Wednesday, May 31, 2017

CSX/NYC Bridge over Erie Canal

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges, 3D Satellite)

Douglas Butler sketched what it would look like partially open.

Cleveland State University Library Book from Bridge Hunter

Thomas Trumeter posted three photos with the comment: "This railroad bridge spans Tonowanda Creek near Buffalo. Trying to figure out what appears to be a counter balance and what it does? One of the more unusual bridges I have ever seen."




Amtrak/Pennsy Bridge over Susquehanna River at Perryville, MD

Another duplicate posting, please click here.

I-74 over Mississippi River at Molene/Bettendorf

(Bridge Hunter, Historic BridgesJohn Weeks IIISatellite, Street View, Quad-Cities Times has 32 photos)

(Update: more notes on the replacement bridge including construction photos)

John A. Weeks III

Jan Danielsen posted
Aaron F Barrett going under I-74 bridge Bettendorf, Iowa pool 15. First tow I have seen this year [2019].
[Shipping was delayed after the Winter ice melt because of flooding.]

Built in 1933 and twinned in 1959. It has only two lanes with no shoulders, so talk of replacement has been on going. I saw reference to a cable-stayed design. It appears the current proposal is "dual basket-handle arch bridges with main channel spans of 800 feet" that has 3 lanes with shoulders in each direction. It would also have a "outboard" bicycle and pedestrian path. [Modjeski]


Flickr from Bridge Hunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)

Mike Knox posted
Some Mississippi River Solitude under The I-74 Bridge. The most important parts, very few see/ Appreciate.
Flickr from Bridge Hunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
Boston Public Library

Retro Quad Cities posted
Susan Olson Shaw Going across that single span bridge terrified me when I was little. I would beg to use the Arsenal Bridge.
Mike Ironman posted, cropped
Mike Ironman posted
[Flood of 2019?]
Mike Ironman posted

The basket-handle arch design for the replacement bridges has been selected for a while. The issue has been funding. An estimate I saw was $791m. [QCtimes] And you know the price will only go up. They also seem to be refining the design because the piers in this conceptualization look different from the Mojeski image above.

Since the old bridges are to be removed after traffic is transferred to the new bridges, I saved a copy of the satellite image.

3D Satellite
(new window)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Towns bribing a company for a factory is not new

The astute reader will have noticed that I generally deal with just the technology aspect of industrial history. I deliberately avoid other topics such as greed (management, workers (union), shareholders), politics, regulations, deaths, and lawsuits. But a non-technology topic has tripped my "two mentions in one day" rule.

The top article of the business section of the May 21, 2017, Chicago Tribune was headlined "cutting workforce, but poised for tax break." Greg Trotter wrote that Conagra Brands won $10.5 million in state tax breaks to induce them to move their headquarters from Omaha, NE to Chicago. Conagra did move and now about 500 workers are in their new headquarters in the Merchandise Mart. But then they sold its private-label business for about $2.7 billion, shedding a Downers Grove office and a South Beloit cookie plant. Google has already removed the Downers Grove location, but Bing still has it, 3250 Lacey Road. According to Google, other food companies now use that facility, and hopefully many of the former Conagra  worker --- Hillshire Brands Innovation Center and Hearthside Food Solutions. Or were Hillshire and Hearthside Conaga brands? That sale cut about 600 Illinois jobs according to information obtained by the Chicago Tribune under the state's Freedom of Information Act. The company that bought the facilities, Treehouse Foods, says there have been no layoffs. But the state legislatures are rewriting the tax-incentive program to consider the total number of workers in Illinois, not just new workers in one city. EDGE (Economic Development for a Growing Economy) is now dead, but they are working on a THRIVE (Transforming, Helping, and Reviving Illinois' Versatile Economy) program. But Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce thinks the law should provide the flexibility of trading blue-collar jobs for white-collar jobs, especially if it has the prestige of bringing another headquarters to Illinois. But it should also emphasize bringing jobs to "particularly needy parts of the state."

