Sunday, February 28, 2021

1940 Glover Cary Bridge over Ohio River at Owensboro, KY

(Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; Satellite)

The official name is Owensboro Bridge. A common name is the Blue Bridge. This bridge used to carry US-231 across the Ohio, but US-231 was moved to a cable-stay bridge northeast of this town in 2002.

LC-DIG-highsm- 63937
Credit line: Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
Carol M. Highsmith's photographs are in the public domain.

Street View

Street View

Some of the photos in Bridge Hunter show that the bridge was getting brown (rust) in places. I'm glad to see that it now has a fresh coat of paint. Nathan Holth comments in Bridge Hunter that the deck was replaced in 2011.
Jeff Ratledge posted
Today just before sunset, taken at the Riverfront park in Owensboro Ky.

This is the post that brought this big truss bridge to my attention.
RiverWorks Discovery posted three photos with the comment: "Northbound on the Ohio at Owensboro heading towards the Glover H. Cary 'Blue Bridge' and its changing light display on Evansville Marine's M/V Angie A.   Courtesy of Capt Steven Fancher."



Tommy Matusz posted
Owensboro Grain Dock.
[I was going to crop this photo until I realized that the sun and its reflection was probably the intended subject of the photo.]

Saturday, February 27, 2021

US-33 1981 Richie Bridge over Ohio River at Ravenswood, WV

(Bridge Hunter; no Historic Bridges; Satellite)

The 1981 built date for this bridge explains why Historic Bridges hasn't written about this bridge. It replaced a ferry that used to run from Walnut Street. This has to be close to one of the last truss bridges built because soon after this America adopted the cable-stay design that had been developed in Europe during the rebuild after WWII. The longest span is 900'. [Bridge Hunter]

I noticed in the street views that there were very few, if any, cars on the bridge. No wonder they ran a ferry into the 1980s.

Street View

Street View

Street View

This was the post that taught me about another truss bridge that still exists in the US.
RiverWorks Discovery posted
Amherst Madison's M/V WEST VIRGINIA  southbound going under the Ritchie Bridge in Ravenswood, West Virginia on a beautiful January afternoon. Courtesy of Todd Hanson.

CR Neal commented on Dan Kemper's post
Glad to see I didn't photobomb your shot with my drone Dan Kemper.
[Dan Kemper's photo is here.]

Dan Kemper posted
M/V Barbara diagonally parked at Ravenswood for a crew change. 3/16/2021

Three of the sixteen photos posted by Shane's Snapshots with the comment: "Ingram's "W. Scott Noble" Making His Way S/B In Ravenswood, WV. He Turned William Barr!"
Shane Michael shared



Three of the fourteen photos posted by Shane's Snapshots with the comment: "Marquette's "Charlie G" Making A Rare Run Up This Way! N/B In Ravenswood, WV. First Time Catching Him!"
Shane Michael shared



Thursday, February 25, 2021

Chicago Dry Dock


American Shipbuilding has left Chicago. But this post taught me there is still a repair facility in Chicago. I counted four floating dry docks in the satellite image.

Robert Farrrell posted two photos with the comment: "Wish I had the damage picture. A quick repair at Chicago dry dock!"


TPG Marine bought Chicago Dry Dock in Dec 2014.
"The shipyard is the only facility of its kind to offer unencumbered access to both the Great Lakes (via Lake Michigan) and the Inland River System (via the Calumet/Des Plaines/Illinois Rivers)."

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

I-20 Bridge over Mississippi River at Vicksburg, MS

(Bridge Hunter; Historic BridgesJohn A. Weeks III, the eastern two piers have moved 4" laterally; Satellite)

The main span is 870' long. John Weeks calls it a continuous truss, but Bridge Hunter calls it a cantilevered truss. It is too young for Historic Bridges to cover. Since the National Bridge Inventory calls it continuous, I'm going to agree with John in terms of labelling this post "bridgeContinuous."

20181230 7005rcb

John Weeks

David Garrick posted
Vicksburg last week one morning [Jan 2020]
Pat Rooney: Pretty nerve-wracking if you're pushing a load of barges though!

[A comment noted that the river is running low.]

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Mississippi Locks and Dam #27 at Granite City, IL

Dam: (Satellite)


1. VIEW OF LOCKS, LOOKING NORTHEAST Photocopy of photograph, ca. 1980, courtesy of U.S. Engineer Office, St. Louis, Missouri. Original print is on file at Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 27 in Granite City, Illinois. - Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Project, Lock & Dam 27, Granite City, Madison County, IL Photos from Survey HAER IL-33

The locks are in the 8.4 mile Chain of Rocks Canal that helps bypass a 17-mile long rapids, and they provide an average lift of 15'. The lift can be as high as 20'. The upstream gates are lift gates whereas the downstream gates are the usual miter gates. The main chamber is 1,200' long and the auxiliary chamber is 600'. The dam is a "non-movable, low water" dam to maintain the low pool for L&D #26. This 1953 canal and locks project was the last improvement done to implement a 9' navigation channel on the Upper Mississippi River. As the southernmost L&D on the Mississippi River, it has the Missouri River traffic, as well as the Mississippi and Illinois River traffic, so it has the most traffic. [USACE, USACE-facts] The USACE also dug out a one mile long fleeting area just upstream of the locks. This created America's Central Port. [AmericasCentralPort] There is no visitors center.


In the middle background is a water intake and on the right we see a glimpse of the Chain of Rocks Bridge. [DeBruler]

One of the four valves that controls the filling and emptying of a chamber.

[One of several photos of the miter gates being replaced.]

Massman 2
[Massman also improved the protection cell.]


Because this is the busiest L&D on the waterway, I record the activity. Note that it peaked around the turn of the millennia.

