Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Mississippi Lock and Dam #11 at Dubuque, IA

(HAERJohn A. Weeks III; Satellite)

2. GENERAL VIEW OF DAM, DOWNSTREAM SIDE, LOOKING FROM GUIDEWALL - Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Project, Lock & Dam No. 11, Upper Mississippi River, Dubuque, Dubuque County, IA Photos from Survey HAER IA-23




This Facebook post was the motivation for these notes. The maximum lift is 11' with an average lift of 9.4'. This and Dam #10 were the first dams in the Rock Island District to use submersible, elliptical Tainter gates. #10 and #11 were also the first to use submersible roller gates. [USACE-information]
Curt Smith posted
2010 or 2011 photo of David Griggs locking up at Lock Dam 11 in my hometown of Dubuque. Shes the Red Harris now. I havent seen her since shes been renamed. Think this boat was Kathy N once got some film camera photos of her in Apex colors.

Taylor Sulva, Aug 2018

The above photo catches the river at what is probably its normal level. Note that the gates are almost closed and that there is a waterline in the lock showing the lower pool is several feet below the upper pool. All the following photos show the river running high. I assume that is because that is when people make an effort to go see the dam. That is, these photos are the exception rather than the rule. Also 
note the visitor center. John Weeks indicates that the road to the dam used to be closed in 2007. Not only did they finally build a visitor center, this lock offers public tours at 2:00pm on Sundays in the Summer. [USACE-tours]

Dave Bowmaster, Oct 2017

A photo that catches a tow doubling through the lock. I don't know why he is running with 12 instead of 15 barges. That causes him to have to back out further and leave a gap in the lock that would hold 3 more barges.
Jeremy Drexler, Sep 2020

Another example of doubling of the lock. In this case, the back part has just begun to pull back out. This is a full 15-barge tow.
Heather Verhagen, Aug 2018

The gates are out of the water because of a high river level of 15'.
Rich Frachey, Dec 2016

The river was at the Action Flood Stage in Rich's photo.

One of some photos on Google Maps showing two cranes at the lock. The corps' Quad Cities ringer is lifting a gate. I wonder why they are doing such major work in the middle of the navigation season.
John Williams, May 2017

They are definitely doing gate replacement work because we can see the new and/or old ones on barges next to the cranes. It appears the USACE has figured out how to replace gates "in the wet" because they did the replacement with periodic closures. [KCRG] Or can they quickly install bulkheads, pump the gap dry, replace the gates and remove the bulkheads? They did major work during the Winters of 2008 and 2009 [USACE-rehab], but I can't find any info on the gate replacement in 2017 and 2018.
Jeff Jenson, May 2018

From this angle we can see the ring of the ringer crane.
gerri rector, Jun 2017

Another reminder that 2019 was a very wet year.
Chris Steiner, May 2019

The water appears to be almost at the top of the lock walls. Looking at the depth gauge in Rich's photo and the hydrology chart, this flood may have literally been off the charts.
Digitally Zoomed

Actually, red is just Moderate. There is a purple Major Flood Stage. I don't see Dec 2016 in the data. I do see Sep 2016 at 17.78'.

Seconds later, I found a photo for Sep 2016. Counting the scrap bars, the river is about the same level as Rich's photo. You can tell by the angle of the gate arms that they were higher in Rich's photo. I don't know why they are just "almost open" here. I don't think they try to trap debris for removal.
Rodney Peterman, Sep 2016

Another example of the river at 15' and the gates are "almost open."
Brian Burns, Apr 2017

The gates were open May 2017. It reached 19' that month.
Teresa Boxleiter, May 2017

More barges alliding with a dam. I could not find any additional information about this incident.
Amber Hanselmann, May 2018

An interesting demonstration of the roller gates. /Do they have it up in case the barge on the upstream side breaks?
Dale Gerstenkorn, May 2018

It looks like the river is running high enough that they decided they could get all of the gates out of the way of the barges.
Kari Vize, May 2018

Kari Vize, May 2018

Here is another photo with 6 scrape bars showing in the lock. This time the gates are open. And this photo catches the front part of a tow leaving the lock without its towboat. Doubling a lock in the downstream direction is generally rather easy because they can float the front half out. When going upstream, a winch has to be used to pull the front half out of the lock.
Steve S, Jul 2018

This is a photo of a winch that hauls the front part of tows out of the lock.
18. DETAIL VIEW OF UPSTREAM HAULAGE UNIT, LANDWALL, MAIN LOCK - Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Project, Lock & Dam No. 11, Upper Mississippi River, Dubuque, Dubuque County, IA Photos from Survey HAER IA-23

It looks like the yellow crane's barge is spudded in the river. I wonder what it is doing out there.
Dave Bowmaster, Oct 2017

Jan 2017 is winter time. Evidently the gates are submerged.
adam griffin, Jan 2017

The river goes down as well as up. The river dropped 4' in one day and left some boats in marinas setting on dry land.
(Justin Gehrts, KCRG-TV9)

I found some interesting graphics while looking for more information about the gate replacement and barge allision.
Improving Fish Passage Through Navigation Dams on the Upper Mississippi River System, October 2004, p52

Fish, p61

Three of the five photos posted by Brandon Phillips.