Hearthside Fool Solutions
On their web site, I noticed that they have a big Hearthside sign on the building. So I waited for a sunny day and went to get my own picture of the building with the sign. But the sign is no longer on the building. So it does seem as though Hearthside was sold to Treehouse Foods. I hope when Treehouse says "there have been no layoffs" they also mean that "no layoffs are anticipated."
20170528 8799c
It does appear that someone is trying to make Chicagoland the "Silicon Valley" of foodies. Next door is a building with the sign "Tyson Foods, Inc." And they have added "INNOVATION CENTER" to the sign. McDonalds has its headquarters campus in Oakbrook, IL, but they are moving to downtown Chicago. The Kraft part of Kraft-Heinz still has its headquarters in Chicago.

I made a copy of McDonald's campus satellite image since it will be disappearing. I wonder if they will change the street names when the buildings get new tenants. The good news is that Chicago Public Schools has more need for property tax than Oakbrook does for their schools.

I have already discussed the empty auto manufacturing plant in Normal, IL.

But today's government subsidies are small compared to the extortion of small communities that was practiced by labor intensive companies such as the Brown Shoe Company. A comment posted by Lost Illinois Manufacturing begins:
I often wondered why large corporations such as the Brown Shoe Company (at one time the third largest shoe manufacturer in the U.S.) would build factories in small, rural towns in Illinois - Charleston (450 employees), Litchfield (400 employees), Mattoon (508 employees), Murphysboro (650 employees), Pittsfield (475 employees), Salem (450 employees), Sullivan (425 employees).
I have taken pictures of an International Shoe Co. factory in Olney, IL. The posting provides the following three photos of Brown Shoe plants.

1, Murphysboro, IL

2, Salem, IL

3, Charleston, IL
The posting comment continues:
I think I found the answer - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"During the 1920's, citizens' committees were formed in a number of cities including Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and San Francisco. Generally they were formed by employers' associations in order to raise funds, and to secure the cooperation of the nonemploying public, for an antiunion campaign. . . . . In Chicago, Cleveland, and San Francisco, citizens' committees, organized by employers' associations, raised millions of dollars to wage a campaign to eliminate the building unions. In such a campaign, building contractors, real-estate interests, and bankers were an important element in enforcing a buyers' and credit boycott against union employers in the industry (the citizens' committee is a device for organizing business groups to carry out a campaign against labor organization and the economic program of unions. It is usually a temporary organization, born out of the fear that labor organizations may have adverse effects upon local business, payrolls, and employment. Through such fear it is able to enlist the support of real-estate owners, professional persons, small retailers, farmers, and other nonemploying groups. Often economic pressure in the form of a threat by an employer or employers to move the business to another locality causes local business groups to organize and exert pressure upon local officials and public opinion in order to break a strike or to eliminate labor unions). . . . As the personnel manager of the Goodyear plant in Gadsden, Alabama, has explained, it is much easier to organize community sentiment in favor of a company in a small community than in a large one. That is true because a small community is so dependent on the company's payroll. . . . The effectiveness of the threat to move lies not only in putting economic pressure upon small, independent businessmen to oppose the union but in forcing the government officials to side with the company. As the experience of the Remington-Rand Corporation in Syracuse and Ilion, New York, during its 1936 strike indicates, it is easier for a company to sway public officials in small cities than in large ones. . . . Under demand from the Citizens' Committee group to cooperate or resign, the mayor and the chief of police of Ilion were forced to appoint and fully equip about 300 special deputies, after which "law and order" broke loose in Ilion. The mayor explained that, as one of the largest property owners in Ilion, he was afraid of the Citizens' Committee, which included the bankers, because "he could easily be a ruined man and have nothing left but his hat, coat, and pants if these people were to clamp down on him as they were able to do and in a manner which he felt fearful they would do." Some merchants also informed the union members that they feared retaliation by the Citizens' Committee unless they went along with that group).
Tactics similar to those of the Remington-Rand Company were used during 1935 by the Brown Shoe Company, third largest shoe manufacturing firm in the country. The Brown Shoe Company then operated 14 shoe factories, one in St. Louis and the rest in small towns in the Middle West where the plants had been built with funds subscribed by representative citizens. The typical agreement provided for a certain sum of money to be furnished by the citizens of the town for the erection of the factory, which the company uses free of charge and will later own when it has spent a fixed minimum sum for labor in the plant during a specified period, usually 10 years. Often there is provision for a rebate of all taxes, business fees, and water rates during those 10 years. Approximately one third of the company's machinery is leased from shoe-machinery manufacturers and the rest can be easily moved to another town. Groups of citizens in small towns around St. Louis are constantly seeking to obtain one of the company's plants for their community.
Under such circumstances, the payroll of the company is the town's chief source of income, and the merchants and public officials of the town, many of them subscribers to the fund for the erection of the plant, are deeply interested in keeping it open and in operation. The economic threat to close the plant and move the work to another small town is sufficient to frighten the whole community. It was the closing of the plant, the threat to move, or the actual movement of machinery, that led in 1935 to the formation of citizens' committees in four small Illinois towns where the company had plants. In these towns, pressure was put upon union members by such methods as withdrawal of merchants' credit, solicitation by the citizens' committee of workers' signatures to an agreement to return to work under "any conditions stipulated by the Brown Shoe Company officials," vigilante attacks upon union officials, and the discharge of union sympathizers by local businessmen. Labor spies and corps of special police were also used. As a consequence of such tactics, the union was eliminated from these plants of the company."
Richard A. Lester, Duke University
Economics Of Labor, 1941
p. 651-656