Since fossil fuels are dying...
Chapter 12 (p32 has 2008 waterway funding figures)

...building more locks does seem to be rather silly. Fixing what we have would be a better priority. The USACE has already spent $50m to develop a plan to add seven new 1,200' locks and extend five existing 600' locks. The claim that we need more lock capacity when the tonnage has been going down is another ding in the USACE's creditability. They should have used that money to repair what we have. Supposedly the expansion would cost just $2 billion. But the USACE paid more than that just to build the Olmsted Dam. By their own estimate, the economic return on the investment would be only 80 cents per dollar. And the cost overruns that seem to be inevitable with the USACE would make that investment only worse. This is the 21st Century so non-structural solutions to reduce delays such as scheduling the locks should be pursued. "The barge industry asserts that shipping by barge is significantly more fuel efficient than rail transportation and therefore less polluting. More complete analysis of transportation fuel efficiency demonstrates that this claim is incorrect because it ignores the use of highly efficient rail systems and does not take into consideration that barges travel more miles following the course of the river." The report recommends that the funds for lock expansions be dropped but the funds for river restoration in the plan such as buying 35,000 acres from willing landowners actually be funded. The date of this report was 2010. The plan to expand the locks may have been dropped because the Illinois Waterway was closed during the summer of 2020 for extensive repairs to multiple locks. The report was not only sponsored by tree and fish hugging organizations, but also by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
[The 1,200' locks would replace the existing 600' locks.]

[I wish I knew my dams well enough that I could identify the location of this flood and move the photo to the correct set of notes.]

Monday, February 22, 2021

I-10 Bridge over Mississippi River at Baton Rouge, LA

The official name is the Horace Wilkinson Bridge.

"The Wilkinson Bridge is 14,150 feet long overall, which is more than 2-1/2 miles. The truss superstructure is 4,550 feet long, and features a 1,235-foot clear channel span. The traffic deck carries six lanes of freeway traffic, seeing an average of 90,000 vehicles per day." [John Weeks]

"This bridge has a weird aspect to it.... all of the eastern approaches, on-ramps, and elevated roadways were of a steel stringer construction. But on the west side of the bridge, all of those approaches and on-ramps utilized the newer prestressed concrete girder technology. Makes me wonder if the western portion of the bridge (Port Allen side) was the last part of the bridge to be built." [gfalcon comment in Bridge Hunter] 

Street View, the flour mill in the foreground is a bonus

Albert Dewailly shared a post by Cully Cangelosi of eight photos.
Robert Gardner: Picture number four was likely 1965 during which I sank on the M/V Marion M during hurricane Betsy. Also Saw an UM Barge loaded with grain sink in 196’ of water in between the Western pier and shore.
Michael Mier: Took over 3 years to construct. Remember it being posted here that it opened in 1968.



[The comments start out implying that we are looking East, but end implying that we are looking West.]

This is the Huey P. Long Bridge
Steve Pritchard: 1940  Huey Long had it built low so ships could not pass under it stopping ocean going vessels from traveling north.

This is also the Huey P. Long Bridge

This is also the Huey P. Long Bridge


Katherine Hutto posted
John Ross Thomas: Baton Rouge lower bridge

Sunday, February 21, 2021

BNSF/CB&Q Aurora-Batavia Branch West of Fox River

Southern End: (Satellite, joins the mainline)
Northern End: (Satellite, the bridge over I-88 is now gone)

Matt Buhlig posted
BNSF’s NIFA job creeps south through a short section of street running in Aurora after spending a few hours switching a few miles north. 2/20/21.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Matt's post
It is more like alley running. But that is an interesting urban scene for a Class I railroad.

Because of the waterpower, Batavia was an industrial town in the 1800s. I knew CB&Q had a branch on the east side of the Fox River because CB&Q's founding route was from Aurora to the G&CU. This Aban RR Map shows that CB&Q also served the west side of Batavia up to McKee Street.
RR Aban Map

Zooming in on Aurora, we can see the CB&Q had four industrial spurs in the 1950s. I also noticed that C&NW had a route along the west side of the river.
1950 Aurora North and 1954 Aurora South Quadrangles

Starting from the south, the "scar" of an industrial spur still exists on the satellite image down by Rathbone Ave.

However, when I clicked the Gordogan Clark & Associates, it appears that at least some of those industrial buildings have been, or will be, gentrified.
Street View

The next industrial site north still exist, but they are no longer rail served. I put a red rectangle around the curve in a building that shows where the spur used to be.
Satellite plus Paint

Up around Plum Street it is easy to see where the spurs used to be. The southern one is no longer used. The northern one was added since the 1950s, and it still has its turnout.
Satellite plus Paint

The spur north of Illinois Avenue still has industry and some track, but the turnout has been removed.

Some industries have been added since the 1950s. Poly USA Inc obviously receives plastic pellets because we can see a covered hopper parked on their facility at the north end of this excerpt.

The main customer today are at the north end because there are fourteen covered hopers parked on the siding. To capture those hoppers is why I included so much of the housing development. Taking another look at Matt's photo, we see the train consists of just covered hoppers. However, I have learned that Dart Container is no longer rail served.

However, Berry Global is still rail served. And the Cyl-Tec building was rail served.

The crossing in Industrial Drive is still intact to what appears to be the modern equivalent of a team track for the industrial park building.
Street View

Comments on Matt's post

Dennis DeBruler commented on Matt's post
Judging from a Google Earth image, the RoW north of I-88 was gone when this Mar 1996 image was captured. The bridge is in an Oct 2008 image, but gone in the next image of Oct 2009. Per Wesley's comment below, only Berry Plastic still receives covered hoppers.
Wesley Fane: Dennis DeBruler only Berry Plastic is served on that stub track today.