Monday, June 29, 2020

1927+1966 Cicero Avenue Bridge over the CS&SC in Chicago, IL

(Bridge Hunter; Historic BridgesSatellite)

CS&SC = Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal

Historic Bridges indicates this bridge was designed by Strauss Engineering instead of the City of Chicago.

If you can find a place to park, it is easy to take photos of railroad bridges from road bridges. But the converse is not true. So I'll use a satellite image.
3D Satellite

MWRD posted
The Cicero Avenue Bridge construction site on July 2, 1925, viewed looking north from the south side of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
Dennis DeBruler According to Historic Bridges, the bridge was opened in 1927 with just two pony trusses. The third one was added in 1966 when the width was doubled. That is why the bridge looks so narrow in this photo.
That expansion must mean that the trusses were overdesigned by at least a factor of two because the center truss now holds the weight of a whole leaf rather than just half a leaf.

MWRD posted
A soil boring crew works along the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal collecting samples for the foundation of the north abutment of the soon-to-be-built Cicero Avenue Bridge in Chicago, Illinois, on August 12, 1921.
[Are the piles still left over from the digging of the canal?]
Dennis DeBruler: This is also a nice view of the powerline that went from the Lockport Powerhouse to the switchyard building just west of Western Avenue.

MWRD posted
A view to the east showing workers paving the northern approach to the under-construction Cicero Avenue bridge over the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal on November 5, 1926.

MWRD posted
A view to the north showing construction of the Cicero Avenue bridge over the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in Chicago, Illinois, on September 7, 1926. The bridge was completed in 1927.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Steel is stronger in tension than compression

I've talked before about members in a truss bridge that are in tension are cheaper to build than members that are in compression. When I saw this photo I was reminded that steel is weaker in compression.
John Snyder posted
And when I saw this photo a week later, I decided that was close enough for my "2 in 2" rule to write about steel in compression.
William HBaird posted
Covered Hopper MOCX 426425 appears to be the victim of a very hard shove or a collision. Andy Cassidy took this shot in the CP yard in Coquitlam BC in June 2020.
Cameron Blanchard Looks like hump damage.
Tom Srb Looks like a Trinity Industry built car, they never did hold up even in normal usage situations.
Dave Drake Took more than a hard shove . Iol
John White Hit pretty hard to bend the sills like that.
Jerry Maddax I’m thinkin,a smidge over 4 mph

Rick Carpenter commented on William's post
And the demonstrations just kept on coming.
Walter A. Keil A fully loaded reefer like I assume that one is need to spread a bar across the top so it picks up straight up not towards the center.
Jim Snowy With the slings angled like that, there is compressive force created in the container. Normally they are lifted with a spreader so the force is purely lifting.
David Carnes commented on the above video
Containers are designed to be lifted from bottom 4 corners when loaded. Top will overstress and buckle them.
Brett Patrick David Carnes They're always top lifted at container terminals, but the jigs they lift with eliminate the included angle component which caused this failure.
Paul Marcati Directions on the side lol
Never pick loaded container from top pick points
Always use lower pick points
Any old truss bridge shows that members in tension are much cheaper (less metal and less fabrication) than members in compression. This is an example of v-lacing compression members.
Old Renwick Road
HAER explains that the truss members were fabricated in their shop and then shipped to the site and assembled using a local work crew under the supervision of a field agent who worked for the bridge company.

Morris Terminal RR Bridge over I&M Canal
This Big Four Bridge over the Ohio River is so big that even the "simple" members are rather substantial.
20151009 1090
Another bridge that has been converted to pedestrian use and allowed me to get up close and personal with the truss members was the 135th Street Bridge in Romeoville, IL.
20200313 1689

20170121 7700, Abandoned C&NW in Carpentersville, IL
This bridge is basically a Warren Truss. They evidently don't have pure tension members. But the vertical members are thinner than the diagonal members.
HV/C&O over Hocking River

The swing span is a Warren Truss, but the approach spans are Pratt trusses and the diagonals have just tension so they are simple bars.
Wabash Cannon Ball over Wabash River

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Three Swing Bridges over Saginaw River in Bay City, MI

Going downstream:
1890-1976 Lost/Third Street: (Bridge HunterSatellite)
1905 CM/MC + CN/GTW: (Bridge HunterHistoric BridgesSatellite) CM = Central Michigan
1892 LSRC/Detroit & Mackinac: (Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; Satellite) LSRC= Lake State Railway

You can tell that shipping is active on the Saginaw River because the railroad bridges are normally open.

Lost Third Street Bridge

JA Garfield posted two images with the comment: "Third Street Bridge 1889-1976, Bay City, Michigan. It opened in the middle of the night for a ship, and collapsed. Drawing by Scott Shaver."