I have noticed Pella factories in both Macomb, IL, and Murray, KY. I thought it was nice that they locate in rural areas were the towns have been hit by fewer farmers because of bigger tractors and combines. It looks like a coincidence that I have been in two of the seven towns that Pella uses. I do know that Murray actively supported the Kentucky West Tennesee Railway to service an industrial park north of their town. It appears they have convinced several companies to locate a factory in that park. I don't know if they offered tax incentives as well. And I remember when I visited Macomb that they talked about actively selling the town to industries to build plants there. Both Macomb and Murray have a university --- Western Illinois and Murray State. So the labor pool has access to good educational opportunities.

Update: In 1869 the Joliet city council offered a $75,000 bonus to the Union Coal, Iron and Transportation Company to build a steel mill in Joliet. There was a large civic celebration for the laying of the cornerstone of the main building on October 19,1869. There was an even larger celebration for the rolling of the first rail on July 12, 1870. "Almost 5,000 people tried to catch a glimpse of the first rail rolled at the mill." After the band played, the glee club sang, and speeches were made; the company "served generous quantities of lemonade, ale, and lager beer to the crowd that witnessed the launching of Joliet's era of steel." [JOLIET Transportation & Industry A PICTORIAL HISTORY by Robert E. Sterling, p118]

I noticed a headline in the Business Section of the August 4, 2017 Chicago Tribune: "TreeHouse Foods to lay off 375, close 2 factories." I thought TreeHouse sounded familiar. The artical provides the background information:
The layoffs, announced Thursday, make up a bout 2 percent of the 16,000 people the company employed at the end of last year. It has more than 50 factories in the US, Canada and Italy.
ThreeHouse, like other packaged food companies, has been hurt as more people chose to eat fresh foods and shop online instead of going to stores.
The towns that are impacted are Plymouth, IN; Brooklyn Park, MN; and Dothan, AL.

Middletown, OH offered money and land along the Erie and Miami Canal for the American Rolling Mill Company to build their new plant in their town.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

