Friday, May 17, 2019

1940 US-6 Bridge over Black River in Lorain, OH

(Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges3D Satellite)

The design appears to be a fixed trunnion bascule bridge, and its 330' span was the worlds longest when completed in 1940. It is now considered the second longest span in the world. When it was rehabilitated in 1988, it was renamed from the Erie Avenue Bridge to the Charles Berry Bridge "in honor of Lorain native Charles J. Berry, a Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during a minor grenade battle on Iwo Jima." [Revolvy]

Linda S. Seabold via her comment in Bridge Hunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

C Hanchey in July 2012, via Bridge Hunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)
• Approximately 1,500 lifts are made per year
• The average lift for a sailboat is 4-5 minutes
• The average lift for a ship is 12-15 minutes

Rona Proudfoot Flickr, License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)

The Spar Garnet enters Lorain this afternoon a little before 4 p.m.

The Spar Garnet, from Bergen, Norway, is Lorain's second salty. The Yosemite left today a little after 1 p.m., and the tugs Iowa and California hung around to bring the Spar Garnet in as well.

A 2007 Flickr showing the bridge raised for a freighter with a superstructure on the bow.

Ohio DOT upgraded the electrical controls in 1998. ODOT also repaints the bridge about every 10 years. "With the additions that have been made, and proper maintenance to the bridge there is no reason why the bridge would not last well into the 21st Century." [LorainCounty]

Andrew Haenisch posted
Saginaw entering the port of Lorain.

I read that it is currently being rehabilitated and that a concrete deck is being added. Unfortunately, I can't find that tidbit of info again for reference. Normally bascule leaves that are four lanes wide with two sidewalks would have a metal mesh deck to reduce the air resistance. The following street view shows that it did have a metal deck.
Street View
I suspect the diagonal grid is an attempt to reduce the wiggling of tires as they roll across the deck. That wiggle can be especially unnerving for motorcycle riders. Bridge builders soon learned that the counterweights don't help much when the leaf is up and acting like a sale. The wind resistance of a solid deck could overwhelm the machinery. I guess in the 21st Century they have developed machinery that is strong enough to handle the wind pressure of a solid deck.

I did a quick check of I-290 in Chicago with street view (below). I see it now has a solid deck. It used to have a steel mesh deck. I remember driving my minivan over it, and I could feel the mesh wiggle the van from side to side. It was a subtle wiggle, but it was enough that my wife also felt it. If a mesh deck can impact a van, imagine what it can do to a motorcycle.
Street View

As one would expect, the predecessor bridge was a swing bridge.
One of 23 photos posted by Jim Huber
Circa 1900. Lorain Erie Swing bridge in background.

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