long. It has a 600' x 110' lock and the foundation for an 800' lock. The four generating units have a summer net dependable capacity of 107 MW.]

The Hales Bar Dam as built. Tainter gates were added during 1947-48 [mst, p32,37] and an extension was added to the powerhouse. Note the steamboat headed into the lock. 
This reference also has a lot of construction photos.

tagcaver and Jenni Fankenberg Veal, Oct 2020
[The coal fired power plant in the background was built in 1922-24. [mst, p22]]

When you do a Google search for "Hales Dam," you get a lot of hits about it being haunted. I don't care about ghosts, but I do care that it "was the nation’s first hydroelectric dam." I thought that the Keokuk Dam on the Mississippi was the first. This dam must of just beat Keokuk because this one was done in Nov, 1913 and the Keokuk Dam also finished in 1913. Keokuk makes a lot of claims such as being large and being the first to use high-voltage transmission to its market (St. Louis), but it doesn't claim to be the first. The market for the electricity from this dam was Chattanooga. The limestone and shale bedrock under the Hales Bar Dam started leaking soon after it was completed. In addition to hydroelectricity, the dam was built to tame one of the major impediments to year round navigation, specifically, the Tennessee River Gorge. Until the gorge was drowned by this dam, there were significant whirlpools. Some were so big and permanent that they had names. [Tata & Howard, tagcaver] "It was 113 feet high, 2,315 feet long and its spillway had a combined discharge capacity of 224,000 cubic feet per second. At that time it was one of the first major multipurpose dams and one of the first major dams to be built across a navigable channel in the United States. The dam was estimated to cost only $2 million but by the end it was nearly $10 million, which equals $237 million in today’s value." [tagcaver]  The cost overrun was caused by the bad foundation provided by the limestone bedrock.

mst, p13
"41 ft lift lock on the right (west) bank of Hales Bar Dam was the first built across a navigable river in the USA, as well as being the highest when it opened in 1913. Just 265 ft long, it soon became the shortest lock on the Tennessee River."

mst, p15
"The project required congressional approval because it was the first time a private power company constructed a major dam across a navigable channel in the United States! Soon after completion wooden flashboards were tacked into the crest to increase the operating pool from 636 to 639 ft, shown here in the 1920s."

When the TVA bought the dam in 1939, they were able to stop the 1000 cfs leaks by 1943. But in the 1950s it started leaking again at 2000 cfs. "Dye traces in 1960 suggested that many of the leaks were interconnected and there was an increasing chance that the entire dam could fail." Rather than spend money on a bigger lock and fixing leaks, in 1963 they decided to use that money to help build the replacement dam 6.5 miles downstream. The name Nickajack comes from the former Cherokee Indian village and cave that got flooded by the new dam. [tagcaver]
tagcarver and mst, p45
[The 1000' wide spillway was dynamited during 1967-68 to remove it as a navigation hazard. Note that the lower pool has filled to the same height as the upper pool. The steam generating power plant had already been removed in 1965.]

Tata & Howard
"The Hales Bar Dam old hydroelectric plant is now used as a dry dock"

Jenni Frankenberg Veal, Oct 2020
[Boats are stored dry on the old turbine level. [tagcaver]]

In fact, the boats are stored in racks.
mst, p47

Not only has the powerhouse been repurposed as a dry dock, the lock has been repurposed as a barge loading dock.


When the Hales Bar Dam was built, they chose the most narrow part of the river assuming that it was narrow because the rock was strong and resisted erosion. Unfortunately, they built the dam on top of a limestone cave system. The problem is not the open cavities, they can be filled with grout. The problem is the clay filled cavities because they keep the grout out, but then they erode away after a grouting project increases the hydrostatic pressure. So why was the Kentucky Dam built on a cave system? Probably because they could not move a few miles away to avoid the system since a good part of Kentucky is a cave system.
mst, p2

"Construction began on Nickajack in 1964 with initial power operations occurring in February 1968. TVA built the two navigation locks first, thereby assuring a steady flow of barge traffic. All salvageable parts—such as gate locks, spillway gates, and generators—were moved from Hales Bar and repurposed."
[This is not the only source that claims that two locks were built. If so, why do we now have just a foundation for an 800' lock? Especially since 800' won't improve the handling of the standard 15-barge tow.]

This is one of several photos on the indicated web site that must have been taken during a tour of the dam. This is the equipment that raises and lowers the tainter gates.

1981 Shelby Rhinehart Bridge over the Tennessee River at South Pittsburg-New Hope, TN

(Bridge Hunter; Satellite)

A ferry was being used between South Pittsburg and New Hope until this bridge opened in 1981. The two lanes with wide shoulders see 4,170 vehicles per day (2017). The navigation span is 750' long. [Bridge Hunter] Since this is a rather early tied-arch bridge construction, I wonder if it was built along the shore and then floated into its place as is done today.

Street View

Street View

This was the post that motivated me to research this bridge.
Jess Raen posted two photos with the comment: "Near New Hope, TN this evening."


