Monday, October 18, 2021

1932 NS/Sou Bridge and 1908 CSX/L&N/Clinchfield Trestle over Copper Creek in Scott County, VA

CSX: (Bridge Hunter; Historic BridgesSatellite)
NS: (Bridge Hunter; same satellite)

Clinchfield is a nickname for the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio RR and the reporting mark was CCO

The lower bridge is NS and the taller trestle is CSX.
Aug 2018 photo taken by Timothy & Joann Phillips via BridgeHunter-NS,
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)

Ron Flanary posted
In September 1990, a morning eastbound NS coal train is crossing the low bridge over Copper Creek, near Speers Ferry, VA. [I could not find Speers Ferry on Google Maps. But then I remembered that Bridge Hunter probably had a search function. So "Copper Creek" made it easy to find these bridges.]
Randall Hampton shared
He's just a few miles south of Natural Tunnel. The upper bridge is the old Clinchfield.
Dennis DeBruler
The bridges are where the Copper Creek joins the Clinch River.

The girders across the towers are 40' and the girders between the towers are 70'. The short girders are as deep as the long ones. The top of the bridge is 167' above ground. [BridgeHunter-CSX]
Street View

James F. Gentner captured the road side plaque in Jun 2009
"At 167 feet over the Copper Creek - Clinch River junction, the Copper Creek Viaduct wsa then one of the tallest railroad bridges in the eastern United States. Construction of this trestle -- and many other bridges and fifty-five tunnels -- by the CC&O opened up coal deposits in Virginia and Kentucky via a superbly engineered direct rail route to numerous cities in the Carolinas, Georgi, and Florida. Prior to its completion, alternate rail routes to these markets were over one hundred miles longer and featured some of the steepest grades in the United States."
[What a difference a decade can make. The plaque says the Clinchfield route handles 18-24 coal trains a day. In Oct 2015, CSX mothballed the line between Elkhorn City, KY, and Spartanburg, SC. But it was reopened in 2017 because of Hunter's new "Precision Schedule Railroading" traffic pattern. [American-Rails] CSX and NS share each others route through here. That is why the photo on the plaque has a CSX train on each bridge.]

Note the NS bridge peeking out amongst the trees at the bottom.
Aug 1987 photo by Geoff Hubbs looking East via BridgeHunter-CSX,
License: Released into public domain

Looking Northeast via Pinterest via BridgeHunter-CSX,
License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)

Sunday, October 17, 2021

NS/Sou Natural Tunnel in Scott County, VA

(Bridge Hunter; Satellite, North Portal; Satellite, South Portal)

NSCorp via BridgeHunter via Twitter

I looked at this topo map before I looked at Bridge Hunter and that was when I realized that the tunnel was dug by Stock Creek.
1950 Clinchport Quadrangle @ 1:24,000
Ron Flanary posted
Natural Tunnel Semi-Odie: Three big SD50s emerge from Natural Tunnel (VA) on July 22, 1986 with an eastbound unit coal train. I used a 28mm wide angle to capture as much of the "hole" as possible.
Randall Hampton shared

Friday, October 15, 2021

1935 Cleveland Union Terminal Viaduct over Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, OH

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

C Hanchey Flickr via BridgeHunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

The viaduct not only goes across the river, it goes all the way across the Ox Bow Bend peninsula.
Street View

Cleveland Public Library via BridgeHunter, License: Released into public domain
Union Terminal Bridge C. 1953. Notice the Columbus Road Lift Bridge in the background.

This photo explains why some tracks for passenger trains still exist --- it is now used for commuter service. And those commuter trains using electrical power explains why the bridges to hold overhead wires still exist.
Photo taken by Jann Mayer in September 2019 via BridgeHunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

The tower peaking over the bridge is the Cleveland Union Terminal for which this viaduct was built to provide access.
Photo by Herbert H. Harwood, Jr. via BridgeHunter
looking east in 1960

Because of the overhead wires, it is easy to identify the viaduct in the background of this Industrial Flats Lift Bridge as the CUT Viaduct.
C Hanchey Flickr via Bridge Hunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

1871,1899,1941 Sylvan Slough Canal and Power Dams

Canal: (John A. Weeks IIISatellite)

