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

MightyMac.org - The Mackinac Bridge & Straits of Mackinac posted
The Mighty Mac on a sunny day last week [Early May 2021]. Photo by AM.
James Torgeson shared
Another fine product of the American Bridge Division of United States Steel!

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]


Only In Michigan posted
A captivating capture of the bridge to Paradise. Photo Credit: Daniel Baldwin/Michigan Nature Lovers Group on Facebook

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.

MightyMac.org - The Mackinac Bridge & Straits of Mackinac posted
This beautiful shot of the Mighty Mac was taken yesterday by Todd Anderson.

I never appreciated how long the deck truss segment of the bridge was until I saw this photo. And we still don't see the truss reaching the shore.
LEM Photography - Michigan posted
Who is ready to cross this beauty and spend their summer vacation in the U.P? I sure am! A beautiful sunset at the Mackinac Bridge, summer of 2020. 
Lincat Photography posted
A unique shot of below the Mackinac bridge shipping channel level.
Mike Mishler shared

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

It is hard to capture that the suspended span is a small part of the 5-mile long bridge.
MackinacIsland.Net - Mackinac Island Michigan posted
We’re getting an early start on the Memorial Day Weekend. It’s a beautiful Wednesday morning on the Straits of Mackinac. Here’s a view of the Mackinac Bridge shining in the morning sun.

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.]

Robert Campbell posted
The Alva C. Dinkey going under the unfinished Mackinac Bridge. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

(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.

Robert Campbell posted
This photo from the Michigan Department of Transportation Department collection shows the Thomas Lynch sailing under the unfinished Mackinac Bridge.

safe_image for The Mackinac Bridge
Looking north through the cable saddle at top of south tower of the MackinacBridge. May 23rd, 1956...….65 years ago!!!

The American Bridge Division of US Steel has completed the towers for the Mackinac Bridge and the main cables, suspenders and deck are still to be done. This 1956 view looks through one of the huge cable saddles on the south tower towards its northern counterpart.

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]


Onekama, MI posted
With Mother Nature giving us another taste of winter on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, thought showing some of the most popular western and northwestern Michigan photos (on this page) from winters past would be appropriate
Best viewed in front of a warm fire. A big thank you to the photographers that braved the ice and snow to get these photos
Winter drive at the mighty Mac - Photo from the UP Cruisers

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

Al Miller posted
Today is my birthday, so I'm indulging myself by posting my first boat photo in 1970 -- a U.S. Steel AAA-class boat downbound on Lake Michigan after passing under the Mackinac Bridge. I shot it with my new Kodak Instamatic -- the high-tech model that used flashcubes. Sad thing is, this isn't the worst boat photo I ever shot. The nice thing is, seeing this boat inspired my interest in the Great Lakes.

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)]

Al Miller posted
Edgar B. Speer downbound for Lake Michigan as it approaches the Mackinac Bridge on Sept. 7, 2007.

MightyMac.org posted
The crews of Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, homeported in Cheboygan, Michigan, and Canadian Coast Guard Ship Pierre Radisson, homeported in Quebec City, conduct an escort on Lake Superior near Whitefish Point April 3, 2014. As crews worked together, as part of an ongoing bi-national agreement between the U.S. and Canada, to break sheet ice that was nearly 40 inches thick. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City)

Don Slusser shared

Construction Photos via a Facebook share

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