Thursday, April 30, 2020

1890,1905 Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company/Lydow & Drews and U-505 Submarine

(Satellite, it used to occupy the north and east parts of Turning Basin #1)

I recognize Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company as the one that built the foundations for some of the bridges in Chicago. I assume the satellite location was their original location. Their web site claims they now have five locations in the USA, but I can't find where they are. I did find that their headquarters is now in Oakbrook, IL. But it is safe to assume that they don't park any of their over 200 "specialized vessels" there. And they obviously no longer use the location shown below that was between 92nd and 94th on the east side of the Calumet River.
Rod Sellers posted
U-505 submarine being readied for transport via Calumet River and Lake Michigan to Museum of Science and Industry. The submarine is at the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock facility at 92nd and the Calumet River and is in a floating dry dock. 92nd Street Bridge is visible in background. Photograph was one of several donated to the SECHS by Jim Rossi. Additional preparation work was also done at the Shipyards at 101st and the Calumet River as shown in the attached photograph.

William Bork It was installed at the Museum and dedicated in Sept. 1954.
Wayne Garritano By 92nd Street . Just made it through the St.Lawrence Seaway on its way to Lake Michigan and around 58th Street to the Museum Of Science and Industry.
Dennis DeBruler If it was installed at the museum in 1954, then the U-505 had to come up the Illinois Waterway from the Gulf of Mexico because the St. Lawrence Seaway did not open until 1959. During WWII submarines were shipped down the Illinois Waterway using floating dry docks so transporting submarines on the waterway had precedent.
This photo is the attached photo referred to by Rod's comment above.
Curt Seeliger posted a cropped version of this photo
The U-505 Submarine at the Museum of Science & Industry spent almost a year 1954ish in a Drydock on the Southeast Side by the Calumet River. They did an external overhaul prep of the Submarine before towing it to the Museum in 1955. Here is a 1954 picture from Google images.
Rob Leski: I still got a plaque made from part of the hull dedicated to the men & women who went down at sea that my father received after he helped capture the U-505 when he was part of the task force being on the USS Guadalcanal with Captain Gallery -
[There are several comments about grandparents working on this sub.]

Rod Sellers commented on Curt's post
Photo was from a set of slides from the Port District which are in the collections of the Southeast Chicago Historical Society. Title of the slide is 1954 Cal Sag Tour. American Shipbuilding did work on the U-505 and then it was moved to the 92nd Street yard of Great Lake Dredge and Dock in preparation for towing it to the Museum of Science and Industry on a floating dry dock. Attached photo shows the submarine at the 92nd Street location. 92nd Street bridge is visible in background.
Don Rossi commented on Curt's post
One of the pictures I had found a while ago. My grandpa (James Rossi Sr) worked with it.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Rod's post
[GLDD donated the use of their dry dock.]

OrangeBean posted
Captured Nazi sub U-505 completed a 3,000 mile journey to Chicago’s shores, but the last 800-feet crossing the sand and Lake Shore Drive was the hardest (June 26, 1954). Subs don’t move too fast on land.
 **Image is Kodachrome, NOT colorized**
Robert Siegel: I was seven years old and on lakeshore dr with my mom. We were at a stand still for what seemed like hours.
Sharon McLaughlin: This might be a crazy question... but why was it brought to Chicago?
Tom Ciciora: Sharon McLaughlin Admiral Gallery, who led the task force and gave the order to capture the boat, contacted his brother who was a priest in Chicago, and asked him to get MSI involved to save the sub when the Navy was going to use it for gunnery practice.
Tom Ciciora: Best sea story ever told.
safe_image for Submarine Crossing!