EJ&E Waukegan Roundhouse

Satellite, I made a copy of the satellite image because someday CN may clean up this mess.
Lou Gerard posted
Waukegan roundhouse in 1973.
Charles Heraver Very nice photo. The roundhouse came down in 1985. And yes, as Frank DeVries mentioned, the round house is still there, although it is getting harder to see it with all of the over growth.
Edward Kwiatkowski shared
Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad EMD SW 1 diesel switcher
locomotive # 244, at the Waukegan Illinois roundhouse.
July 31st 1966 Dennis Schmidt photograph.
Michael Buckley EJ&E always had good power , I would see them when they came in with a delv of cars to the Santa Fe Joliet yard. J delv a lot of cars to Santa Fe at Joliet lots of steel went west out of Joliet !
Sam Carlson posted
EJ&E VO-1000m at Waukegan, IL. Note the different variations in color on this single unit.
Rob Conway We had some really excellent times with that Baldwin!
Kevin Piper posted
In this undated photo, we see the abandoned concrete roundhouse at Waukegan. A car crushing operation seems to be taking over the yard there. CHAD PETERSON PHOTO
Charles Heraver posted
One fine June 1985 afternon found us exploring the J's Waukegan round house.
Bob Tarlini Are you sure that’s Waukegan?? It kind of looks like the old section of the Joliet roundhouse.Richard Schwanke Weren't all three of the main "J" round houses pretty much the same design?Charles Heraver I can assure you this is Waukegan, as I lived there for about 40 years.Al Pawloski I was in there once too and I saw a big rectangular slab of concrete on the floor and was standing on it wondering for a moment what it was there for.
Then I looked up at the ceiling and saw a matching section of the roof missing! I got out of there in a hurry.
Charles Heraver I believe that is why they leveled the place. FWIW the building is still there---the J never hauled away the rubble.
The roundhouse was near the north end of the railyard.
USGS, 1960 Weukegan (sic), 1:24,000

Marty's Flickr photos:  Baldwin DT66-2000 center cab EJ&E 914 in front of the roundhouseBaldwin DT66-2000 center cab EJ&E 919 in front of the roundhouse (Marty notes that the turntable has been filled in by April 15, 1962.)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

West Chicago JA Tower: C&NW vs. EJ&E

John Markl posted
JA tower in WeGo....sat about a quarter mile north of JB...protected the crossing of the J and the CNW Freeport line...torn down around 1940, with operations consolidated at JB. View is looking from northwest, to southeast, on the CNW....Downtown WeGo in the left background.
[WeGo is evidently West Chicago.]
Brian Skrabetenas also posted
I added a red line on this 1939 aerial to show the track we are looking down in the photo. The Freeport route used to have a direct connection to the C&NW mainline. I put a blue square around the tower's location.
1939 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

Eisenhower Lock on St. Lawrence Seaway


Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

Screenshot from a time-lapse video by Chuck Larrabee of the TAAGBORG going up in the Eisenhower Lock (source)

The Eisenhower lock is the upstream lock of a shipping canal that was built to replace the Cornwall Canal. The Snell Lock is the downstream lock of the new shipping canal. The St. Lawrence Seaway project in this area included a power dam, a control gate dam, and a high-clearance suspension bridge.

The page referenced by the caption below has many construction pictures of this complex. It also shows where and when cofferdams and cuts were built to allow construction of the two dams to be done in-the-dry while allowing the river to flow through the area. The two ships in the photo were designed for the locks of the Cornwall Canal. They dramatically illustrate how much longer the new locks are. They also have the bridge on the bow. I have noticed that has become obsolete. Modern boats have the engine room, living quarters, and bridge on the stern.
Rene Beauchamp posted
Eisenhower Lock circa 1960.
Bill Shaver before the viewing stand... that ship a coal burner.
Gene Beauchamp posted
View from the Vista House Overlook, Eisenhower Lock, about 1960. Downbound, the US laker Sullivan Brothers. Postcard published by St. Lawrence Valley Souvenir Co.

Eric Tolcser commented on Rene's posting
Grandpa at the locks. Only vacation he ever had after running his dairy farm 7 days a week his whole life.
Fritz Hager Looks like a Halco canaller ready to lock down.
Jeff Carson commented on Rene's posting
Went there just last week!!
Karen Coia posted four photos with the comment: "Adfines Star, Eisenhower Lock, Massena NY. 8/13/18"
Cynthia KrollCynthia and 235 others joined St. Lawrence Seaway Ship Watchers within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! Love Love Love, when I was growing g up my family would go up to Massena for vaca,My Aunt&Uncle lived in Massena, we loved going to the Locks, my dad loved Snell Lock best, he felt it had a better view of the ships.
Karen Coia Yes I think it is a better view but its all gated off now.