These notes have the labels of energyHydro and powerhouse because the dams were originally mill dams and later they were replaced by hydropower dams. The USACE #15 Lock and Dam was evidently not needed to help create a head for these dams. The limestone bedrock is at the surface here and the USACE dam was needed to cover the rapids and cascades that existed between Iowa and Rock Island. Although the head for the 1942 dams may have been higher because of the USACE dam. 
The first power dam was built between 1869 and 1871. It started on the south bank of Sylvan Slough on the river bank at Moline, ran along the east shore of Sylvan Island, then crossed the channel of Sylvan Slough to connect with Arsenal Island. Water was drawn in from the Sylvan Slough channel, and exited a 2,100 foot long tailrace canal that was built as part of the 1871 project.
In 1898 and 1899, the 1871 project was removed and a new power plant was built at its current location at the east end of the tailrace canal. This new dam and powerhouse did not cross Sylvan Slough. Rather, a second dam and powerhouse for the Rock Island Arsenal was built across Sylvan Slough to support the US Army factories.
The 1899 power plant was again removed and rebuilt in 1941 and 1942. Those buildings exist today, and are still in use generating hydro power for the Quad Cities area. The generators have been upgraded several times, however, so the plant produces vastly more power today than when it opened in 1942.
The canal itself was cut from limestone, and the bottom is bedrock, which happens to be very near the surface in that area. This shallow bedrock is the reason for the rapids and cascades existing in the Quad Cities area.
The tailrace canal would have been built to bring the lower level of the west end of the Sylvan Slough peninsula further east to the base of the powerhouse to increase the head at the powerhouse.
Nathan Holth
[The bridge in the foreground is made with iron. As Nathan explained, it would have been quite common in the mid 1800s, but it is now a very rare historic bridge in the Midwest.]

Sylvan Island Bridges over Sylvan Slough Canal at Moline IL

Wagon: (Bridge Hunter; Historic BridgesJohn A. Weeks III; Satellite)
Trail: (Satellite, it is still showing the old bridge in 2021)

When the Sylvan Slough Canal was dug in 1871 to provide a tailrace for a powerhouse, it turned the Sylvan Peninsula into an island. Wagon and railroad bridges were built across the canal to provide access to the island. It had some industries including a steel mill.

The railroad bridge is a very rare iron bridge because CB&Q moved the truss from their mainline in Burlington to here to serve as an industrial spur.

According to John Weeks, the wagon bridge was built in 1872. The 1901 date in Bridge Hunter was when the bridge was strengthened. But Bridge Hunter thinks it was replaced in 1901, not just strengthened. It is possible that the piers are from 1872 whereas the superstructure is from 1901. "Built 1901 (Per Arsenal drawing RIA S162-1); Bearing plate repaired 1945, Timber deck replaced by concrete 1953; Floor system repaired 1964; Closed 1969; Converted to pedestrian usage in 1995; Closed 2013, Demolished 2017" [BridgeHunter-wagon]

Was the trail bridge built in 2017 as part of the wagon bridge removal effort?
Google Earth, Sep 2017

Bridge Hunter generally doesn't document most modern bridges. Normally, it is because they are UCEB (Ugly Concrete Eyesore Bridges). This one they called a MOB. I don't know what that stands for. 
Retro Quad Cities posted

nathan, Sep 2021

The former pin-connected bridge.

Public Domain via BridgeHunter-wagon
[The building in the background was the Sylvan Steel Works]

Retro Quad Cities posted

The railroad bridge is now used by the service vehicles of the company that owns the upriver powerhouse.
"This bridge has a very interesting history. It was built in 1868 in Burlington, Iowa. It was part of one of the very early Mississippi River crossings. The Burlington, Iowa, bridge was being rebuilt, so one 247-foot span was floated up river to Moline. The span had to be cut shorter, so 45 feet was removed. Despite the surgery, the look of the 1868 span was retained."
[The building in the background makes John Deere planters.]