1938 Aerial Photo from IHLAP

Association for Great Lakes Maritime History posted
A bird's-eye view of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Ill. published by Chicago-based Rand McNally and Co. (Image Source: Library of Congress - Geography and Map Collection Division). 
The massive dredging and marine construction work needed at the site was an early project of the newly-formed partnership of Lydow & Drews which became the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. in 1905.
The Columbian Exposition was built on empty marshland bordering Lake Michigan. In addition to widespread dredging and pile driving, the event also required the construction of numerous lakefront docks and piers.
Those structure were need to accommodate the millions of visitors who arrived at the Exposition by water. In an interesting side note, the replica battleship U.S.S. Illinois can be seen alongside a pier on the right-hand side of the image.
Additional Historical Information - Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co.
What became the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. was founded in 1890 as Lydon & Drews, a partnership of William A. Lydon and Fred C. Dew, both of Chicago, Ill. Its first project was the construction of a tunnel to extend the water intake line for Chicago to a new crib farther out into Lake Michigan.
During the 1890s, the partnership experienced tremendous growth. Among its projects at the time were the dredging and shoreline structures needed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and pile driving for the foundation of what is currently Navy Pier. Based on its success in the Chicago area, the company soon opened satellite operations in major cities around the Great Lakes region.
In 1905, the partnership changed its name to the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. and its fleet now included thirteen dredges and ten tugboats. During the period of 1905-1920, the company’s services grew to include the construction of foundations, bridges, breakwaters and lighthouses, along with dredging and pile driving. 
Examples of specific projects during the period of 1900-1950 include a large-scale water intake for what was then the new Gary Works of U.S. Steel in Gary, Ind., construction of the Sabin Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., shoreline reclamation for landmark parks and museums on Chicago’s lakefront, and construction of the foundations and approaches for many of the city’s iconic bridges. 
By 1920, the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. had expanded its operations to the East Coast of the U.S. During World War II, it was awarded a coveted E-Flag by the U.S. Navy for work on the MacArthur Lock at Sault Ste. Marie. 
After the war, the company continued its growth and worked on projects East, Gulf and West Coasts of the U.S. and many of the country’s inland waterways. The firm also expanded internationally through projects in the Middle East, Latin America, and other regions of the world. 
Information Source:

Mark Sprang posted six photos with the comment:
I'm currently working on processing the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company Collection and came across this set of images of U-505. This U-boat was captured by the U.S. Navy in June 1944 (the first enemy vessel captured on the high seas since the Civil War). After thorough testing and analysis, the Navy donated it to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago in 1954. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock had the responsibility of setting up the outdoor docking space where U-505 was on display until being placed in a climate-controlled facility in 2004.






They learned a lot about dredging while helping to build the landfills along Chicago's shore such as Grant Park, Lincoln Park, Northerly Island. etc. Now they specialize in dredging and do projects around the world as well as the nation.


[I had expected them to do the substructure (foundation) work. But I'm surprised they also did the superstructure (steel) work.]


This one caught my eye because Bay Shipbuilding is on the Great Lakes.
It can use the St. Lawrence Seaway to get to the oceans because it would be running light between jobs so its draft would be shallow.

St. Lawrence Seaway dimensions: 740' x 78' x 26.5'  with a limit above the water of 116.5'. [Seaway Facts]
The Liberty Island is their second largest dredge. The Ellis Island would be too wide to go through the seaway. I didn't realize that seaway ships are so long and skinny until I saw the dimentions of this dredge.

MWRD posted
Two photos combined to show a panoramic view of Wilmette Harbor on Lake Michigan on September 12, 1920, taken while the MWRD was dredging the harbor and building a breakwater.
[I don't know if GLDD is doing this work, but historical photos that I saw on the GLDD web site were similar to this.]

You can see their name on one of the barges helping to build the Chicago River Controlling Works.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

CSX/L&N Trestle over Upper Howard Creek in Clark Country, KY

(Bridge Hunter; Satellite)

The south end of this trestle is curved.

Three of the sixteen photos posted by Redeker Rail Video & Photography of the Kentucky Steam Heartage's C&O 2716 Heritage Highball move from Lexington to near Ravenna, KY.



Tuesday, April 28, 2020

1879 Royal Gorge Express/D&RGW Hanging Bridge over Arkansas River in Royal Gorge

(Bridge Hunter; Satellite)

