Thursday, May 30, 2019

Flood of 2019: A&M/Frisco Bridge over Arkansas River near Forth Smith, AR

(Bridge Hunter; no Historic Bridges; 3D Satellite)

A&M = Arkansas & Missouri, a regular railroad with a tourist operation     (system map)

Screenshot  @ -0:59
3D Satellite
I looked through all of the images available on Global Earth to confirm that the river is always this wide. But it is not normally that high. And normally the current is slow enough that there is no turbulence downstream of the piers.
On the right side of this street view, I have captured a view of the swing pier. Given the clumps of trees on both sides of the swing span, it is hard to believe that there used to be a navigable channel over there. Especially since the lift span wasn't added until 1976. [Tom Duggan's comment on Bridge Hunter in 2006]
Street View, looking Northwest from US-71 Business

Gran Paw Ed Hile commented on a post

Rachel Rodemann, SWtimes1
[In 2014, both northern cables broke stopping both rail and river traffic.]
The first train crossed the rail bridge at the Arkansas River from Fort Smith to Van Buren late Thursday since the bridge got struck Tuesday.
A crew of about 30 worked all day Thursday after bridge inspectors from a firm in St. Louis examined on Wednesday the damage from two cables that had snapped, tilting the bridge and making it impassable, said railroad Police Chief Ron Sparks with Arkansas & Missouri Railroad.
Crews worked in 20-degree temperatures to get the bridge level for rail traffic. The first train crossed the bridge from Fort Smith to Van Buren about 8:20 p.m., Sparks said.
“We’ll be running trains all night to get the freight caught up,” Sparks said. “There are 12 barges in the river waiting to come through.”
Sparks said he expected river traffic to resume by daylight Friday. Coast Guard officials came up with plans to use towboats on either side of the bridge to push a barge across, or to use towboats with retractable wheelhouses to get under the bridge.
“From then, we’ll be working on that bridge from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day until we get it back up and operational where it will go up and down,” Sparks said. “Saturday, Sunday, whatever it takes we’ll be out there.”
Crews still are unsure what caused the cables to snap.

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