Sunday, April 30, 2017

Muscatine, IA Bridges over the Mississippi River

(1891 Bridge Hunter1972 Bridge HunterJohn A Weeks IIISatellite)

While studying the location of a couple of depots in Muscatine, IA, I noticed the Mississippi River bridge moved. It used to be an extension of Walnut Street.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
When I first saw pictures of the old bridge, I thought it was just another suspended span cantilevered truss bridge that we have now seen replaced several times. But when I read that it was built in 1891, I dug deeper.

Oscar Grossheim1909  photo from the Musser Public Library
It was built with steel cylindrical piers. But, in 1899, a crew of men and a team of horses pulling a load of logs fell 40 feet with the bridge when a piece of ice slammed into the third pier. All of the piers were rebuilt with stone from Cedar Valley, Iowa. The referenced photo shows the old steel piers. (I wonder if this was a quarry. Nature does not make 90-degree angles. There are three other "water pools" in this area along the shore of Cedar River that were probably quarries.) This 1899 collapse evidently taught engineers that steel piers should not be used in rivers because you now don't see any, even in older pictures.

Oscar Grossheim 1909 photo of the levee and High Bridge from the Musser Public Library
If you look at the Bridges--Muscatine search results, you can seem some pictures during the 1922 flood. All of this levee was covered by water because the water had been on top of the tracks at the left side of the above photo. This is a reminder that a side effect of building the dams to create a 9-foot navigation channel was to reduce the variance of the river level. This Iowa-side photo also has an elevation view of a little over half of the cantilevered span. Historic Bridges has a photo of the Illinois side of the cantilevered span.

When I read in the Bridge Hunter facts that the width of the deck was 18 feet, I checked the width of the Hummer Bridge, which I know is a scary bridge because it is skinny and high. The Hummer is 19.7 feet wide. The new bridge is also just two lanes, but its deck width is 32 feet. So I'll bet the local residents were glad to switch to the new bridge and see the skinny bridge demolished in 1973.

The 1972 Norbert F. Beckey replacement bridge has a through steel truss for the 500-foot wide navigation channel with a clearance of 65 feet. The rest of the spans are steel girders.

John A. Weeks III
Update: QC Times has 20 photos including some of the collapsed span, construction of the 1972 bridge, and demolition of the main span of the old bridge.

Electric Steel Furnace with Excessive Carbon Detonating

A 37-second video of an electric furnace operating. Be sure to play it with the audio on. There are no more bangs during the last 9 seconds so you can stop it early. I do hope Facebook doesn't fink out and later loose this video link.
This is probably one of those plants for which the electric company charges reduced fees if they agree to shutdown during a few days of the year when electricity usage is at its highest. Even in the northern states, this is during the summer when all of the air conditioners are running a significant fraction of the day. I'll bet the employees are more than glad to take the hot days off.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Big Prop Wash (and Threading a Needle)

The former CN/EJ&E Bridge over the Illinois River was very narrow. That is why these pictures show it being replaced by a bridge with a much longer lift span. While Ken was documenting the construction, he caught a couple of photos of a tow going upstream. I was surprised that the hydraulic jump caused by the propwash was so high because I had assumed that the tow would move slowly through such a tight space. They certainly enter locks moving very slowly. Then it occurred to me that it might have been moving slowly as far as the bridge was concerned because he was going upstream and the river may have had a heavy current flow. When they enter locks, they are more sheltered from the main flow of the river.

A Photo by Ken Derry
Then I saw this photo. I think this propwash is the highest that I have ever seen. The pilot probably gunned his engines when the barges cleared the bridge because he could safely go faster. Those big towboats have thousands of horsepower and making a lot of water move fast is how they translate that horsepower into kinetic energy that causes an equal and opposite force to move the tow forward.

I-90 over Cuyahoga River Valley in Cleveland, OH

(no Bridge Hunter for the 2013 bridge, 1959 Bridge Hunter, Historic BridgesSatellite)

It was called the Innerbelt Bridge, but it is now called the George V. Voinovich Bridge.

When the I-90 bridge opened to traffic on August 15, 1959, it was the widest bridge in Ohio with four lanes in each direction. It was a deck truss arch bridge. [cleveland.com1] It was recently replaced by two deck delta-girder bridges. Each new bridge has five lanes and a shoulder. Both bridges were open to traffic in September, 2016. The bridge is 136 feet over the river. [ODOT-FAQ]

First, they built a new westbound bridge...
From Google Map, Ohio DOT link is broken.
...and then they removed the old bridge so that they could build the eastbound bridge.