Photo from LC-DIG-det-4a09172 via Bridge Hunter

I put "?" for the current owner because it is owned by UP, but, because it is part of the Tennessee Pass route, I believe it is out of service. I have read that another company wants to buy it, but UP won't sell. Some sources show the owner as Rio Grande Southern Railway. I believe they were a subsididary of D&RGW.
Ken Swiderski PMed me the comment:
Ownership of the Tennessee Pass line at the Hanging Bridge (MP 166.23) is convoluted. On July 1 1998, UP sold the portion of the line between MP 160.15 and MP 171.9 to three entities, each having fingers in each others' pies:- Rock & Rail Railroad (reporting marks RRRR, owner of record per FRA and responsible for freight operations and possibly maintenance);- Cañon City and Royal Gorge Railroad (CCRG, responsible for dispatching the line)- Royal Gorge Express (RGX, the tourist passenger operation).The last I heard (during 2011) RRRR ran one job per day from Cañon City to Pueblo and back to interchange freight with UP and BNSF. There is still a quarry in Parkdale but I'm not sure how much business they generate these days.
UP still owns the rest of the line, but most is not in service. I believe no rail has been removed even after over twenty years. The line has been in the news lately, though: . STB has declined. (I believe the "Towner line" mentioned in the article is an abandoned MP line east of Pueblo.)
Main track authority, edited from UP Denver Area Timetable No. 5 in effect 0900C September 28, 2015: Tennessee Pass Subdivision RG118 (MP 118.2, Pueblo Junction) to RG122 (MP 121.5): Rule 6.28 (Movement on Other than Main Track) RG122 (MP 121.5) to MP 159.2: CTC MP 159.2 to MP 171.9: Movement governed by joint timetable of CCRG and Rock and Rail RR. MP 171.9 to MP 335: Rule 6.28 (Movement on Other than Main Track); Main track not in service. Glenwood Springs Subdivision Eagle Valley Industrial Lead Extends 6.9 miles from Dotsero, MP 341.9 to MP 335.0.
safe_image for Trains could return to Colorado’s Tennessee Pass, rumble through Leadville under pair of proposals[This article indicates that Royal Gorge Express, the passenger operation, is the owner. And that neither the Utah oil interests (Colorado Pacific) or the southeastern Colorado wheat interests (KCVN) have talked to them. It would cost $278 million to rehabilitate the 208 miles of track that has not been used since 1997. The locals around Leadville would rather have a trail. Another proposed use for the route is a commuter service so that the workers in the expensive ski resorts in the Eagle River Valley could live in the more affordable Upper Arkansas River Valley. Colorado State owns the Moffat Tunnel and UP's lease to use it expires 2025.]

May 18, 2023: railfan
Colorado Pacific Gives Up Bid for Tennessee Pass

Santa Fe built the railroad through the gorge while Santa Fe and D&RGW fought for the rights to the gorge. When D&RGW won, they pad Santa Fe $1.4m for what they had built. [CanonCityDailyRecord]

Photo via Bridge Hunter
Taken 1881-1890
William Henry Jackson & Co./Library and Archives Canada/C-002288

Mark Mcgowan posted
Theodore Roosevelt's President's Special on D&RGW's Hanging Bridge over the Arkansas River in Colorado's Royal Gorge. 1903.
(George L. Beam photo)
Roy Reynolds: Still has the third rail.

Kevin Robbins posted three photos with the comment:
“Bridge Over Troubled Waters”
White Sox History has shown these photos before but never really went in to detail before today.
It was on February 27, 1910 while the Sox team train was crossing the country from Chicago to their spring home in San Francisco when they decided it was time to stretch their legs, and would ask that the train pause for some photo opportunities on the Royal Gorge Hanging Bridge that spanned the Arkansas River in Colorado. The bridge, which had been completed in 1897 was, for the time, considered a “feat of structural engineering”.
Among those posing for photos of the team were future Hall of Fame pitcher Ed Walsh and Sox owner, Charles Comiskey, who were accompanied by many family members. The hanging bridge was no stranger to photo ops, as many Americans wanted to be a part of history. The bridge was built through a very narrow thirty foot gap over the canyon that could not be made wider because of the precarious way the rock formations were positioned, preventing any blasting to widen it without the risk of landslides.
In what would become an all out fight for the rights to that parcel of land, the Denver Rio Grande Western Railroad and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Companies would engage in sabotaging one another as they raced to get their tracks set down to this very spot.
Both rail companies had to fight through the Federal Court System wile putting “hired guns” in place to shoot anyone invading their territories. It was a two year war that finally came to an end with a treaty that would allow both rail companies to travel the route that they would both finally come together to complete.
The White Sox were one of the most famously documented visitors to the site with many pictures taken in 1910, but were overshadowed by the most famous of all visitors in 1905, the President of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt.
Although it may have been a long downward plunge in to the ice cold Arkansas River, the White Sox players bravely posed precariously close to the drop. When the train came to the stop, the entire team and family members disembarked over the river and slowly made their way to the front of the train so they could have their picture taken with the majesty of the coal and wood burning locomotive as their backdrop.
They would all then make their way back to board the train over the treacherous tracks, knowing well that at any time, one false move and they could take their last step ever, falling in to the river below.
The train would then proceed to move over the 175 foot span once everyone was safely back on board, only to stop once again so that the team could once again risk their lives to disembark at the back of the train to get the caboose as their background.
The view of the canyon was awe inspiring with its long drop in to the ravine and the wall of rock rising 2,600 feet above the tracks. Again, many tourists took advantage of this historic site for photographs, but when it came to baseball teams, the White Sox were the first and the only to document their visit.
⚾️ Photo #1 Royal Gorge Hanging Bridge over the Arkansas River in Colorado was completed in 1897, and was called a feat of structural engineering.
⚾️ Photo #2 White Sox team and family members pose at the rear of the train
⚾️ Photo #3 Posing in front of the train while enroute to spring training in 1910. Photos credit of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Greg Burnet shared