This bridge has an exceptional amount of bracing between the two arch ribs.
Street View

Street View

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Three Bridges over Crooked River Canyon near Terrebonne, OR

1911 Railroad: (Bridge Hunter; HAER)
1926 Road: (Bridge Hunter; HAER)
2000 Road: (Bridge Hunter; HAER)  Rex T. Barber Bridge

This location has become a history for arched bridge designs. In the background is the 1911 railroad bridge. In the middle is the 1926 road bridge. It became a pedestrian bridge in 2000 when the bridge in the foreground opened.
Gabe Shakour, Nov 2019

1911 BNSF/(Oregon Trunk Railway+GN) + UP Bridge

I was going to pass on this bridge until I learned that it is the highest railroad bridge in the United States. It was designed by Ralph Modjeski. [Bridge Hunter]

1. General view from southeast - Oregon Trunk Railroad Bridge, Spanning Crooked River at Oregon Trunk Railroad, Terrebonne, Deschutes County, OR

The OTR was a subsidiary of the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway. Along with the Great Northern, Jim Hill owned these railroads. OTR started building up the west side of the Deshutes river while Des Chutes Railroad, part of Ed Harriman's Union Pacific empire, started building up the east side of the river. Both railroads would have to cross a major tributary, Crooked River. "There was only one place where the cliffs on both sides were close enough to build a bridge. Jim Hill had obtained the rights to the location when his Oregon Trunk Railroad acquired the Central Oregon Railroad Company on December 1, 1909. The Central Oregon had laid no track and the rights to the bridge site were its principal asset. Hill's acquisition of the location forced Harriman to negotiate a settlement whereby the Oregon Trunk, Hill's railroad, would own almost the entire line from the Columbia to Bend but Harriman's company would have the right to use the track." [LinkFang]

Tom Runge posted
Dennis DeBruler: According to Bridge Hunter, this is the highest railroad bridge in the United States.
Was there a higher bridge in 1911 that has since been torn down? Because this source says it was the second highest when built.
"The bridge is 320 feet (98 m) above the river and when it was completed in 1911, it was the second-highest railroad bridge in the United States. It is a steel two-hinge arch span with a total length of 460 feet (140 m)."
[The comments discuss if this bridge was, in fact, the highest.]

Kristopher Loewen, Aug 2020

Darnell Sue, Jun 2019

1926 Trail/US-97 Bridge 

As mentioned, this location was so good for building a bridge that Jim Hill and Ed Harriman fought for it. So when it came time to build US-97 through the area, this location was chosen for the bridge.

Street View
Note the railroad bridge in the left background. 

I'm so glad they preserved this bridge. Not only does it have an elegant truss, the portals have pylons.
Street View
Crooked River High Bridge was completed in 1926 as part of the Dalles-California Highway (U.S. 97). It was designed by State Bridge Engineer Conde B. McCuilough. The bridge is a single-span steel deck arch that is 464' long and 27' wide. The main span is 330' long and consists of a double-hinged braced spandrel deck arch. There are 134 feet of reinforced concrete approach spans. The railing is constructed of precast concrete arches, with a cast in place cap. The structure was one of the highest bridges in the United States, at 295' from deck to streambed, when it was constructed. A high line cableway was used in the erection of the structure, rather than a traveling derrick or hoist. [HAER-data]
2. Perspective view from southeast - Crooked River High Bridge, Spanning Crooked River Gorge at Dalles-California Highway, Terrebonne, Deschutes County, OR

2000 US-97 Rex T. Barber Bridge

Josh Schmid, Aug 2018 via Bridge Hunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)

HAER OR-152-10
GENERAL PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF THE REX T. BARBER BRIDGE AFTER COMPLETION, VIEW TO EAST. - Rex T. Barber Veterans Memorial Bridge, Spanning Crooked River Gorge, Dalles-California Highway (US 97), Terrebonne, Deschutes County, OR

Mike Goff comment on Bridge Hunter-2000, cropped
I was there inspecting the two highway bridges last month, it is a pretty awesome location.

I was surprised to see an HAER record for such a modern bridge. I think the record was made to document a new bridge building technique in the USA --- using temporary cable stays until the arch is closed rather than using falsework. That technique has now become common place for building an arch bridge in place. (A more common practice now is to build a tied-steel arch on shore and then float it into place.) An contemporary example of building an arch in place using temporary cable stays is the new I-74 bridges over the Mississippi River. [HAER-data, Bridge Hunter-2000]

HAER OR-152-1
TOPOGRAPHIC VIEW OF THE REX T. BARBER BRIDGE ARCH CONSTRUCTION, VIEW TO SOUTHEAST. - Rex T. Barber Veterans Memorial Bridge, Spanning Crooked River Gorge, Dalles-California Highway (US 97), Terrebonne, Deschutes County, OR