While the second bridge is being built, 8 lanes of traffic are being squeezed down to 6 lanes with no shoulder.
I don't know if the number of lanes in each direction was changed depending on the time of day or if they always had four lanes going west and two going east.
Once again, I can get an older image from the birds-eye view, that still shows the 1959 bridge.
Birds-Eye View
This bridge was one of the projects that Upstate Detailing worked on and they posted three photos:



An august 3, 2015 posting, this web page has other photos
[The piers are built and the deltas are started. Note the temporary top cords to use one span to balance the other until the spans are completed.]
They changed the lighting to red and green for Christmas, Cleveland Innerbelt Facebook Page.

ODOT Overview
ceacisp, there are some construction photos on this page. Some include the old bridge in the background.
[They used a barge-mounted crane to build the span over the river. In Chicago, they sometimes use a barge-mounted crane to build buildings.]

ODOT has a Flickr page of construction photos.

BNSF/CB&Q Congress Park Yard

I learned that the name of the little yard here is Congress Park Yard in the comments on the following derailment that happened on or before 1967.
This is one of eight photos posted by Mike Croy.
[There are other views of this stock car. It is the stock car itself that I find fascinating. Most photos from the 1960s are of engines, not freight cars. So I think this is the first time I have seen a quality photo of a stock car. Note the outside truss bracing and the script "Everywhere West" logo.  There are also a couple views of a Big Hook in Mike's posting.]

20161017 6305
After rail fanning for a while where BNSF/CB&Q crosses over the IHB, I headed east along the tracks to check out the commuter stations. I was rather surprised to find that Pepperidge Farm was not the only line-side industry left along the Racetrack. When I saw cars on what looked like an industrial lead, I turned around to take some pictures.

BNSF seems to now use the Congress Park Yard for Maintenance of Way storage.

Since it is close to the connection with the IHB, it was once probably used to interchange local freight with the IHB. This Bing map image shows five cars spotted on the industrial spur.

An older image even has the fallen flag of a Burlington Northern car.
Birds-Eye View
Congress Park was an interchange yard with IHB. Back before unit trains and Interstate highways, the major yards in Chicago were hump yards instead of intermodal yards. Interchange yards were important because they were where one railroad would deliver a cut of cars to another railroad.

Also, at one time, CB&Q served 500 industries east of Aurora. So small yards gave the local train a base from which to distribute cars to the various industries in the neighborhood and assemble the cars retrieved from those industries into a cut that they could take back to the railroad's classification yard.

Before the current configuration for Ogden Avenue, there used to be a truss bridge that took Ogden straight over BNSF and IHB. I was shocked to learn that before the truss bridge, Ogden had today's underpass configuration.
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Other than the removal of the connector in the northwest quadrant, the yard has about as many tracks as it used to have. But it is now used for car and Maintenance of Way storage.

William Brown shared a link, Brookfield Police Department, cropped
You would like to have the derail before the road crossing.
[BNSF blocked the crossing for over four hours.]
The derail is protected by a snow removal heater. If it was installed a little to the West, it would protect the road as well as the mainline track.
Street View

