Friday, January 5, 2018

Sturgeon Bay Bridges

(Update: live feed web cam)

All three roads across Sturgeon Bay have draw spans because big boats come through a canal from Lake Michigan to the Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding facility on the bay side.

Google's Satellite view of the Sturgeon Bay Bridge has an explicit link that offers 54+ photos.

The first bridge a boat coming from the lake encounters is Bayview Bridge, WI-42+57. (Bridge Hunter)
This is the fifth photo posted by Skip Heckel when the longest boat on the Great Lakes came through town.
This photo motivated this posting because the open design of the pier and Skip's angle allows you to see the short part of a trunnion bascule bridge. There would be a lot of counterweight hanging off that short part to offset the leverage that the road span has. The height of the trunnion bearing in the pier would be at the road surface. Note that the bridge deck is an open grate. This is to reduce the wind load when the leaves are raised. But they can make the tires wiggle back-and-forth as you drive across them. And they typically make a lot of tire noise. It is rather creepy if you don't know what to expect.

I thought this 1978 bridge uses steel girders until I saw this photo:
Robert Thompson from Bridge Hunter

The next bridge is Oregon Street, another trunnion bascule bridge. (Bridge Hunter)
Brian Bassett, Jun 2017, from Google
This is the seventh photo posted by Skip Heckel when the big boat came through town.
As expected, this photo shows that the movable spans use steel girders. But the approach spans use pre-stressed concrete girders. The use of pre-stressed girders makes me suspect that this bridge is relatively new. Sure enough, it was built in 2008. [Bridge Hunter] The need to shut down the Sturgeon Bay Bridge for rehabilitation  helped motivate the funding of this second downtown bridge.

The third bridge is the first bridge built across the bay --- Sturgeon Bay or Michigan Street Bridge. (Bridge Hunter) It was finished in 1931, rehabilitated in 1979 and 2011. It was posted to the National Register of Historic Places on Jan 17, 2008. The Bridge Hunter page contains an paper by Shawn Fairchild concerning the preservation of this bridge.
Exit78, copied from Google
A bridge we crossed numerous times on a 2009 camping trip to Door County, Wisconsin was involved in an accident that badly damaged the front of a Class A motorhome.
This photo makes it obvious that it is a Scherzer rolling bridge. Bridge Hunter has photos explaining that the cast iron rolling members wer replaced by machined steel plates.

Robert Thompson from Bridge Hunter
The Exit78 article explains that the driver was not at fault. He was caught in a traffic jam. Note that the RV was crushed right next to the bridge tender's house. The problem is that part of the rehabilitation was to remote the operation of this bridge from the Oregon Street Bridge. You can see in the above photo a light and camera that allows the bridge tender to watch the boat go under the bridge. But they evidently didn't install cameras to allow the remote bridge tender to see if the roadway was clear. I'll bet they have now installed some more cameras.

Skip Heckel posted 12 photos with the comment: "I hit the trifecta yesterday morning in Sturgeon Bay. Three ships I hadn't photographed before all came in for winter layup at Bay Ship. The STEWART J. CORT was the first ship to come through the Sturgeon Bay ship canal followed by the JOHN G. MUNSON and finally the CASON J. CALLAWAY." His last photo is particularly interesting because it shows two of the three bridges are already up and the Callaway is following right behind another one. I presume it is the Munson. Considering the Great Lakes was scheduled to close Janurary 15, these three were a little late. The Coast Guard obviously had to break a channel in the ice and all three were expected to use that channel before it froze again.

Skip Heckel posted 18 photos of the last ship of the 2017 shipping season coming through the canal and town. It was the 1004' Mesabi Miner.

One of six photos Gerry Grzyb posted of the Stewart J. Cort going through town, Jan 16
[A caption on another photo explains: "Bow of the Cort, the first 1000 footer on the Great Lakes. The propeller symbol next to the anchor means it has bow thrusters." Note that the bridge is on the bow. That means it is an old boat. It appears that it has not been converted to self-unloading.]
Three of the nine photos Gerry Grzyb posted of three boats coming through town. This posting also has a huge comment explaining several aspects of lake shipping.

a, Cason J Callaway
The Callaway approaches the old steel bridge.
[This would be another old Laker since the bridge is on the bow. Another photo shows that its unloading conveyor boom is on the stern.]
The Cort passing through new bridge.

The Munson threads the new bridge.
[Another old Laker with the bridge on the bow. The put the self-unloading conveyor boom at the bow on this one.]

One of  15 photos Gerry Grzyb posted of the Mesabi Miner coming through town, Jan 20, the last boat in for layup.
Passing through the Oregon St. bridge after making a 30 degree pivot to line up for both Oregon and Michigan bridges (mandatory!)
Gerry Grzyb Well, they are all here now. I hereby declare the 2018 edition of the Sturgeon Bay Men's Club to be now in session! (They all have men's names--not my fault!). Oh, and since the Mesabi Miner got stuck in ice in its last loaded journey (to Nanticoke), and stuck in ice TWICE coming back to enter layup, if you see a crew member, do NOT offer him a drink with ice in it, or you may face a new kind of ice bucket challenge!
Gerry Grzyb All you could want to know about the Mesabi Miner, with lotsa pix. It is the 4th of the 13 "footers" built, so we have the first (Cort) latest (Tregurtha) and 4th. BTW, all are over 35 years old. Great Lakes may have brutal winters, but at least no corroding saltwater!

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