Monday, August 30, 2021

Aban/ConRail/Pennsy Bridge over Indiana Harbor Canal in East Chicago, IN

(Bridge HunterSatellite)

Digitally Zoomed from the Following

This bridge looked so strange that it caught my eye even though it is in the background in the original photo below. I'm glad I did because I then realized it was the Pennsy bridge that is long gone. According to Bridge Hunter, it is a Rall type of bridge. I've seen Rall bridges before and not been able to figure out how they worked. I still can't figure out how they worked.
Minneapolis Northbay posted

Digitally Zoomed from the Following

East Chicago Indiana Public Library via BridgeHunter
[This emphasizes how narrow the opening was.]

Photo by Paul Geiger, 1976, looking West via BridgeHunter

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Cleveland, OH Bridges Overview

Bridges & Tunnels shared his post of 25 bridges photos and a link to his webpage. (Dave Frieder commented that NYC has 2077 bridges.)

While trying to find this bridge at the Irishtown Bend, I decided it was time to geographically index what I have documented. This will be a living document because I'll try to remember to add links as I write more notes. I'm publishing now because I found this page: a history of the movable bridges

1953 Cleveland South Quadrangle @ 1:24,000 plus Paint

  • 1, NS/NYC, lift; Iron Curtain
  • 2, Aban/B&O, rolling; #464
  • 3, road, lift; Willow Avenue Bridge
  • 4, road, arch truss; Main Avenue
  • 5, Aban/B&O, strauss; #463
  • 6, road, bobtail; Center Street
  • 1878, 1917, road, arch; Detroit-Superior
  • 8, CUT viaduct
  • 9, road, lift
  • 10, Flats Industrial Railroad (FIR)/Big Four, lift
  • 11, aban/(Erie+Big4) and Carter Road lift bridges
  • 12, aban/road, lift
  • 13, road, cantilever, lift; Hope Memorial and Eagle Ave.
  • 14, lost/Big Four, Strauss
  • 15, NS/NKP, lift
  • See A below for I-90
  • 16, 3rd Street, lift
  • 16a (not on topo map), Lost/W&LE SOC
  • 17, lost/Erie, Strauss+swing
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20, CSX/B&O, lift
  • 21, River Terminal RR, rolling
  • 21a, lost Clark Avenue, truss
  • 22, Aban/W&LE, lift
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • A, road, arch; I-90 (Innerbelt)
  • B
I also accessed the 1994 topo to add the new road bridges A and B.
1994 Cleveland South Quadrangle @ 1:24,000

4, Main Avenue

OBLIQUE VIEW - Detroit Superior High Level Bridge, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, OH
Library of Congress: HAER OHIO,18-CLEV,22--28 (CT)
7, Detroit Superior Bridge and High Road Bridges

HAER OHIO,18-CLEV,39--2 (CT)
13, Hope Memorial

A, I-90

Hagan Meinke posted

This has also become a some generic notes about using the river for freight. Somewhere I have a time-lapse video of a boat going up the river. I wish I could find it so that I could move it to here.
Mike Delaney posted
Pontiac in the St. Mary's river. You could always tell the River runner boats that did the Cuyahoga or Calumet runs. Permanent mud ring around the hulls that never washed off. Not sure how much of the water in those rivers was even water.
Jim Luke: The Ford boats had that nasty stain from the Rouge back then too.
James Bouquard: Buffalo didn’t help her either.
Ernest Aleixandre
According to this article 90% of the Grand Calumet’s flow is effluent. [email wall]

Andy Killough posted
from Aug 25 Prentiss Brown departing Cleveland with the St.Mary’s Challenger
[On top is the NS/NYC lift bridge. The always open rolling bridge was B&O #463. The large blue bridge is the Main Street Bridge.]

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
Looking good, CLE
B Tupper Upham: T/B Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder for the photobomb at Collision Bend…
Interlake Steamship Company shared
Bird's eye view of our Dorothy Ann-Pathfinder hugging the curves of the Cuyahoga River. More than two floating football fields in length, she regularly makes this slow, methodical trek up and down the river carrying iron ore, stone and salt.
1 of 8 photos posted by Lance Aerial Media
The Wilfred Sykes and Mark Barker back to back on the river.
Orville Smith posted
July 24, 1985 (the date of the newspaper clipping). The Burning River at Cleveland was not unknown to me, but I would never have believed that beginning in 1993 I would begin to become more familiar with this area. 
After taking an early retirement buyout from AK/Armco in Ashland, in late 1992,  I was offered a night shift position as safety coordinator on LTV's #1 blast furnace rebuild, beginning in early '93. This sounded like a good place to spend time while planning the next phase of my life. 
Little did I know that this was to be an introduction to other blast furnaces on the banks of the Cuyahoga, and Lakes Erie, Ontario, and Michigan. 
The next twenty-plus years were the most pleasurable of any jobs in my career,  and the nicest construction companies and supervision I could imagine; all beginning with Jaddco giving an inexperienced safety man an opportunity at a new position.
Orville Smith shared
Chuck Mager: How did that "boat" get around that curve in the river????
Joshua McInerney: Chuck Mager that one has bow and stern thruster, twin propellers and at one point in time it had 8 rudders.
James Torgeson: She now sails as the Great Republic of the Great Lakes Fleet, which is owned by the Canadian National Railway.
[The Carter and Aban/Big Four lift bridges are just behind the freighter, the Flats Industrial Railroad (FIR)/Big Four lift bridge is further downstream and the viaduct in the upper-right corner is the Cleveland Union Terminal Viaduct. Freighters still shuttle iron ore to the steel mill.]

