Sunday, June 27, 2021

US-84+425 1940+1988 Bridges over Mississippi River at Natchez, MS

(Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; John A. Weeks III; Alamy PhotosSatellite)

The eastbound/northern/upriver bridge was built in 1940, and the other one was built in 1988.

John Weeks
This photo "is a view looking northwest towards the river crossing from an overpass located just east of the bridges. The two truss spans look very similar from a distance despite being built 50 years apart."

This closeup of the 1940 bridge shows that repairs are made with bolts instead of rivets.
Street View

These are the photos that motivated these notes. Three of the sunset photos that Carla Jenkins posted, "1.28.21 Natchez Mississippi LMR363.4"


[The tow is seven barges long. I'm guessing it is five barges wide.]

Katherine Hutto posted
Another round of "Name That Bridge!" Annndddd Go....
John Spires: Natchez

I've selected several photos to catch the variance of the river level. I ordered them from low to high. It seems the normal level is near the top of the solid part of the piers.

John Weeks, date unknown because all of his older photos are copyrighted 2008

Bridge Hunter comment by Jerry L. Murphy, photo taken 11/10/2007

Harald Padeborn, Jun 2018

Photo taken by Ben Tate via Bridge Hunter, Feb 2012, cropped

By Charlie Brenner from Jackson Mississippi, USA - originally posted to Flickr as Old ferry landingCC BY-SA 2.0Link

Photo by anonymous via Bridge Hunter, Jun 2013, cropped

Charles Adams posted
This photo David Eames shared shows the true size of the piers on the newer Mississippi River Bridge at Natchez, Mississippi... This was taken in 2012 after the highest river stage in recorded history @ Natchez, was 61.9 feet in 2011... Check out the watermark of that historic event in recent history..

Eddie Roberts commented on Charles' post
Same pillow a few years ago. Down bound towboats quit taking the Natz span. Bad currents get the tow all whacked out really quick then BAM! I didn't like that sound.
There's a couple huge chunks of concrete knocked out of the center east span pillow
[I don't know what a "pillow" is in this context.]
David Greer: While they were building the new bridge during the 80’s we routinely had to run the Natchez span s/b. It’s not difficult to make with a big raft of barges, but you have to know how to do it, and the current is swifter down that side of the river. Part of the reason for that is that a rock reef extends from the Natchez shore out to the centerline of the Natchez span. If the river stage ever again drops to below about 8 feet - the lowest stage I’ve ever seen, in ‘88 - you’ll be able to see it. It kind of nozzles the current down. Also, you can actually hit that reef when the stage drops below 20 feet. You can still run it but you have to stay to the river side of the green lights in that span, and you would need to duck into the span, n/b at the last minute, because there is another rock reef about 1500 feet further down the river. All that rock is why you had Natchez-under-the-hill historically, and why most of it washed away in the late 30’s after Giles Cut-off opened up.
[The state boundary shows were the river flowed before the cut-off was dug.]
Reed Vonder Haar: That bridge was surprisingly treacherous at that stage (61.9). And inexplicably, the Coast Guard required us to run southbound at night!
David Greer: I generally straighten out down that right shore below the foot of the revetment, straight with the shore, my jackstaff generally on that left pier, and slowly come around on the green lights at about the same time the high line tower is on them. That seems to keep me straight with the current. You can come around too soon and get in a right hand draft on that right pier. You can outrun that draft. But if you wait a bit too late to come around and wind up with the current on your starboard side, that’s scary. The two or three times I’ve heard about someone hitting that bridge it was the left pier they hit. Lately, that fleet, Vidalia Dry Dock and Storage, has let that anchor fleet get a little too wide for my taste. Also, some of those Marquette boats have pushed in below the point, above the fleet with their big asses too far out in the river. I don’t like getting too far off that shore. I damn sure don’t want to meet anyone above that bridge on the two whistles.
Generally, I’m just happy to be retired.
[I don't understand most of this, but that is the point. It provides insight into what all the captains have to know to run tows on the river.]

Eddie Roberts commented on Charles' post
[The 60 on the pier would be 60' from the bottom of the bridge deck.]

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