Sunday, January 27, 2019

Bridges across the Mississippi River at Winona, MN and log rafts

1892 Horse and Wagon Bridge: (Bridge HunterHistoric BridgesJohn A. Weeks III; see "delicate" truss bridge in some of the photos below. The original wood trestle was replaced by a concrete open-spandrel arch, Satellite)

1871 C&NW Railroad Bridge: (Bridge HunterSatellite, the piers still stand in the backwater.)

1899 + 1928 C&NW Railroad Bridge, abandoned 1977: (Bridge HunterJohn A. Weeks III, good history; Main Channel Satellite, Backwater Satellite)

CB&Q+Green Bay and Western Railroad Bridge: (Bridge Hunter 1, Built in 1891; closed 1985; burned in 1989; removed in 1990; Bridge Hunter 2 has a better description; GreenBayRoute, 420' swing span; John A. Weeks IIIHAERSatellite)

1941 Vehicle Bridge: (Bridge Hunter; Historic BridgesJohn A. Weeks III; HAER; see satellite image below)

2016 Vehicle Bridge: (Bridge Hunter (For once, the plan is to restore the truss bridge and the two bridges will share the traffic load! Furthermore, the concrete-box girder design of the new bridge retains clear site lines of the old bridge.))

Photo from eBook, p 447-448 from Old C&NW Bridge Hunter
Opened in 1886. The draw span was 360' with clear openings of 160'.
I saved an image of the satellite view because the construction barges and new piers indicate a new bridge is being built. Fortunately, unlike Illinois, MN rehabilitates and keeps some of its truss bridges, including this one.
3D Satellite

Shorpy  (source)
[Note how the pivot pier aligns with the pier of the road bridge to form a straight navigation channel.]
Comments on the Shorpy site:
Bridge Over Troubled Water  Submitted by DaveA on Thu, 01/24/2019 - 10:35am.
Two bridges can be seen in this photo. One had been around for more than 25 years. The other, much bigger, was pretty new at the time. From a 1960s report for the Interior Department, addressing both:
        Although a railroad bridge connected Winona to the Wisconsin shore as early as 1871, the city had no direct highway access for another two decades. Teamsters made do with a ferry that carried them over the Main Channel to Latsch Island; there they disembarked onto a long wooden trestle that spanned the North Channel and the river's remaining expanse. In 1892, the ferry finally gave way to Bridge #5930, Steel, cantilever, through-truss design, the span was a municipally financed project designed to make Winona the main trade center for its Wisconsin neighbors. To retire the construction debt, the city administered the new "High Wagon Bridge" as a toll crossing.By the 1930s, auto traffic was making the now "old" high bridge obsolete, with its zigzag connection to an older North Channel wagon bridge a serious impediment.
A new span was designed and survives today about a quarter mile up river from the bridges seen in the photo above. Ironically, an updated form of the original North Channel wagon bridge survives for non-motorized traffic.

Answered my own question  Submitted by Mudhooks on Thu, 01/24/2019 - 9:31am.
The Winona Bridge had a swing span
“The bridge was built from the Wisconsin shore across the back channel to Island 72, now known as Latsch Island, across the main channel to the Winona shore. In the middle of the channel, a huge stone pylon was built up from the riverbed, and a steel and wood beam span was built on top of it. This section of bridge was designed to pivot on that center support, swinging parallel to the shore to allow steamboats, barges and log rafts to pass unimpeded. A tender's shack stood at the pivot point to shelter the rail roadman, who set the machinery in motion to swing the bridge closed when a train approached. At 363 feet, its swinging span -- the "draw" -- was the longest in the world.”
The eighth photo in a gallery
An early lithograph from the 1880s shows the railroad bridge and the ferry bridge that ran from Wisconsin to Latch Island.
[This would have been the RR bridge that proceeded the one in the above photo.]
The mention of "log rafts" in a Shorpy comment above was interesting. Did they really thread log rafts between the bridge piers? The article that contains this photo (see caption for link) says they put a steamboat at the front and back of a raft to steer the raft down the river. If you are interested in the logging industry that cut down the trees in Wisconsin by 1910, the article is well worth dealing with the single popup advertisement.
WinonaDailyNews, Winona County Historical Society
WinonaDailyNews, Winona County Historical Society
Malia Fox, cropped
Historic Wagon Bridge
CB&Q Photo from HAER MINN,85-WIN,1--8 from mn0091, cropped