The bridge was originally built in 1868. Metal truss bridges from the 1870s are considered extremely old. Bridges built in the 1860s or earlier are among the oldest surviving metal bridges in the country. Moreover, the bridge is a rare example of a bridge that represents the materials and designs of an early Mississippi River bridge is from the first generation of metal railroad bridges, nearly all of which were lost a few decades after they were built due to a need for stronger railroad bridges which occurred around the turn of the 20th Century. The bridge has cast iron compression members, specifically the top chord (and only the top chord) of the bridge. Any bridge with cast iron members automatically join one of the rarest groups of historic bridges in the country. Most cast iron truss bridges are in the eastern United States, so surviving cast iron bridges in other regions of the United States are regionally even more rare. The end posts and all but the hip verticals of the bridge are another rare type of truss beam, the patented wrought iron Phoenix Column as manufactured by the Phoenix Iron Company. Any bridge with Phoenix Columns is a rare example of its kind and significant for displaying the patented design of column. Phoenix Column bridges are also mostly found in the eastern United States and are less common in this region. The bridge has a Whipple truss configuration. Whipple truss bridges of any kind are uncommon, but are particularly uncommon among surviving railroad bridges. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

1901 CN/GTW International Bridge over Niagara River and Black Rock Canal at Buffalo, NY

River: (Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges: Satellite)
Canal: (Satellite)

Technically, I assume the International Bridge is just the part over the river. According to the satellite image, the international border goes through the center pier of the swing span. But I also include the swing span over the Black Rock Canal. I remember this canal from my study of the Peace Bridge down at the mouth of the Niagara River. 

This bridge uses the piers from the original 1873 bridge. Considering the amount of ice Buffalo must see, I continue to be amazed by the strength of cut-stone piers.

There are more spans out-of-frame to the left. This captures both swing spans because we can see the top of the canal span on the right side as well as the river span.
Street View

I found a gap in the tree line that allows me to capture most of the spans.
Street View

And a gap that gets all of the spans.
Street View

And this closeup of a typical span shows it is a pin-connected truss.
Street View

Going back to the original tree gap to get a closeup of the swing spans. Evidently the span over the canal is open for marine traffic when the street view car drove by.
Street View

This is the span over the canal.
Street View

Rather than build a bobtail span, they let the balance span extend out over the road.
3D Satellite

Robert Craig Goodenough posted six photos with the comment: "International Railroad Bridge crossing the Black Rock Canal and the Niagara River from the United Sates to Canada.  Photos taken last summer [2020] from the USA side."





[I thought this was a duplicate of 3 until I noticed the train.]

Digitized by Google, p3, via Historic Bridges
[This article verifies that the bridge was owned in 1928 by Grand Trunk Railway, thus the label "rrGTW" for this post.]
When they constructed the 1901 bridge, they used a travelling truss. The travelling falsework was a truss that was bigger than the new trusses, which was bigger than the old trusses. The travelling falsework was built over shallow water using traditional falsework. [eBook

Monday, October 11, 2021

Aban/Seaboard Air Line Bridge over Chattahoochee River near Omaha, GA

(Bridge Hunter; Historic BridgesSatellite)

It was abandoned by the Family Lines System.

I was shocked to learn that this river is navigable this far inland. The USACE has "tamed" a lot more rivers than I was aware of. The downstream dam, Walter F George, does have a lock. Historic bridges points out that it has a very short lifting ability.

Street View

Chris Ness posted
Abandoned RR Bridge at Omaha, GA
The Georgia and Alabama bridge across the Chattahoochee River was part of the Seaboard Air Line railway running from Savannah, GA to Montgomery, Ala. Seaboard was the successor to the Georgia and Alabama RR which was the successor to the Savannah Americus and Montgomery Railroad. This is the line whose station in Plains, GA was Jimmy Carter's campaign headquarters made famous during his campaigns.

Chris Ness posted
The Draw is Drawn
Abandoned RR Bridge at Omaha, GA.
This eponymous Georgia and Alabama Railroad bridge across the Chattahoochee River was part of the Seaboard Railway line running from Savannah, GA to Montgomery, Ala which was the successor to the Savannah Americus and Montgomery Railroad.
Chris Ness: Probably the most scared I have ever been taking pictures of rails. I walked out balancing on a rail. The ties are rotting away, and some are completely gone.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

US-64 over Tennessee River at Savannah, TN

(no Bridge Hunter; Satellite)

The firth photo shows how deep the steel girders are because the semi and RV provide some scale.

Adam Alexander posted five photos with the comment: "M/V Rocketship passing through Savannah, TN today."