Tuesday, January 28, 2020

BNSF/CB&Q crossing over Aban/Panhandle+B&OCT+NS/NYC/CJ


This crossing is unusual because it has two connections in the southwest quadrant. It is also unusual because most of the tracks that were in the crossing in 1938 are still here. The notable exception is the Pennsy Panhandle tracks that used to be on the west side of the Western Avenue Corridor.

A regular connection used to connect the CB&Q with Pennsy's Panhandle.
A track has been added to crossover the former Panhandle RoW and connect to the B&OCT tracks. There is also a track going south that is part of BNSF's Horseshoe Project.
3D Satellite
A flyover connection still connects the BNSF mainline to a BNSF branch that heads south to a few remaining industries along the South Branch of the Chicago River. And a regular southeast connection still connects that southern branch to the other direction of the BNSF mainline.

Getting photos of the "bridge" that provides a pier for the flyover when it crosses the tracks was an agenda item of a field trip. I got photos from several vantage points starting with a view of the east side of the "bridge."
20180812 3489
While still on the east side of the CB&Q branch, I got some views a couple of blocks south of the "bridge."

Working my way further south.
Now I'm taking photos on the west side of the tracks in the Western Avenue corridor.

This is a reminder that steel is strong in tension. That is why the center member that holds up the west girders of the flyover can be so small.
[Now I wish I had taken a step or two to the left before I snapped this photo. Maybe my unconscious mind was trying to get all of the graffiti.]

This was a deliberate attempt to incorporate the two water towers and the smokestack that I took photos of on the east of the connections.

I also grabbed some shots of the crossing from a commuter train.
20170421 8696
You can see the regular connection on the right and the beginning of the flyover connection in the foreground. In the middle background is the "aerial pier." (The green hue is because the windows on the train are tinted green.)

Monday, January 27, 2020

Mackinac Bridge

(Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; HAERSatellite, 2963+ photos)

This bridge is so famous that I didn't bother with a title that includes the body of water and adjacent town. It carries I-75 between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan.

"The Mackinac Bridge is currently the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world.  The bridge opened to traffic on November 1, 1957." [MackinacBridge-Facts&Figures] It is still the longest in the western hemisphere. [MackinacBridge-MightyMac] The main span is 3,800'. The whole bridge is five miles long.

epa.gov via Bridge Hunter, I could not find it on epa.gov
MDOT's Facts&Figures has some construction photos, although they are frustratingly small. What caught my eye is that no one knows the depth to bedrock at the midspan! At the piers, they had to go through up to 142' of water and 105' of overburden. The truss is rather deep. The height of the roadway is 199' whereas the clearance for ships is 155' Once again, Laker dimensions are bigger than Seaway dimensions because the Seaway requires only 116.5'. [CanalDimensions]

Before the bridge was built, the line waiting for a ferry could get real long, especially during deer hunting season. One year it was reported to be 27 miles long the night before deer hunting season opened.
The history page on the MDOT and authority web pages have the same text.
I recommend the MDOT web page for the history of the bridge because it has better formatting.

Kathy Firestone posted
In 1947 the 65-foot Bide-A-Wee was converted from a steam powered vessel to an oil screw. In 1956 US Steel Corporation purchased the Bide-A-Wee from Milo B Welch. The steel-hulled boat was remodeled to become a work boat, classified as a tender, and was one of many used by the Mackinac Bridge Authority to transport men and materials around the work site during construction of the Mackinac Bridge. The name was changed to Bridgebuilder X. The gross tonnage decreased from 45 to 37, with remodeling done by U. S. Steel. The X in the name stands for the number 10, so there were, apparently, at least nine other boats used during the bridge construction.

Mike Harlan shared
Bob Haworth This Bridgebuilder X was lost on Lake Michigan. I don't think it's been found, and no one survived.
[This photo motivated writing these notes. It appears the cable is done and they have started hanging the deck.]

One of 16 photos posted by David Brown from the mid 1970s

Amy Digon posted
Queen Elizabeth's royal yacht Britannia passing under the Mackinac Bridge on July 5, 1959. Traffic was halted at each tower for security, but hundreds of people left their cars and ran out on to the center span shouting, waving and seeking a view of the Queen. This was mid-day on Sunday of the Independence Day weekend and resulted in what was called one of the worst traffic jams ever in the Straits area. Photo courtesy of the Mackinac Bridge Authority.
[mlive, The 33-year-old queen came to North America for the opening ceremonies of the St. Lawrence Seaway and spent six weeks touring various cities. The five-year-old, 412' yacht visited one city in the US --- Chicago. The bridge had been opened less than two years.]

Danny Thompson shared
William Gray I have home movies of the Britannia passing our house on Harsen's Island. The parade of ships, naval and otherwise was astounding!

Please click this link for many more photos of the construction.  Note that you have to click an arrow at the bottom of the photo collection to go to another page of photos.
Courtesy Mackinac Bridge Authority/MDOT via mlive
[The mlive article has the following video and several more construction photos.]