Nelson Klavitter posted
George King, Northbound at Lock 11

Bev Goulet posted three photos with the comment: "Lock and Dam 11 in Dubuque, Iowa.  You can see Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa from this lookout in Eagle Point Park."
Rich Stephens: I still remember riding across the Eagle Point Toll bridge as a kid in the 60’s-70’s. The see -through bridge deck and boiling water below the dam were pretty scary to this farm boy!!!



Adrienne Szulczynski commented on Bev's post
Was there Monday morning!

Two videos of barges alliding with the dam, and the gates are all the way up. One of the barges goes through a roller gate. (shared)
Jennie Tempel Lyons: I remember this during high water, current at Dubuque. Not that long ago either.
David Webster: I actually passed this tow at lock 10 & was impressed with the rigging that was on the tow... it was built to stay together.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Columbus Road Bridges in Cleveland, OH

1880-1932: (Bridge Hunter) Swing Bridge
1940: (Bridge HunterHistoric Bridges; HAER; Flickr, the first of several) Lift Bridge
2013: (3D Satellite) Rebuilt Lift Bridge

The dates indicate that the Columbus Road was closed during the depression. The Works Progress Administration helped build it. This was a much more significant project than the usual WPA projects like new parks.

2. VIEW OF WEST SIDE OF BRIDGE IN UP POSITION FOR PASSING SHIP - Columbus Road Lift Bridge, Spanning Cuyahoga River at Columbus Road, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, OH

It appears that the rebuild retained the grade in the span. The near (south) end looks significantly higher than the far end. According to Historic Bridges, it is a 5% grade.
Street View, in the background is the Flats Industrial Railroad Bridge

Bill Kloss posted
Eugene P. Thomas at Irishtown Bend on the Cuyahoga River. G tug Iowa assisting. A Chuck Drumm photo from my collection. No exact date given other than 1976.
The bridge appears to be Columbus Road.
103rd Street has a similar bridge design, but it is not part of Irishtown Bend.
Bill Kloss: It is.

I include a closeup of the truss span because Historic Bridge is upset that they built a new span rather than patch the old one or build a new one using old truss techniques. Personally, I think the hex cutouts are rather neat. Also, they did use lattice on the bottom of the main portal beam. Furthermore, they used a Pratt truss design rather than a more modern Warren truss. From an overview photo, it is hard to determine if the truss is 1940 or 2013. Both spans have a camelback design with eleven panels. Even the control and machinery buildings are similar. It strikes me as a nice compromise between a replica of the old truss and an efficient modern design. And a span replacement allowed them to build the new 250' span offsite and float it in. Unlike the Chicago River, this river still has freight ship traffic so river outages are significant.
Street View, Jun 2019

During a 72-hour river closure, American Bridge floated out the old span, re-plumbed the towers with hydraulic jacks and floated in the new span.




[Yep, the new span is still on a grade.]

Monday, March 29, 2021

Towboating in the Winter (Mule Training)

Jack Tanner Towing shared
RiverWorks Discovery posted
Setting a new record in 1985 on the Illinois River pulling 15 barges from Peoria to Hennepin Power Plant behind the boat.
This is what is called mule training. Barges were lined in a single file line to cross upper Peoria Lake in the ice. The wires were then loosened to allow it to flex like a train.
Today companies use teamwork and bigger horse powered boats to fight the ice in the winter and keep the river open.
Photo Courtesy of Capt Pete Windmuller.
John D. Arnold: The boat was attached to the barges by a 6” Hawser Linewith a D Ring. 2 35’ wires were shackled into the D ring. The eyes were put on the Front timberheads. The following Barges were ties together with a 70’ leaving line w/3’ eye. You got a 2 part line, 1 round turn and 2 - 1/2 hitches. You used the same length lines at ea coupling tied this way so the barges pulled straight. Standard Muletrain Tow was pushing 1 rake and pulling 14 brgs astern. Been there! In later yrs we pulled barges in 2 pc units. Wired up at the square end , lines at the rake ends. So it was like pulling 7 astern.
[Another comment that teaches me how much I don't know. :-)]
William Travis Shaw: I decked for a guy who told me about “mule training” he had some cool pics and great stories about jumping from barge to barge to replace the stern light.
Don Traut: Fascinating. Truly a "tow" boat!
Thomas Oliver: Why did they stop doing this ?
Ricky Hamlin: Thomas Oliver checking tow was not fun.
Capted Smiley: Thomas Oliver. Lots of damage to barges and very time consuming.
Mike Cotham: I had 16 strung out on the merry Morison ill river 1982.
David Potter: I did it back in 1979 for WBL. With 8 barges. It was different ill tell ya. But enjoyed it. But it was REAL rough on a boats stern.
David Gulden posted
Rob Smith: N/B at the top side of Bulls Island Cut…. It’s always tough in there come ice season….
Ronnie Lewis: Mule training!
[Some comments discuss the history of the boat, including a fire.]