Literally, an overview.
Lorrie Warren posted
Flying into CLE above Herbert C. Jackson or Mark W. Barker. Very fortunate.
[It is the Jackson.]

Brian R. Wroblewski: She was the last ship scrapped in Buffalo.

I was going to skip this one until I saw the comments about the ship's speed.
Mark Robinson: How fast was she?
Roger P. Hulett: People told me when I was on it that the White was faster than the Cliffs Victory, which was widely considered the fastest.

Bill Kloss shared 13 photos that he posted with the comment: "'Good things come to those that wait'. 37 years of shooting the freighters and until July 7th, I had never seen this beauty [Wilfred Sykes]. Caught her then heading up the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, then I saw her the next day as she headed out."
safe_image for NYC NKP Cuyahoga River Tour 1956 NRHS Convention
It captures some of the bridges in action. And the NYC bridge has its new lift span over its old swing span. One view of the NYC bridge is at 1:00. Also of note is a steamer at 1:13. And a self-unloader belching black smoke at 2:35. And two Hulets that must be a ways upstream are at 5:38. A steam locomotive was chugging along at 6:01. (A diesel with a maintenance issue was chugging even louder in a previous scene.) And a locomotive blowing its whistle at 6:18.

Roger Durfee photos: 113

10:20 time-lapse video of an outbound freighter backing downstream  You can sometimes see some propwash from the bow thruster as they go around turns.

0:42 upbound timelapse At 0:28, the turn at this bend was especially tricky because there was a barge docked at Marathon Petroleum Corporation.

Facebook reel of a timelapse drone following a freighter upbound

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Rail to Water Transfer Dock on Calumet River

(see below for satellite information)

Mike Delaney posted
W.W. Holloway at rail to water on the Calumet River Chicago.
Robert Haller: Days of old, made many loads up to Valley Power Plant in Milwaukee.
Marine Historical Society of Detroit posted
The whaleback tanker Meteor tied up at the Rail to Water Transfer Corp. facility in the Calumet River. Unknown date. J.R. Williams photo from the Jim Bartke/MHSD collection.
  • Association for Great Lakes Maritime History 
    Launched in 1896, what would become the whaleback freighter Meteor was built in West Superior, Wis. by the American Steel Barge Co. Christened the Frank Rockefeller, the 380-foot vessel (LOA) was designed to carry bulk cargoes and tow one or more unpowered whaleback barges to increase its cargo capacity.
    The American Steel Barge Co. was founded in 1888 by Capt. Alexander McDougall, the inventor of the whaleback design. McDougall’s goal was to create a new type of vessel that could be built using relatively low-skilled workers. In addition, those vessels would be capable of carrying heavy cargoes of iron ore in a wide variety of weather conditions.
    The Rockefeller operated in the iron ore trade on the Great Lakes initially as part of a fleet of whaleback freighters and barges leased and managed by the American Steel Barge Co. of Buffalo, New York. In 1900, the fleet was sold to the Bessemer Steamship Co. which became part of the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., a subsidiary of the U.S. Steel Corp., in 1901.
    During the winter of 1925-26, the ship’s cargo hold was rebuilt and strengthened. One year later, the vessel was sold to the Central Dredging Co. of Chicago which planned to convert it into a self-unloading dredge. However, after only minimal work was done, the whaleback was returned to service as a bulk freighter.
    In 1928, the vessel was renamed the South Park. Early in the Great Depression of the 1930s, it was laid up after Central Dredging ceased operations. In 1934, the ship was sold to Maurice H. Sobel of Detroit, Mich. who sold it in 1936 to the Nicholson Transit Co. Nicholson then sold it to the Erie Steamship Co. later that same year.
    In 1942, the whaleback went aground and was wrecked near Manistique, Mich. After being recovered, the vessel was towed to Manitowoc, Wis. It was then laid up there until 1943 when it was sold to Cleveland Tankers, Inc. The ship was then converted into a petroleum tanker at Manitowoc by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co.
    After work was completed, the vessel was renamed the Meteor. On Nov. 21, 1969, the tanker went aground and wrecked near Marquette, Mich. After recovery, it was towed to South Chicago, Ill. for repairs. Once repaired, the ship was towed to Manitowoc, Wis. where it was permanently laid-up.
    In 1972, the Meteor was sold to the City of Superior, Wis. for use as a museum ship and is now on display on Barker’s Island in Superior. The vessel was inducted into the National Maritime Hall of Fame at the American Merchant Marine Museum in Kings Point, New York in 1984.
Marine Historical Society of Detroit shared
The whaleback tanker Meteor tied up at the Rail to Water Transfer Corp. facility in the Calumet River. Unknown date. J.R. Williams photo from the Jim Bartke/MHSD collection.
Mark Janovec: Great photo! I'm so used to seeing her in Superior as a museum that it's nice to see a photo of her when she was still active.
Dennis DeBruler commented on the above share
It is also nice to see what the facility looked like. Today it is just brownland.,-87.5469954,664m/data=!3m1!1e3