JA Garfield posted seven photos with the comment:
More pictures of the Third Street Bridge, over the Saginaw River, that connected the east and west side of Bay City, Michigan. It was built in 1872, and collapsed June 18, 1976 as it opened for a ship at 3:10am. It had been struck by another ship passing trough the day before, which probably did structural damage.
Dan Mathers What is happening to the bridge today?
JA Garfield Dan Mathers Unfortunately they pulled it down, and built a typical DOT type drawbridge downstream to replace this, and another two lane swing bridge in town. Both new bridges have been nothing but trouble, and are down for repairs, more than they are open to traffic.
[I could not find a two lane swing bridge.]
JA Garfield When I was a kid, when we would hear a ship blowing for the bridge downstream, we would ride our bikes to this bridge, and ride the span when it swung open. We'd get a great close up view of the ships as they passed through a couple feet away.
[Bridge Hunter has newspaper clipping concerning the collapse.]






JA Garfield posted three photos.
1, cropped



Central Michigan/Michigan Central and Canadian National/Grand Trunk Western

Also known as the Bay City Bridge.

Street View

C Hanchey Flickr, Jun 2012, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) via Bridge Hunter
Central Michigan Railway Saginaw River Bridge (Bay City, Michigan)
Through truss swing bridge on the Central Michigan Railway over the Saginaw River in Bay City, Michigan.

Fred Sibert, Aug 2019
[This is obviously the MC Swing Bridge. It was mislabeled the Liberty Bridge. The Liberty Bridge is on the right in this photo.]

Lake State Railway/Detroit & Mackinaw

Street View

JA Garfield commented on a post
It was abandoned for many years and has recently been rehabilitated for use by the Lake State Railway, which runs on some of the old Michigan Central, and New York Central tracks in mid Michigan. A picture from September [2018]:

Friday, June 26, 2020

1905 BNSF/NP Bridge over Missouri River at Bismark, ND

(Bridge Hunter; no Historic Bridges; John Weeks III3D Satellite)

"Built 1905, reusing the piers from an 1882 bridge." [Bridge Hunter]

BNSF is going to build a new bridge. It wants to replace this one. Some citizens want the new bridge to be on a new alignment so that this bridge can become a trail.

Street View, Aug 2019
[This is another reminder that the nation got a lot of rain in 2019.
This post taught me to try to get a street view from I-94.]

I was surprised the Missouri is so wide this far north.
John Weeks III

USGS-keelboat, (Credit: Brent R. Hanson, USGS. Public domain.)
The Missouri River flooding Keelboat Park and Keelboat Boat Ramp in Bismarck, ND. In the background is the Burlington Northern SantaFe Railway Bridge.

USGS-tie-gang, (Credit: Brent R. Hanson, USGS. Public domain.)
A tie gang traveling to the site to change ties or traveling away to pack up for the night. Tie gangs are part of the maintenance crew.
[Note that during this June 9, 2011, flooding the ice breakers on the piers are almost covered.]


Brian Ambrose updated
Rich Wallace There is a theory that when you leave a location, the train will come. Seems to have been my experience when I have seen others shots who were also at that location. Now I try to get them to leave. Ha!
Dennis DeBruler I was at Union Depot in Joliet to meet my uncle and his railfan friends. BNSF was dead. I kidded them that I'd go check out Brandon Lock so that the trains would start coming. Sure enough, they did come after I left.

Brian Ambrose posted
Well I got my shot at the Missouri River bridge this morning. But the clear blue skies were gone replaced by bright overcast. Instead of going straight to the bridge I went down into Mandan to see if anything was there ready to go east. I should have done that yesterday! But while driving there I heard the dispatcher on my scanner talking to a westbound already west of Mandan saying they'd be meeting two eastbounds at Lyons. Ah, there were two coming at least. But checking Mandan I found there was already an eastbound autorack train here and figuring it would have to leave before the other two eastbounds arrived I had better get up to the bridge now. Arrived at the bluff and back to my spot from yesterday, set up the camcorder, and horns blowing from the west. It was almost here! Single SD70ACe up front of the long autorack and no DPU on the rear. Not sunny but at least I got something. It was 80 and rather humid too.
Paul Birkholz Perhaps empties going to storage with just one unit?
Richard Olson Nice, and the autoracks help keep your eye following the train beyond the bridge.
Brian Ambrose Good point. Coal hoppers or grain cars would not have had the same effect.

This was a popular railfan location.
Jim Kleeman posted
A new crew has just hopped on board the head end of a loaded Powder River coal train in Mandan, ND. They new lead their three EMD SD60s (9020/9026/9055) across a not-so-wide Missouri River onto the BNSF Jamestown Subdivision. Next stop Dilworth, MN. We're overlooking the action at 8:50 AM on 9/24/2004 in Bismark, ND.