Tom Drennan posted two photos with the comment: "When 6000 horsepower isn’t enough."
Jeremy Shot Tardy: One boat had more than enough HP. Lock 27 unexpectedly imposed 89’ width restrictions so the tow had to be split up in order to fit into the lock chamber. [That explains why the tow is small in the photos, but not why there are two towboats. The explanation for two towboats is that more horsepower is how they cope with ice on the river.]
Greg Genz: Canal above St. Louis?
Tom Drennan: Greg Genz yes, just above lock 27.


OurMissWinter2011, p2

The country was in a polar vortex in February until about when this photo was taken.
RiverWorks Discovery posted
Heavy ice on the Illinois River!
Marquette Transportation Company seen here at night plowing thru it in the Marseilles Lock.
Courtesy of
Edwin Allen
Grace Mott: Super thick here in Havana, on the Illinois River!
Adam DeSimone: Not the Myskowski, that's a dravo plus we haven't made it that far. 
Edwin Allen: Adam DeSimone the lock clearly messed that up that's the name they had In the order we locked ..they broke the ice for us all the way to peoria ..sorry for the mix up.
RiverWorks Discovery: Adam DeSimone we reported the info given! So this us not the Myskowski?

Jack Tanner Towing shared

Curt Smith posted two photos with the comment: "Can't remember if I posted these already or not. Tigre of Newt Marine service breaking ice at Lock 11 Dubuque late 90s photo."
Dianne Neale: Really hard on a boat! Need to have a barge on the head of boat.
Becky Redmon: Yes it is hard on the boat, but very beautiful to look at


Since there seems to be only one "lane" in the ice, I wondered what happened when two tows met.
Randy Schneider posted
9 years ago mile 45 Ohio old lock 8.
Justin Cain: Had to rub tows passing a boat about that time.
Randy Schneider: Justin Cain he had to come all stop so I could point it up on the ice sheet to get down along side him.

Blessy Marine Services posted
While the rest of us are starting to warm up, the crew on the MV Mark Burke Likes [Mary Burke Liles] still is feeling that Winter chill up in Chicago!!! 🥶🥶 stay warm and be safe friends!!

Henry Golden shared
Lloyd Scott Hardin: Looks like inbound under the eje looking at 92st.
Charlie Hellman: That ice is every bit 6 inches was up there two days ago at the Santa Fe dock.
Christopher Plunkett: The canal didn't freeze in the olden days. Of course, it stunk pretty bad and nothing could live in it. I guess some changes are for the good, even with ice.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Lloy
Scott Schulte posted
Back to bank to bank ice in St Louis
Kerry N Kim Maynard: Ice coming off Mo.R. It was predicted. Gorge broke early week.

safe_image for YouTube

Hendry Golden shared four photos of tows plowing through ice.

Five photos of breaking ice in 1977 on the Mon and Ohio Rivers  This is another post that implies you should have barges in front of the towboat when running in ice because the ice is hard on the equipment.

Around 3:53 of this video of towboats working on an icy Illinois River you can see the pilothouse go up. This video also catches two more tows going downbound on the river. Note that the size of the tows are just 2x4 or smaller when there is ice. At 7:55 you can tell from the propwash and the engine exhaust that the port side screw is pushing harder to help get the front end of the tow around the curve. The M/V Sugarland appears to be another retractable towboat. At 17:23 we see that it takes lots of horsepower to shove through ice because those are big prop washes considering it is a downbound tow. Also, I'm really impressed by the river bluffs in the background. I wonder how far up north they were on the Illinoi River. His commentary says that there had not been traffic on the Mississippi north of the Illinois River mouth for a month.