Time lapse video of Algoma Equinox upbound

Santa Fe's Dieselization of Named Passenger Trains

Carl Venzke posted
Amtrak passenger train no. 18, the eastbound Super Chief-El Capitan (still running entirely with Santa Fe equipment), arriving at Union Station in Chicago, Illinois, on July 4, 1971. Photograph by John F. Bjorklund©2015, Center for Railroad Photography and Art
John Kovac ...regarding Head End Power, when I worked for Santa Fe, the "guideline" was for Manifest and Intermodal trains to always be capable of maintaining District Speed. Not unusual to have 4 units powering the "hotshot" IM TOFC trains like the 198 from Chgo to LA...btw, the 198 was the fastest long distance IM train...44 hours transit time (believe it was very similar to the ATSF pass skeds). My small "claim to fame" when in charge of ATSF IM Perishables, was the design, and operation (with CR's Mail Train) for a 100 hour elapsed time COAST TO COAST ( LA to NYC ) for the veggies from CA to NY.
Dennis DeBruler I heard that when Santa Fe first started using diesels on their hot shot passenger trains, a diesel specialist would ride the train all the way just in case there were any problems.
John Kovac Yes. John Sheds Reed, the Chairman of ATSF, took a personal interest in the Super Chief and the other name trains. We were sent to the EMD plant in La Grange IL to learn how to trouble shoot and fix "on the run". Mr. Reed went as far as personally handing an orchid to each of the ladies on the Super Chief's last run. After Amtrak took over, while the Super Chief name was still associated with ATSF, I rode the head end of No.4 and reported a delay due to "insufficient power" going over Raton, by the time the consist arrived LA, there was a brand new Warbonnet waiting to "assist" the soon to be departing #4, and Argentine did the same for the Westbounds. In the Power Bureau and Dispatch Centers, if you delayed "Mr Reed's Trains" you may as well turn in your Daily Time Card since you would not ever need it again. ATSF - First Class all the way !
John Kovac ...can't type, stubby fingers, but #3 was Westbound / #4 was Eastbound.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Cushman Dams #1 and #2

(Satallites: Dam and Powerhouse #1, Spillway #1Dam and Spillway #2, Powerhouse #2)
posted, Cushman Dam
Quite a few of the comments concerned the amount of cable that would be needed for this job.
[Note the special pads they built for the outriggers.]
Dam #1 is 235' tall, 1100' long, and the powerhouse has two 22Mw turbine-generators. Dam #2 is 175' tall, 575' long, and the powerhouse has three 27 Mw turbine-generators. The water flows 2.5 miles through a 17' diameter tunnel to powerhouse #2 so the head is more than 175'.

The following video shows the launching of the Net Transition Structure and Floating Surface Collector. The Goggle satellite image linked above was taken after it was installed. (The Bing satellite image does not yet show it.) This structure is used to help transport the salmon fry downstream after hatching. It is part of an agreement with the Skokomish Tribal Nation to settle a $5.8 billion damages claim and to allow the dam to get a long-term license until 2048. [tpu]

I didn't realize how significant the discussion between the Skokomish Tribal Nation and the power company was until I realized that the power company stopped all normal flow through the river downstream of Dam #2 by diverting the water to a tunnel and penstocks to the powerplant is on the shore of Hood Canal. This increases the head (the height the water falls) so that more electricity can be made from the same amount of water. Because of the steepness of the canyon walls at Dam #2, it also made construction of the powerhouse a lot easier. The only access to the powerhouse next to Dam #1 is an aerial tram.

But diverting the river flow stopped all fishing by the natives. It was not a matter of the salmon being blocked by the dams, they could not even get to the dams. To obtain another long-term lease, the power company agreed to allow water to always flow in the river, not just during emergency releases. And they agreed to transport salmon around the dams. So at the base of Dam #2 (the downstream dam) they added a small powerhouse (two 1.8 Mw units) and an adult fish collection facility. Below is a before (left side with just the valve house) and after pictures of Dam #2.

Slide Presentation, p 23
Slide Presentation, p 25
The fish trap and transport is built in front of the powerhouse so that the discharge from the turbines create a flow that attracts the fish to the "fish friendly entrance and trap." On the right side of the trap is a hopper rides the tram up to a fish sorting facility at the top of the dam. The adults are sorted into tanks and hauled by trucks to either Lake Cushman above Dam #1, a 2,000,000 Sockeye fry per year hatchery or a 400,000 Chinook, Steelhead and Coho Smolts hatchery.