These 1882 piers are made with granite. The spans were built in 1905. [John Weeks III]
Brian Ambrose updated
Brian Ambrose And this is the second train of the morning approaching the bridge from down below along a walking trail. Now it is raining, and 78 humid degrees.
Jim Weisenbach Icky weather... sounds like 'home' (NJ)
Dennis DeBruler A nice view of the ice breaker on the pier.
Maybe BNSF would be better off moving the new bridge to a new alignment.
Based on a paper written by Ed Murphy of the ND Geological Survey, the railroad (first Northern Pacific, and now BNSF), have had endless problems with the eastern pier of the High Bridge. Just after completion, the east pier began shifting towards the Missouri River at a rate of 3 to 3-1/2 inches per year. A number of repairs were attempted, but none seemed to work. In 1898, the pier was dug out and moved back onto a larger foundation. By 1902, the pier was already 4 inches off center. After further investigation, it was suspected that the city water reservoir located on a hill above the railroad track was leaking large amounts of water, causing the entire hillside to slide towards the river. The NP built a tunnel under the area to try to drain the water, but the pier continued to move. More projects were completed in 1918, 1923, and 1940 to try to slow down the landslide. In 1951, the NP undertook a major project to cut down the hill and regrade the area. This helped the situation by slowing down the movement to 1/3 of an inch per year, but did not stop the movement. [John Weeks III]
According to John Weeks, BNSF runs most of their trains over the former GN route. This NP route became busy hauling Powder River Basin Coal. But that traffic is drying up as coal-fired power plants are being converted to gas or shuttered. So the cost of stopping traffic on this route while they replace the bridge might not be high enough to help save the old bridge with a new alignment.

Michael D Thoreson posted three photos with the comment: "A loaded coal train crosses the Missouri river bridge between Mandan and Bismarck, ND on Sunday morning, 9/19[/2021]."



Thursday, June 25, 2020

Preserved 1880s Old Renwick Road Truss Bridge over DuPage River

(Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; HAER; An HDR Photo3D Satellite)

A much needed straightening of Renwick Road was done. Fortunately, they turned this bridge into a pedestrian bridge.
20200317 1655

Date of Construction:

1912, accepted date, possibly earlier
Although the locally accepted date of construction of the bridge is 1912, the truss details incorporate practices common in the 1880s and 1890s. [An argument that this bridge was built before 1900 is that the company was absorbed by the American Bridge Company in 1900. "It is questionable that the company would have continued to use the Wrought Iron name plate after merger." An argument that it was built before 1890 is that it doesn't have knee bracing.]

This single-span bridge, located near a historic site on DuPage River is a through Pratt truss, 151 feet in length, the last surviving through truss in Will County, and an example of a bridge type once familiar in Illinois. This truss, built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company, is one of three spans in the state known to have been built by this prolific Canton, Ohio, builder. Pin-connected Pratts were a common late 19th and early 20th century metal truss design which is vanishing from the American landscape.

I was surprised that Will County is down to just this one through truss bridge.

Comparing my photo at the top to the comparable HAER photo, I noticed that someone has stolen the plaque on top of the west portal since 1995.
HAER ILL, 99-PLAIN. V, 1--3

3. VIEW TO SOUTHEAST - Renwick Road Bridge, Plainfield, Will County, IL

Fortunately, the east portal still had its plaque.

This plaque became an example of the economics of a digital camera allowing one to take photos early and often. I took the following photo after I realized that it may be hard to read the text in the above photo because of the extreme angle. But the above photo ended up being more readable because of the lighting.

There has to be a story behind these bent bars.

The above photo also shows how the end of the tension members have a loop instead of the usual eye. It also shows how some people will go out of their way to litter. Almost every joint an upright and its floor beam had at least one can in it. The following diagram provides the appropriate terminology for the tension members. The bottom chords, which are bigger, are eye-bars whereas the diagonal members, which are smaller, are loop bars.
HAER-data, p11
You can tell this is a different joint because it has a different can stuffed in it. This one is closer to the center because the bottom cords are bigger on the right (towards the center) than the ones on the left. And the diagonal members get smaller as we go towards the center of the span.

Since we are close to the dolostone quarries in Joliet and Lemont, it is no surprise that the bridge abutments are made with cut stone. These are the west and east abutments, respectively. The HAER report indicates the stones are 3' deep.

The HAER report observes that there is no knee bracing. I think knee bracing is reinforcement of the joints between the upright members and the floor beams to hold them at 90 degrees during a wind load. In fact, as the report indicates, the joints in this bridge are just pin connected. That is, they have no resistance to bending under a wind load. HAER indicates that knee bracing was introduced around 1890. In the following photo, I was trying to catch how the size of the bottom cords are smaller in the panels that are closer to the abutments. But it also catches how the upright member is connected to the top of a floor beam with just one pin.

This photo shows that some repairs have been made.

It was obvious that this was a rare old bridge, so I took a lot of photos while I was there. The following is a dump of the remaining photos that I took.

 Looking upstream we see the replacement bridge.

When the HAER record was written in 1995, the plan was to move this bridge for preservation and build a new bridge at this location. Fortunately, for the greater good, homes were purchased so that the new bridge could be in a location that allowed Renwick Road to run straight over the river. Not only did they have to purchase the homes that were in the way of the new alignment, they had to purchase the homes between the CN/EJ&E tracks and the river because they became isolated when the old bridge was closed to vehicular traffic. I captured the Global Earth images before, during and after construction.

Global Earth, Sep 2011

Global Earth, Mar 2012

Global Earth, Apr 2013