Sunday, May 16, 2021

One iron truss span: 1872 IC trestle, 1890s White Water Creek and 2007 Bergfeld Pond Bridges

1868 IC+CGW: (Bridge Hunter; FlickrSatellite, predecessor of the current 1899 bridge)
White Water Creek: (Bridge Hunter; HAERSatellite) Google Maps spells it Whitewater Creek

This is the bridge span in its current location in a Dubuque, IA, park.
This cast- and wrought-iron span has had an interesting history: it started as one of the seven 1872 spans that replaced a wood approach trestle for the 1868 IC bridge at Dubuque, IA. As the approach was filled, some of the spans were repurposed. This span was moved to become the Hempstead Road Bridge over the White Water Creek. When it was determined in the 1990's that it could no longer handle vehicular traffic, it was eventually restored and preserved as a fancy lawn ornament in Dubuque, IA. Thus these notes document three different bridges: IC Bridge over the Mississippi River, Hempstead Road over White Water Creek and a no-outlet trail over Bergfeld Pond in Dubuque, IA.

See "Related Bridges" in Bridge Hunter - 1868 IC+CGW for other bridges that were made with spans from the approach trestle when the trestle was converted to an embankment. Historic Bridges has notes for spans preserved as Cloie Branch Bridge in Iowa and Fairground Street Bridge in Vicksburg, MS.

1868 IC Bridge over the Mississippi River

Public Domain via Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges

Digitized by Google, p484 via Bridge Hunter

Bridge Hunter has three more historical photos of this bridge.

White Water Creek Bridge

Significance: This bridge is a remaining span of a seven-span approach bridge built in 1872 to serve a larger seven-span bridge built in 1868 over the Mississippi River at Dubuque. The larger bridge was the first to span the Mississippi at Dubuque, and was one of the earliest of all Mississippi River bridges. The superstructures of both the approach bridge and the river bridge were fabricated and erected by the Keystone Bridge Company [an Andrew Carnegie company], one of the most important and long-lived bridge companies of the nineteenth century. This span is one of the oldest iron trusses still in use in Iowa, and is the only Keystone truss known to be in use in the state. [HAER-data]

HAER IOWA,31-BERN.V,1- (sheet 2 of 5) - White Water Creek Bridge, Spanning White Water Creek, Bernard, Dubuque County, IA

HAER IOWA,31-BERN.V,1- (sheet 3 of 5) - White Water Creek Bridge, Spanning White Water Creek, Bernard, Dubuque County, IA

See Bridge Hunter - White Water Creek for copies of these 11 photos

Bergfeld Pond Bridge


I called this a lawn ornament because it doesn't connect anything and it is over a storm water retention pond. But it is attached to a trail so that you can go on it and see the details of the iron bridge. 
One of many photos taken by John Marvig in Bridge Hunter - Bergfeld Pond
[One of "Keystone's patented cast iron columns and ornamental connector blocks." It was removed from White Water Creek and stored on a farm in June, 1999. [CityOfDubuque]]
Comment in Bridge Hunter

Keystone Bridge Co. Booklet via Historic Bridges, p11

Saturday, May 15, 2021

1889+1919,2008 Amtrak/New Haven Bridges over Thames River between New London & Groton CT

1919: (Bridge Hunter; no Historic Bridges; HAER; Satellite)

The 1889 swing bridge was replaced by the Strauss trunnion bridge in 1919. The bascule span was replaced by a lift span in 2008. The 1889 bridge was converted to road use when the railroad moved off of it in 1919. In 1943 the road bridge was replaced. [Bridge Hunter index]

Originally, it was the New York, Providence & Boston Railroad (NYP&B). Then it was the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (NH). It is now Amtrak's NEC.

Fred Hadley posted
The New London double track railroad bridge and draw span - the world’s largest in 1889.
We illustrate in the present issue the great railroad bridge crossing the Thames River at New London, Connecticut.
Hitherto the “Shore Line“ trains on the Providence and Boston routes have been ferried across the stream on a special ferryboat, which was capable of carrying an entire train of cars.
The crossing of the “Groton Ferry“ has come to be looked for as a regular incident of the trip between Boston and New York, and as for haps been welcomed often by the passenger on day trains as an agreeable variety in the route.
But in a few weeks the boat will take her last trip, and the trains will then cross the estuary by the largest drawbridge in the world and the saving for the traveler of no inconsiderable amount of time will have been effected.
Scientific American excerpt, June 8, 1889

Flickr via Bridge Hunter, Public Domain

7. VIEW LOOKING NORTHWEST SHOWING MOVABLE SPAN IN OPEN POSITION - New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, Groton Bridge, Spanning Thames River between New London & Groton, New London, New London County, CT

HAER-data includes a general history of movable bridges along the NEC. "There are three basic types of Strauss bridges: the vertical overhead counterweight type, the underneath counterweight, and the heel trunnion.  Groton Bridge is the only heel trunnion type of Strauss bascule bridge on the Northeast Corridor rail line."