Update: It looks like BNSF is going to soon loose the business of the Sweetener Supply Corporation that is by this yard. It is planning to move to a new location in Indiana.
David Jordan shared a link with the comment:
Probably posted in July 2019, but I didn't see the Genesee & Wyoming news item until until now. It mentions sugar and related products (corn syrup?) and cellulose woodpulp coming by rail.
* * * * *
Sweetener Supply to Open New Food Ingredients Facility on Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway
Sweetener Supply Corp., a Brookfield, Ill.-based manufacturer and marketer of food-grade ingredients, recently announced it will open a new manufacturing facility on a 15-acre site served by G&W’s Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway (TPW) in White County, Ind.
TPW worked collaboratively with Sweetener Supply and White County for more than two years to bring the project to fruition.
“We are delighted to have earned the trust of Sweetener Supply, helping convince them to locate its new facility along the TPW in Remington,” said TPW President Marty Pohlod. “This success is a great example of OneG&W in action where industrial development, real estate, engineering, TPW operations, marketing/sales and government/industry affairs all contributed to providing a fine site and arrangements to attract Sweetener Supply. We are excited to see construction start and to eventually begin providing service. TPW is a great railroad for industrial development sites because it safely and reliably accesses so many Class I railroads both in the east and west.”
Proximity to Interstate 65, rail service and convenience for the company’s employees were major factors in selecting the location in the Mid-America Commerce Park, said Joe Gardella, president of Sweetener Supply.
“We looked at several states, and White County came with the best offer and logistically made the most sense for our company and customers," Gardella added.
TPW and the county structured a unique transaction to create the 15-acre parcel from railroad- and county-owned property. The parcel was then deeded to Sweetener Supply for construction of its $20 million, 180,000 square-foot facility. Sweetener Supply expects to break ground in 2020 and complete work on the building in mid 2021, after which it will relocate equipment from its Berwyn, Ill., facility. The company expects to be operational by early 2022.
TPW worked with Sweetener Supply on a plan to provide the company with a rail spur to its building to compete with other project sites under consideration around the Midwest that already had rail spurs. The company will receive inbound railcars of sugar and related products, as well as cellulose woodpulp. The woodpulp is processed into an anti-caking material for cheese, baked goods and pet foods among other uses.
Chris Walters I wonder how many carloads they will have.
Jacob Metzger They get around 15 cars a week in Brookfield currently.
David Jordan BNSF covered hoppers are visible at the Brookfield site, so assuming this firm makes no change to its suppliers, bulk sugar coming out of MN or ND should be routed BNSF-Peoria-TPW. I'm wondering if woodpulp is shipped in covered hoppers as well?
Adam Robillard J Rettenmaier in Schoolcraft, MI receives similar wood pulp that arrive in boxcars from mainly CN and CSX origins.
Rettenmaier has 6 indoor boxcar spots and receives 6-12 boxcars of wood pulp a week. They ship an outbound byproduct used as feed in covered hoppers average about 1 a week.
Dean Cunningham Very interesting post David. This speaks well for the rail service the "Sweetener Supply Corp." will receive from the railroad. Has construction of the plant commenced?
David Jordan Dean Cunningham Not yet, but groundbreaking is to take place this year. Operations will commence by early 2022.
Dennis DeBruler So the Racetrack is down to just Pepperidge Farm in Downers Grove between Naperville and Cicero.!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4...
I just discovered that Google Map labels the Pepperidge Farm building as also Campbell Soup.!4m5!3m4...

They evidently handled both liquid and granular sugars. (Note the covered hopper unloading in the building and the pneumatic-unload semi in the right background for the granular action.)
Street View, Sep 2018
Again, it uses both covered hoppers and tank cars.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Arthur J Ravenel Jr. Bridge over Cooper River in Charleston County, SC

(2005 Bridge Hunter (Arthur J Ravenel Jr.), 1966 Bridge Hunter (Silas S Perman), 1928 Bridge Hunter (John P Grace), John A. Weeks IIIHAER3D Satellite)

"Longest Cable-Stayed bridge in America" [Bridge Hunter] That is no longer true. The John James Audubon Bridge has a main span that is 37 feet longer than the 1546 foot main span of this bridge.

John Weeks

Photo by Andrew Penik from Bridge Hunter
All three 1929, 1966, 2005

Jake Jones posted
Charleston SC 6-18-2015
Photo by Andrew Penik from Bridge Hunter
All three, 1928, 1966, 2005
[From right to left]

Skip to 1:05.

Update: Below are three of the 295 photos posted by Robert Reeder. We see above that they used explosives to drop the suspended span of the older, skinnier 1928 Bridge into the shipping channel. But Robert's photos shows that they carefully jacked down the suspended span of the 1966 truss onto a barge. Were the bridges too close together to risk using explosives to remove the first span? Or would it take too long to clear the wider truss out of the shipping channel? Or both?

Robert's comment:… This is a bridges we took down in Charleston S.C 2 2250s and 888 2250s had 280ft of boom 888 had 260ft of boom good job also did an 870 ton lift with strand jacks and other bridge next to it was 760 ton no tandem lifts on water had both black smoking no weights for steel cause it was beefed up over the years many times grace built in 1928 Pierman built in 1955.
According to Bridge Hunter, Pierman was built in 1966 instead of 1955. Grace was widened in 1959. Arthur began in 2001 and the traffic was transferred to it July 16, 2005. The demolition was completed in 2007. [Bridge Hunter timeline written by Nick Brnot.]



According to Bridge Hunter, Pierman was built in 1966 instead of 1955. Grace was widened in 1959. Arthur began in 2001 and the traffic was transferred to it July 16, 2005. The demolition was completed in 2007. [Bridge Hunter timeline written by Nick Brnot.]

So I set the "time machine" in Global Earth to 2005:
Google Earth with the "Roads" Layer turned off so that you can see the new bridge.

MWRD: Building the Sanitary and Ship Canal pioneered new technologies

I've read that much of the technology developed to build this canal such as steam-powered shovels was then used to dig the Panama Canal.