(new window)  silent film Courtesy Mackinac Bridge Authority/MDOT via mlive

This mlive page is supposed to have a gallery of 30 construction photos, but I could get just ten photos to display.

Tom Harvey posted
Mackinac Bridge Construction - dated 1955.
James Osborn "Hatch farm". The old boats had twice as many hatches....24 foot centers, but it was a hatch every 24 feet! Later, it was a hatch every 48 feet. That boat is an old "hatch farm".
Gary Schweitzer James Osborn 12’ centers. Changed to 24’ later.

The longest suspension bridge might be a topic like the largest steam locomotive --- it depends on what you measure (between towers or cable piers or anchors). MDOT's About calls this the third longest suspension bridge whereas MackinacBridge-Facts&Figures calls it the fifth longest. Or is the MDOT web site out of date? HistoricBridges also calls it the third longest. It was the longest in the world when it was built, and held that record for several decades.

The 1940 collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was still fresh on everyone's mind when this bridge was designed in the mid 1950s. The stiff truss is designed to eliminate micro movements such as longitudinal waves caused by wind induced resonance and torsional (twisting) waves caused by aeroelastic flutter forces. It is not designed to eliminate macro movements. "It is possible that the deck at center span could move as much as 35 feet (east or west) due to high winds. This would only happen under severe wind conditions. The deck would not swing or 'sway' but rather move slowly in one direction based on the force and direction of the wind. After the wind subsides, the weight of the vehicles crossing would slowly move it back into center position." [MackinacBridge-MightyMac]

"Over the five mile length of the bridge, 27 feet of expansion ability had to be provided....Changes in temperature also cause the length of the main cable to change. In warm weather, this causes the cable to lengthen and thus at the center of the bridge the cable lowers. A distance of up to seven feet (with six feet the typical expected maximum) of cable movement up and down was provided for. The movement of the cable would be even greater if it weren't for the fact that when it warms up, the towers holding the cable become taller, counteracting to a small extent the lowering of the cables." [Historic Bridges]


Two of the ten photos posted by Don VeVier.


One of four photos posted by Don BeVier
Presque Isle in the Straits of Mackinac , 9-11-20

Chris D Holton posted three photos with the comment: "A few photos from the building of the Mackinac Bridge 54’-58’
All floating rigs belong to Merritt Chapman Scott."
Perry Brumm Northwest Model 6 w/mast!


Robert MacKenna commented on Chris' post
About 30 years ago I was given a copy of the pictorial history of the bridges construction... should have remembered those pictures as they are all in this book. I would urge any interested to try to get a copy. It was put out by the Wayne State University Press in 1958

Josh Davis commented on Chris' post
One of my favorite places to go. You sit and look at how that bridge was built and think about the iron they had to do it with.
I really hope that Enbridge tunnel goes. I would like to be a part of that job.
[The Enbridge tunnel would replace two 1953 20" pipelines on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac with a pipeline in a tunnel. Engridge has a poor record concerning oil spills. [OilAndWaterDontMix] Enbridge makes it sound like the product in this "Line 5" pipeline is going to Michigan instead of Eastern Canada. [enbridge] The tunnel would cost $500m. [DetroitNews]
Update: trouble with the pipelines (source)]

(new windowAerodynamically designed for winds up to 600 mph 

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Closed 1897 Truss Bridge over Fox River at Millbrook, IL

(Bridge Hunter; no Historic Bridges; Satellite)

Street View
Pyroman Walper posted five photos with the comment:
Hello,I'm new here, but love what I see. I travel alot, and keep thinking about all the places im Going to pic n post.Then I got to thinking... I live in a very old, very small town, and drove around the block today and found four amazing abandoned structures, all within 5 minutes.This first one, the old Millbrook one lane Bridge. The deck is made out of railroad ties.It's been abandoned for at least 30 years, and it's scheduled to be torn down soon.As a kid we would climb to the top of the trusses and jump into the Fox River over and over again.They recently condemned the bridge to everyone, even foot traffic.I drove my car and truck over that bridge hundreds of times, and watched my Uncle drive a semi truck and trailer over it. I would drive that bridge today (if I could get away with it, lol)
Leigh Ann Rentschler I would freeze up with fear driving over that!! I’m not scared of much, but the fear of a bridge collapsing while I’m driving over it (and spiders) makes me sweat just thinking about it.
Pyroman Walper Leigh Ann Rentschler naw, that bridge is solid. It survived the big flood back in 2002(ish). It had 6' of water over the top of the deck.
Loved climbing to the highest point and jumping into the river as a kid. It's usually only 3' to 5' deep, but we waited for it to get to 6' before jumping in, lol

Pyroman Walper Oh, and if u went 30mph+ and look out ur mirrors, u could see the RR Ties bouncing up into the air as u drive.