Leanne Velazquez Flickr via Bridge Hunter-1919, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

HAER Gallery

AI is 100% Artificial and 0% Intellegent

I've been having a problem with Facebook the last few weeks because it started deleting my comments that contained a URL to Google Maps. Facebook declared them to be a violation of Community Standards. When it first started doing that, the content of my comment was gone. And when I clicked through the various levels of explanations I learned it was considered spam because I was self-promoting. If they were URLs to my Blog, I could by it. But I get no benefits from Google Maps references. (Actually, I don't get benefits from my blogs either because I won't monetize them.) Then the notification of deletion changed to include the content of the comment. But the new notifications didn't have any explanation. I've worked around this problem by learning how to use GPS coordinates.

My Facebook problem is small compared to what Google did to me after supper on May 14, 2021. I'll start with the short story: it deleted the five posts to which I added a photo!

And now for the long story because every regular reader knows I can't say anything in 144 words or less.

I use Google's product Blogger to edit my blogs with a browser. And I use Google's product Chrome for my browser. After supper, when I clicked the edit URL of a post to which I wanted to add a photo I got a screen with a red background telling me, to paraphrase, I accessed a phishing site. (I did a bunch of editing before supper with no problems.) Now, is Blogger sending bad stuff to Chrome, or is Chrome buggy? Either way, it is a Google product that has gone bonkers. I clicked through the pages to proceed anyway because I knew the editor does not ask for personal information. What I did not notice was the red "Dangerous" text to the left of my URL because the editor seemed to be working OK. For a while. Then I started getting "Update Failed" when I clicked the update button. About that time I noticed that I could not find one of the posts that I had changed when I wanted to go back and add something more. So I saved the content of the post that was still in my browser, which was the Fairfield one. And I noticed the "Dangerous" label. I figured out how to label it as "Allow." I don't know if that fixed it or if closing the browser window and opening a new one fixed it. But I was able to be productive the rest of the evening. Then when I was done working on the blog and was reading my eMail, I noticed the notifications that more than two of my posts had disappeared.

I then proceeded to loose sleep. At about 4:00am I confirmed that the result of a Google search...

 ...was indeed bogus.

So I created a new post that is a small subset of the info that I had so that I could fix my links in other posts to this post. The new version of the blogger that we were forced to use in Sep 2020 is far worse than the older version. But one thing is better, the search function. Specifically, I can search the bodies of all of my posts in a blog for occurrences of the now bad link:
I found five occurrences in three posts which I changed to the new post.

Now that I've written this post, look what I found in my email!

I'm going to publish this anyhow because of all of the mental anguish that Google caused me over the last 12 hours. At least they do still have some human judgment in their content policing.

But the humans didn't actually reinstate them! When I accessed the blog link in the emails such as this one...
...I still get:

I verified that all five links still don't work. I sent feedback about the reinstatement not working using the Joliet post as the example. I have to walk away from this mess for now.

(Google Search must check all of its links every night for validity because when I did the "joliet union depot tower" search around 5:00am, my post did not appear in the results. When you consider the number of URLs that must be in their database, it is impressive that they can verify them every night.)

12:38pm: I slept until afternoon. I checked a link again. Still no joy. So the pain and anguish continue. 

First I have to determine which of the four remaining links did I use.


Google Search removal of bogus links is not as good as I indicated. Now my post is the second in the search results for Clarke Junction.

I got reminders of what I lost from the images search. Of course, if I click any of those images I got the now infamous "Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist."

I save some images in case Google removes them because of the invalid link.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Dual Use Movable Bridges in Thunder Bay, ON

(see below for satellite information)

This bridge had the vehicle deck above the railroad deck. The vehicle deck was closed in Oct 2002. By a July 2005 image on Google Earth, the fixed part of the vehicle bridge had been removed.