MWRD posted
Historical photo of the week: Construction of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal at an unknown location in the mid-1890s, showing one of the cantilever incline machines that were used to move broken rock from the excavation areas to the spoil piles
Jeff Bransky It says section 10 on the photo. I noticed that that large conveyor structure is sitting on rails so it can be moved as work progresses. Interesting to see horses at work in the background. I imagine the machine was driven by a steam engine.
Eugene Klichowski Section 10 was between Summit and Willow Springs
I thought the above was a conveyor belt where this end would be lowered into the canal so men could dump debris on it. But the following indicates it is for removing big rocks.

MWRD posted
Construction of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal at an unknown location in the mid-1890s, showing one of the cantilever incline machines that were used to move broken rock from the excavation areas to the spoil piles. 

MWRD posted
Spoil piles along the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) east of Harlem Avenue on June 28, 1899. Excavated material was piled along the banks of the CSSC during its construction in the 1890s, where much of it remained for years.
They should have left them do we would have “hills” on the prairie.
They did leave them for many years up in North Park along the North Shore Channel. The neighborhood loved them.

MWRD posted
Workers loading rock for removal during excavation of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in September 1894.
Kevin Murphy looks like the Lemont area with stone

MWRD posted

Here is how they got the sidewalls so straight.
MWRD posted
Historical Photo of the Week: Workers pause for a photo with a channeling machine during construction of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) near Romeoville on September 25, 1894. Channeling machines were used to make smooth, vertical “wall” cuts on each side of the canal and then the rock between the walls was drilled, blasted and removed. 

MWRD posted
Various people and workers pose near a hydraulic dredge during construction of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in this cyanotype image from the mid-1890s (note the dog in the wheelbarrow).
John Lovaas I gotta say, this is the first time I've ever seen cyanotype used for an archival/documentary photograph- fascinating! Does the District have more of these?
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago Not many. This cyanotype print shows a group of workers, visitors and staff posing for a photo during construction of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in the late 1890s.
MWRD posted
Excavation for the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal near Lemont, Illinois, in the mid-1890s.

MWRD posted the following photos as part of a long write up concerning their 129 year history. They built the main canal in just a couple of years after it was formed, so the districts has branched out into many other projects such as treating the sewage in the 1920s and allowing rain to sink into the ground rather than runoff to the sewers (grass play grounds for schools, green alleys, rain barrels, etc.) in the 21st Century.
# # #
Historical Photos: Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in 1895 and after completion in 1904, followed by the North Shore Channel under construction in 1906 and the Cal-Sag Channel in 1914; Board of Trustees meeting July 25, 1894; testing water quality; workers posing with equipment. Modern day: Kayakers on the main branch of the Chicago River, phosphorus recovered from the water treatment process, Stage 1 of McCook Reservoir, and a green alley in Berwyn.

A dynamite blast during construction of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal on May 22, 1895.


MWRD posted
Excavation of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal extension south of the Lockport Powerhouse on June 11, 1906.

The Cal Sag Channel under construction on Oct. 5, 1914

Sanitary District (now called the MWRD) Board of Trustees on July 25, 1894.

A District worker tests water quality on May 26, 1923.

Three laborers posing next to a compressed air rock drill during the construction of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship canal. The nearly completed sluice gates for the Lockport Controlling Works can be seen in the background. The estimated date is sometime in November 1896. Drilling into rock requires the use of a fluid, or drilling mud, which can be seen splattered all over the workers. Explosives were placed into the holes and detonated, and the rock debris could then be removed from the worksite.

Present day: Kayakers on the main branch of the#ChicagoRiver Friends of the Chicago River

Phosphorus removed from the water treatment process at the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant in Cicero, IL.

McCook Reservoir Stage 1 was completed in December 2017.

A green alley in Berwyn.
[They are referring to using bricks to create a permeable surface. But notice all of the green recycle bins to keep plastic, etc. out of the landfills. And the brown bag on the left is probably for yard waste so that it can be composed instead of going to the landfill.]

MWRD posted
A steam shovel loads dump cars near Joliet on February 28, 1906, during excavation of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal extension south of the Lockport Powerhouse.
MWRD posted
Excavation of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal extension south of the Lockport Powerhouse in Lockport, Illinois, on October 25, 1905.

MWRD posted
Large piles of rock spoil along the banks of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal during excavation in an unknown location in the mid-1890s.

I include these photo because of the view of the tailings mound. Bill Molony posted two photos with the comment:
These two photographs from our collection are of a very violent head-on collision that took place in the 1890's on the Santa Fe Railway in the vicinity of Lemont and Romeo.
In the background can be seen the mounds of tailings from the excavation of the Sanitary & Ship Canal that was under construction at that time.
The Santa Fe was still single-tracked in this area at the time of this collision, and wasn't double-tracked until about 1910 or so.


Photo of grain elevators on the north side of the Main Stem