Discharging the draft tubes under the fish collection pool was an issue because it had never been done before. "The design was so sensitive that a 1:5 scale physical model was built in a Northwest Hydraulic Consultants laboratory and used to validate the arrangement. The final design protects the Andritz-manufactured turbines from the hydraulic resonance that may be created by the pool." [HydroWorld]

The fish hopper on the tram is also used to lower fry caught by the Net Transition Structure and Floating Surface Collector at Dam #1 to release them downstream of Dam #2.

Now that we see how they get salmon around the two dams, we will look at the flow issues. Component 1 is the base flow. There is a 160,000 acre-feet water budget. The current agreement is 120-cfs in summer and up to 300-cfs in winter. This variance reflects a more natural variation of the flow and helps restore wet lands along the river's channel. And it provides enough flow during the spawning season so that the salmon can make it to the fish trap after they modified the "Little Falls" rapids a couple of miles downstream from Dam #2 to accommodate a 170 cfs flow.

Component 2 consists of flows in the range of 500-1000-cfs to simulate floods. The timing and size of the "flood flows" will be based on measured rain and snow melt flows into the upper basin. Specifically, 500 cfs will be released for the number of days that the inflow exceeds 3000 cfs, 750 cfs for each day exceeding 4000 cfs, and 1000 cfs for each day the trigger criteria is above 5000 cfs. Note that the river still sees just a fraction of the flows the native river saw. Every five years the outflows will be increased by 5%.  [p 7 in Article 407 of the agreement]

Component 3 seems to be an experiment as to how to flush sediment out of the main channel of the Skokomish River using water from the North Fork After a major storm event, they should allow 2,2000 cfs to flow for 48 hours. [Slide Presentation, p 21] A major storm is defined as an inflow over "9800 cfs, or 15% above flood stage, whichever is greater, between October 1 and February 15 of each year." [p 7 in Article 407 of the agreement]  This rate should fill the Mainstem channel to slightly less than bank-full capacity.

There are also specifications as to how fast they can ramp the flows up and down.

The power company will maintain a minimum impoundment elevation in Lake Cushman (Dam #1 pool) of between 735' and 738' from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. During November 1 through March 31, a minimum impoundment of 690' will be maintained. I believe the summer restriction means that even if power is needed to run air conditioners, the hydro-plant needs to be turned off if the water level would become too low for recreational uses such as pier access, favorite fishing spots being covered, boat launches, etc. I assume the winter restriction is to maintain reserves in case of a drought. Lake Kokanee (Dam #2 pool) shall be maintained between 474' and 480' except for maintenance requirements of the intake or spillway. [Article 405 of the agreement] I'm surprised they don't specify maximums to leave reserve capacity for flood control. Or maybe it rains so much in the Northwest that every year has floods and the rivers can handle it.

There are other provisions in the agreement such as 1,000 acres of land was transferred and the tribe gets "7.25% of the value of power from Cushman #2." [Slide Presentation, p 18] Some federal money was used for the construction because it was "renewable energy with environmental benefits." [Slide Presentation, p 22]

A collection of 1920s construction photos includes the spiral penstock around the turbine. The river valve we see today was installed in one of two gateways used to pass water during construction. These are the only two photos I looked at because, as with most collections, I can't copy the photos. And it frustrates me to see historical photos that I can't use.

Many HAER photos have not been scanned. That is the first time I have seen so many HAER photos that have not been scanned. I did find pictures of the spillway which caused me to take another look at the satellite image.
VIEW OF DISCHARGE THROUGH SPILLWAY CHUTE FROM WEST RETAINING WALL, FACING SOUTH. STANDING WAVES ARE VISIBLE. WATER ELEVATION MEASURED 4.8 FEET ABOVE CREST. December 1933 - Cushman No. 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant, Spillway, North Fork of Skokomish River, 5 miles West of Hood Canal, Hoodsport, Mason County, WA