Marvin Hielsen CB&Q photo, May 29, 1976 from the collection of Charles Tomashek during an excursion

John Weeks III, cropped
John explains that there was an emergency closure on June 3, 2008, after it was discovered the bridge had the same gusset problem that caused the collapse of I-35W. On June 14, they allowed cars and pickup trucks to use it. In addition to heavy vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles were still banned so that they could use the sidewalks to park equipment for bridge repairs. On July 22, the major structural repairs were done and they removed traffic restrictions. But the sidewalks remained closed until Oct. 3 because of additional repair work.
The Winona Bridge carries an average of 11,300 vehicles per day.
1942 Photo, first of 15 photos including some construction and ferry photos
In this 1942 photo, you can see the then-new Winona Bridge, left, the Railroad [C&NW] Bridge and the old wagon bridge before it was demolished in 1943.
[It is interesting that this much steel was allowed for a replacement during WWII.]

Roger Deschner photo from Bridge Hunter, cropped, License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)
The two ends of the main span are about to meet in the middle in January 2016. The old bridge can be seen behind it, and the remains of the CNW - Winona Swing Bridge can be seen underneath it.
The approach spans are steel girder. The concrete box girders appear to be poured in place rather than lifting pre-cast segments at the ends. Some Winonans wanted "the demolition of the historic bridge in favor of building a new, beautiful arch bridge" even though it would cost $14m more. Accepting an ugly concrete bridge to help preserve the truss bridge caused trepidation in 2016 when MnDOT announced that they were putting the rehabilitation plans on hold because of estimated cost overruns. ($62m of the project's $142m was for the rehabilitation, but they thought it would cost $30m more. Part of the cost problem was a new engineering standard called HL 93.)  Everybody agreed that ending up with two ugly concrete bridges would be a bummer compared to the arches that Hastings and La Crosse got. The irony is that initially MnDOT wanted to tear it down; but, because it was Minnesota's last surviving through-truss bridge, federal law and regulators required studying the feasibility of saving it. [WinonaPost] The reduced the rehabilitation costs by replacing the approaches.
Roger Deschner photo from Bridge Hunter,  License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)
The new bridge opened Aug 27, 2016. Because the paint on the truss bridge contained lead, before they sandblasted it and the rust off the old bridge, they had to enclose the truss "in tarps and creating a negative air pressure environment to contain paint, steel and concrete particles so they do not pollute the river or nearby ground." They will also add extra truss members so that it is no longer a "fracture critical" design.  [PostBulletin]

In 2016, they had made the decision to replace the approach spans, but they were debating if the new ones should be deck trusses like the old ones or beams like the new one. Since street views are typically more up to date, I checked it out. Obviously, they went with the choice of making the approaches look similar rather than replicating the deck trusses. But the difference in pier designs is interesting. Does the 12' trail on the new bridge require the more elaborate pier design?
Street View, July 2018

The ninth photo in a gallery
This photograph from 1935 shows the bridge in La Crosse, Wis., that was damaged when a car hit a girder, knocking a span of the bridge into the Mississippi River. The damage to the bridge, similar to the old wagon bridge in Winona, led to calls for the old bridge in Winona to be replaced.
[I doubt if a horse could take out a bridge girder. I wonder if a car could take out a girder in a more modern truss. I'll bet an 18-wheeler could. So rust is not the only reason to avoid "fracture critical" designs.]
The tenth photo in a gallery
[This closeup of the old wagon bridge allows us to see how spindly the truss was. At least it was steel instead of iron. The deck was made with wood.]
Why other towns with trusses got pretty new arch bridges while Winona got stuck with an ugly concrete bridge. Specifically, when La Crosse built their second bridge 10 years ago, the truss was not considered historic by the Federal Government.
3D Satellite of La Crosse's Cass Street Bridges
Actually, the concrete bridge does interfere with the view of the upstream side. But I can believe that it helps the downstream view.

A 2016 history of the efforts to fix the crossing. I haven't read it, but I include it for completeness.

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