This is the first Strauss trunnion bridge I have seen with four "rocker arms" instead of the usual two. And the fattest "elephant ears" that I have seen.
3D Satellite


3D Satellite



Google Earth, Oct 2002

When I looked to see how workers got to the few industries still left on the island, I found this rolling bridge. Here the vehicle deck is next to the railroad deck.
3D Satellite

Thursday, May 13, 2021

First all steel bridge in world: 1879 C&A Bridge over Missouri River in Glasgow, MO

1879: (Bridge HunterHABS)

C&A = Chicago and Alton Railroad, which became the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio.

Photocopy of photograph made ca. 1880: GENERAL VIEW - Chicago & Alton Railway Bridge, Glasgow, Howard County, MO
The following information was recorded by Alexander Piaget and Charles van Ravenswaay at the time the photograph was taken: Built 1878-1879, this was the first all-steel railway bridge in the world. Built under the supervision of General William Sooy Smith. Destroyed 1922. 

"A swing bridge of steel was erected in Chicago in the same year."  (The Kinzie Street Bridge documented by Historic Bridges is a replacement bridge.)
Photo by John Marvig via Bridge Hunter

The replacement bridge is now owned by KCS. The shortline Gateway Western Railway used to own it. GW bought it from Chicago, Missouri & Western when it went bankrupt. I knew CM&W bought the GM&) route from Chicago to St. Louis when ICG was dumping most of its trackage in the 1980s. And MoPac bought that segment when CM&W went bankrupt. Now I have insight as to what was west of St. Louis.

Street View

Falsework was built to hold a travelling gantry that obviously helped convert the bridge one span at a time.
1879 Bridge Hunter

This was the post that motivated my research.
LongView HD Photo Restoration posted
Circa 1880 photo showing the Glasgow-Chicago and Alton Railroad Bridge over the Missouri River between Howard County, Missouri and Saline County, Missouri. The bridge, built in 1878, was first all-steel bridge in the world. In 1900 it was rebuilt with Parker truss spans and is still in use. Photo by J.C. Macurdy. Restoration by LongView HD. Repository: The State Historical Society of Missouri Photograph Collection.

LongView HD Photo Restoration shared

Robert Daly posted four photos with the comment: "The former Alton/GM&O bridge over the Mississippi at Louisiana MO, April 12 2013. Illinois is to the the left in the distant photos so I hope this is appropriate for this site!"
Rob Meyer: CSX [I presume it is really KCS.] Runs to Roodhouse, IL from Louisiana, MO.
Todd Pendleton: KCS Roodhouse Subdivision.
Robert Daly: The river was approaching flood stage at the time.
1, cropped




Street View

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

1982 US-61+151 Dubuque-Wisconsin Bridge over Mississippi River

(Bridge HunterJohn A. Weeks IIISatellite)

This bridge is also called the City Island Bridge since it crosses that island.

It has 4-lanes with a 670' navigation span and an ADT of 19,500 (2018). [Bridge Hunter] This bridge and its expressway through Dubuque was built to remove through US-61+151 and commercial (big trucks) traffic from the Julien Dubuque Bridge that also carries US-20. The Julien Bridge became congested when the Eagle Point Bridge was closed due to functional obsolescence. And that congestion was backing up into downtown Dubuque. Also, the 1943 Julien Bridge was deteriorating. [YouTube comment]

This is the second tied-arch bridge I have encountered in less than a week that was built in the early 1980s. The first was the 750' long South Pittsburg-New Hope, TN, Bridge built in 1981. So this design is a couple of decades more mature than I had thought.

John Weeks
"This is the second largest arch bridge on the Mississippi River. The I-255 Jefferson Barracks Bridge in Saint Louis is larger, while the I-280 Bridge in the Quad Cities and US-18 Marquette-Joliet Bridge just upstream in Prairie du Chien are smaller."

The regular spans are obviously steel girder spans.
Street View

"Construction work had to be halted when a colony of the endangered HIGGINS' EYE CLAM was discovered. In May 1980, work was halted when a Native American burial site was discovered on the bluff where the bridge was to connect into Wisconsin. Archaeologists had missed the burial, a linear-shaped mound fifteen feet long with a cone-shaped mound at the north end, by reading their map incorrectly and looking in the wrong location. Before excavations to move the human remains could be made, a Winnebago medicine man came to sanctify the ground."