The White Sox are one of three significant users mentioned in RoyalGorge.

Rick Burnett posted
956 feet down to the tracks on the Arkansas River at the Royal Gorge.
Steve Drassler DRGW back in the day. Two railroads competed for rights through the canyon. There are accounts of shots being fired to stop construction. Back in the day.
Al Snyder I read about similar issues when the WM and B&O were fighting over the best route along the Potomac River. WM had to actually post guards because they would lay track during the day, and B&O would tear it up overnight!

Thomas Wentzel posted posted
A Rio Grande 4-8-4 (M-68) has the first section of the heavyweight, westbound "Royal Gorge" (Denver - Pueblo - Ogden), stopped at the famous Hanging Bridge along the Arkansas River on June 1, 1947. Otto Roach photo.

Trains Magazine posted
The appeal of the D&RGW's famous Hanging Bridge at the bottom of the Royal Gorge is timeless, as Mileposts blogger Kevin Keefe discovered on a recent visit:
[A comment points out the three rails. Back then it could handle the original narrow gauge and standard gauge.]

Nicholas Valdez commented on Trains' post, cropped
[It appears they cut off part of the "wall" and added fill to the river. But I've seen a 2018 photo that still has the bridge.]

Chris Ness posted
Suspended roadbed on the Royal Gorge line along the Arkansas River.  10/08
Brady Halligan: An enormous amount of railroad history here. And while the line is now out of service for revenue traffic, this portion is open as a tourist railroad line.
Lucas Barnlund: Where exactly is this?

Dennis DeBruler commented on Lucas' comment
Just enough light made it down into the canyon that we cans see part of it.
38°27'45.9"N 105°19'40.0"W

safe_image for Royal Gorge Route Railroad With Amazing Canyons!
"Originally conceived out of the 1870s silver rush in Colorado, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad was blown out of solid granite!...At some points in the canyon, the walls are as high as 2600 feet and as narrow as 30 feet at the bottom!"
Originally conceived out of the 1870s silver rush in Colorado, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad was blown out of solid granite!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Western Avenue Bridge over the 60' Cal Sag Channel

(Satellite, it used to connect Old Western Avenue)

Between 1911-22 a 60' Cal Sag Channel was dug to reverse the flow of the Calumet River. What we see today was the result of widening that channel in the 1960s.

MWRD posted
The original Western Avenue bridge over the Cal-Sag Channel on June 20, 1921, viewed looking north towards what is now Old Western Avenue in Blue Island.
MWRD posted, same comment

MWRD posted
Bridges over the Cal-Sag Channel on March 16, 1917, viewed looking north towards what is now Old Western Avenue in Blue Island, Illinois.

MWRD posted
Workers in action on the original Western Avenue Bridge over the Cal-Sag Channel on June 16, 1921, viewed looking north towards what is now Old Western Avenue in Blue Island, Illinois.

Dennis DeBruler commented on the MWRD post
This 1938 aerial shows that this bridge was west of the Rock Island bridge. In fact, an abutment for the Rock Island overpass is in the lower-right corner of the photo.
When they widened the channel to 120', they moved Western Avenue further east.

Michael Brandt posted
A great areal shot of Western Ave in Blue Island going over the Cal Sag. A nice view of Old Western Ave too, I believe Jebens Hardware is also in the picture.
[And a nice view of the Metra/Rock Island Bridges.]