It continues to amaze me how stone piers can pass the test of time and floods.
Street View
The piers do have the slant on the upstream side to help break up ice flows.
Steve Conro via Bridge Hunter
Although they do need some maintenance or mother nature will win.
Steve Conro via Bridge Hunter

I added the label "bridgeLost" because the NIMBYers won. The village blocked the forest preserve's effort to save the trail bridge. Evidently the local police couldn't keep the noisy late night parties off the bridge. It is costing the county $76,600 just to study how to tear it down. [WSPY]

Millbrook Bridge Demolition Firm Set to Be Hired by Kendall Co. Forest Preserve

Forgotten Railways, Roads, and Places posted
A historic bridge in Millbrook, IL is slated for demolishment due to structural deterioration.
The Kendall County Forest Preserve tried to save the bridge by attempting to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the Village of Millbrook in 2015.
The forest preserve wanted an easement to allow its trails to pass over Dobson Ln., but (unfortunately) Millbrook trustees voted unanimously against the intergovernmental agreement, bowing to neighbors' complaints that late night parties on the bridge were a nuisance.
Christian Landorf I was at a meeting with the bridge last night, an engineer agreed that temporary repairs are possible and for way under a million dollars, these temporary repairs can prolong the bridge a few more years and hopefully money will become available for a full restoration then.
Christian Landorf https://www.change.org/.../kendall-county-forest-preserve...
Frank Furter I read they recalled the demolition contract. Pending the next board meeting

Friday, January 24, 2020

CN Second Narrows Bridges over Fraser River in Vancouver

(Satellite)     I never did figure out what/where the First Narrows was.

Eric Brighton posted (source) two photos with the comment:
The original Second Narrows Bridge in Vancouver, BC was built for cars and trains in 1925. It was originally a Bascule drawbridge. But after several ships crashed into the bridge the center span was converted to a lift bridge. This made it the only combined lift and draw bridge in the world!

Even before the bridge was built, the shipping interests complained that the movable span was too close to the river bank. After it was built, those concerns proved to be correct. There were several booboos. The following photo of an allision shows the span that got knocked down is on the pivot side of the movable span.
By James Skitt Matthews - http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/s-s-losmar-after-knocking-down-span-of-second-narrows-bridge, Public Domain, Link
SS Losmar after knocking down a span of the Second Narrows Bridge

This would be a different allision because the span in the water is the one on the open side of the movable span.
By Leonard Juda Frank - http://www3.vpl.vancouver.bc.ca/spe/histphotos/histPhotoAdvancedSearch.html, Public Domain, Link
In Chicago, the more modern Strauss trunnion bridges use "elephant ears" for the counterweights so that they go down outside of the bridge deck. As an example, the B&OCT Bridge is raised on the left and the St. Charles Air Line Bridge is down on the right. The two white "ears" are the counterweights.
20170421 8720, cropped

In 1960, a 6-lane cantilever bridge was built for the road traffic, which was moved from the 1925 bridge.
3D Satellite
In 1968, CN Rail built a lift bridge that has larger clearances than the adjacent road bridge and removed the old bridge in 1970.
3D Satellite
Even with the wider span, the new rail bridge suffered an allision in 1978.
Canadian Rail, p2

sandeep singh, Jul 2018, cropped

sandeep singh, Jul 2018, cropped

Francesca Fiure, May 2018

Mariko Ishikawa, Mar 2018, cropped

Mariko Ishikawa, Aug 2016, cropped
[Note that three ships are docked here.]
When you do a Google search, the results are dominated by "collapse."
The collapse of the Second Narrows Bridge on June 17 1958.
The Rail and car bridge can be seen behind the fallen span.

© 1958, Vancouver Public Library.

Begun in November 1957, and built alongside the older bridge, the current Second Narrows Bridge, was intended to replace the narrow roadway of the rail and car bridge. The bridge would carry six lanes of traffic. Construction was marred by four separate incidents costing the lives of twenty-five men. The worst occurred on June 17th, 1958, when a large section of the bridge span collapsed into the inlet. Eighteen workers died. Some of them drowned because of the belts that had attached them to the bridge in case they fell.
The opening of the new bridge finally took place on August 25, 1960. Plaques were put up at both end of the bridge to commemorate the workers who lost their lives during the construction.
The June 17, 1958 collapse, City of Vancouver Archives via CanadianEncyclopedia
I've seen both 18 and 19 specified as the number of deaths. The following explains the confusion.
"The collapse occurred near quitting time on June 17, 1958. At about 3:40 pm ironworkers toiling 40 metres above the inlet heard a horrific noise as Span 5 began to crash into the inlet in a mass of tangled steel. The momentum dislocated the columns of Pier 14, causing Span 4 to lose its grip and tumble into the sea. Seventy-nine workers fell. Among the 19 dead were 14 ironworkers, 3 engineers, a painter and a commercial diver who died a few days later when he drowned trying to recover a body. Twenty others were seriously injured." The main fault was faulty engineering calculations for the falsework by the engineer for Span 5, John McKibbin, that were not caught by the engineer in charge, Murray McDonald. McKibbin was killed in the collapse. [CanadianEncyclopedia]

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Information concerning the 1978 allision with the new RR bridge