Thursday, February 14, 2019

Talmadge Memorial Bridges in Savannah, GA

(1953 Bridge Hunter; 1990 Bridge Hunter3D Satellite, 201+ photos)

Boston Public Library Flickr, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
The clearance of  this bridge was too low for some ships. And a couple of allisions with piers increased the urgency of building a replacement bridge. The cable-stayed replacement was completed in 1990 with a cost of $80 million. "The bridge provides 185 ft. of vertical navigational clearance at Mean High Water. With a main span of 1100 ft. and a total length of 1.9 miles the new Talmadge Memorial carries the 4 lanes of traffic on Hwy 17 over the Savannah River. Prior to the construction of the new bridge, a law mandated that Hwy 17 be re-routed across the Houlihan Bridge." [SavannahPortJournal]

GDOT (link is broken)
GDOT (link is broken)
Many of the piers of the old bridge still stand because "the cost of removing the old bridge was greater than the cost of erecting the new bridge."  [SavannahPortJournal]
3D Satellite
I spent some time on the web site trying to find info on this bridge, but I was defeated.

The current limiting factor for handling 14,000 TEU neo-panamax ships is the 42' depth of the navigation channel. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' project to deepen the channel to 47' is expected to be completed in 2022 with a cost of nearly $1 billion dollars. Cranes have already been installed that are tall enough to handle the 14,000 TEU ships.  But ships that can handle 19,000 TEU, and even 22,000 TEU, are using other ports. The 185' clearance of the current bridge is not high enough to handle that generation of container ships because they increase their capacity by stacking the containers even higher. "Talks about a new bridge are in the planning stages and no details on size needed or cost were available." [SavannahNowAJC]

[A nice view of the old piers that are a monument to the endurance of properly poured reinforced concrete. It is too bad that Chicagoland contractors can't learn how to make concrete structures that last that long. For example, the new outer-drive that is just 33 years old is already exposing its rebar.]

Lamar White posted
4100 on the Savannah River

Danny Graham posted
Savannah ga
Richard Yarger Container cranes at the port of Savannah...looking West under the Talmadge memorial Bridge.

safe_image for Port Of Savannah Moved Most Export Containers In Start Of 2020
During the first five months of 2020, the Port of Savannah moved the highest number of export containers of any U.S. port. At 1,345 acres, Savannah’s Garden City Terminal is the largest container terminal in North America. (Photo: Jeremy Polston / Georgia Ports Authority)
[The Neo-Panamax ships are paying off for Savannah. Exports include raw cotton, wood pulp and kaolin clay.]

(new window)  Starting at 1:10, you can see the new bridge in the background.

(new window)  At 4:11 we see the bridge in the background and the fireboats celebrating the arrival of the largest container ship to arrive on the East Coast on May 11, 2017.

It was obviously a well publicized event because at 0:59 we see another angle of the arrival towards the bridge.

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