The contractor, Kiewit, also built the arch ribs as 15 segments using traveling formworks. That is, they used a horizontal version of what is called jump-form construction when building grain elevator silos. Jump-forms are also used to build the towers for cable-stay bridges and to build concrete skyscrapers.
HAER OR-152-5

The length of the boom on the concrete pumping truck struck me as awful long. Then I noticed that they used the cableway to hold an extension to get the needed length.
HAER OR-152-7

After reading about the big 4-lane bridge built across the Mississippi River at Cape Giardeau, MO, I've started paying attention to the ratio of bridge cost per vehicle carried. The Missouri bridge was predicted to carry 26,000 vehicles per day by 2015, but it's 2018 usage was only 10,992. Bridge Hunter-2000 indicates this bridge is another big 4-lane bridge that carries only 10,000 vehicles per day.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

1910 BNSF(OTR+BN) + UP Trestle over Willow Creek Canyon near Madras, OR

(Bridge Hunter; no Historic Bridges; Satellite)

I was going to pass on yet-another-trestle-bridge until I saw in the post below an explanation of the "pipe." One advantage of a desert is that trees don't block your view.
Street View

Tom Runge posted two photos with the comment: "Two of the pictures are of the Willow Creek Canyon Trestle in Madras, Oregon which is my home town.  I have climbed that longest tower to the top when I was about 12 or 13.  Also walked across it 5 or 6 times. (70 now and lucky to be alive!)  That big pipe you see below the trestle is a siphon to get irrigation water across the canyon.  I estimate it to be 15 feet in diameter and it is drained in the winter months.  Have walked thru it numerous times.   One time while about three of us were half way up one side someone started shooting a 22 rifle down the pipe.  We could hear the bullets ricochet past us.  We yelled and they stopped firing.  I remember watching steam locomotives cross when I was 5 or 6. Probably around 1956."
Donovan Reed: I photographed the 4449 on the trestle for the 2017 excursion run. Parked on the side of the road, walked the pipeline across and stood at the South end of the bridge. It was a fun time.

According to Bridge Hunter, this photo was taken by Michael Goff in March 15, 2008.

Monday, May 3, 2021

1929 RJCC/CSX/(C&O+L&N) and 1910 Road Bridges over Kentucky River in Frankfort, KY

Railroad: (Bridge Hunter; Historic BridgesSatellite)
Both: (Satellite) These bridges appear to share some piers.

RJCC = R J Corman Railroad - Central Kentucky Line

According to the 2005 SPV Map, C&O and L&N shared this route through Frankfort.

C Hanchey Flickr, this is the first of several photos of this bridge
Comment from comparable photo in Bridge Hunter: 1929 three span (girder, Warren and Pennsylvania) through truss railroad bridge next to Broadway Bridge (1910 Baltimore Petit truss)

Walter Laughling commented in Bridge Hunter-Road:
A couple of points of correction: This is actually TWO bridges. The highway bridge carrying Broadway (and this modern affectation of calling it Broadway STREET annoys me to no end) was built in 1898 as the railroad bridge. It also had a wooden deck to allow wagons and pedestrians to use it. It replaced the first iron railroad bridge in 1898 - a Fink truss built in 1868. The Fink truss replaced the second railroad covered bridge at this location lost in a flood in 1867. The second covered bridge replaced the first covered bridge which was burned by the Confederates in 1863 during the occupation of Frankfort. The covered bridge replaced the first railroad bridge at the location which was a wire suspension bridge. 

The present railroad bridge was built in 1929.

Julie Bowers comment in Bridge Hunter-Road
The detailed map from 1871 clearly shows the Fink truss at this location. That truss was for both rail and road transportation.

J.B. Rail Photog posted and shared
03/19/2021 - RJCC Z543-19 creeps across the Kentucky River through Frankfort, KY, northbound on the Old Road Subdivision. I don't usually take vertical pictures of trains but this one is framed in the bridge so I thought it worked.

J.B. Rail Photog posted and shared
08/24/2020 - RJCC Z544-24 comes off the Kentucky River Bridge which crosses the Kentucky River at Broadway in Frankfort, KY. The vehicle bridge to the right has been closed for years and hopes for saving it are slim for pedestrian usage. There's also an old searchlight signal which has been inoperable for years that CSX didn't remove to the right of the locomotive in the picture which I hear is coming down very soon.

This street view is deja vu for me, but I can't find any existing notes. I do hope this is not a duplicate.
Street View

C Hanchey Flickr

Broadway Bridge

Historic 1910 Broadway Bridge over the Kentucky River in downtown Frankfort. The bridge was the only pin-connected Baltimore truss highway bridge in Kentucky.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Grain Elevators on Goose Island

(Satellite, they were along the west shore of North Branch Canal above Division Street)

On the left side of the photo is the south end of Milwaukee's Z-2 bobtail bridge.
Noach Hoffman posted
"Goose Island" by George Demont Otis. Circa 1910.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Noach's post
I didn't even know there were grain elevators on the island until I saw this image. I see that it used to have four of them in 1901.

The following four images were downloaded from The Map Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.