Lou Gerad posted
Robert C. Norton at Rail to Water in South Chicago, 1974.
Dan Vandenberg: Great picture! In more recent years called KCBX. Now I'm KCBX still shipping coal from there? Haven't seen much posted on boats loading there recently.
Comments on Lou's post

That would be part of the Rail to Water on the left and the 100th Street Bridge is in the air.
Mike Delaney posted
The International heading up river on the Calumet. Anybody who has heard the horn on this thing would know which one it was long before you saw it. I know I posted this shot before somewhere but it shows the care and pride these companies took in their vessels no matter how old. Both this and the Harvester were in mint and I mean mint and pristine condition. I wish I could have sailed in that tiny fleet. She was my favorite oldy and it was my pleasure to see her up close. I almost cry when I look at this shot. Boat gone, International Steel plant is gone.
[The steel plant it was headed to was Wisconsin Steel.]
Scott Liberty: Many people don’t know that the red and black IH logo is an abstract representation of a man on a tractor.
[Some comments include a couple more photos of the ship on the Calumet river.]

A facility to transload coal from rail to ships became obsolete when power plants switched from Illinois Basin coal to Power River Basin coal. Then local refineries switched to processing crude oil from Canadian tar sands. The residue product from that oil was petcoke instead of asphalt. So the facility switched to transloading petcoke to ships.

But the dust blown off the piles was a serious pollution hazard, so then it became nothing.
Satellite, accessed Jan 2020

Mike Delaney posted
Calumet River Chicago.  Cliffs Victory on the left and some foreign rusted out crapcan on the right at Rail to Water.  This was during a brief iron miners strike so the Victory was layed up wet.  Lots of opinions on the Calumet, Rouge and Cuyahoga rivers as far as pollution goes.  We kicked up a dead body in this river with the bow thruster on the Grace heading for Interlake Iron farther up the river.  Didn't get to see it myself.  Did the same thing in the Cuyahoga on the Snyder Jr. backing into the turning basin coming from Republic Steel with the prop.  I did get to see that one.  The deceased was wearing a brown suite covered with crabs.  The Coast Guard came and picked up the body put him in a bodybag with his feet sticking out layed him on the rear platform on the outside back of the boat and down the river they went with several pleasure boats following taking pics.  Couple years later on the Ayers I was being lowered to the J&L steel dock on the Cuyahoga river, they lowered me too soon, too fast, and I ended up in the water up to my chest and was between the boat and the dock in between two giant earthmover tires hanging from the dock as the boat came in.  took four guys to pull me back up and out enough to climb onto the tire.  Everybody was heaving the blocks over and bedlam was going on the deck as man overboard was called.  I got back on board wearing about 20lbs of Cuyahoga river.  mate says you OK, I said great time for a swim.  Says go take a shower and wash your clothes your done for the night.  I would rather have swam in the Rouge.
[That is the 100th Street Bridge in the foreground.]

Today conveyor belts have developed well enough that the material is stored in piles. Before that, coal was stored in hopper cars. That is why most of the land back then was used for yard tracks. Then a lot of those tracks were removed to create land for the storage piles. You can see that evolution of hopper to pile storage in the still active coal docks in Newport News, VA.
Bob  Lalich commented on Nick Fry's share
Here is a Life magazine photo of the elevator taken in 1951.
Bob Lalich Dennis DeBruler - the hoppers are coal for Rail To Water.

Dennis DeBruler replied to Bob's comment
This photo shows the many tracks north of the elevator in this 1977 topo was used for storage. Are those iron ore cars? They look rather short.

John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library Flickr
[The south side of the yard and a ship in the background.]

John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library Flickr
[The north part of the yard and the Com Ed 100th St. Generating Station in the background.]

Bob Lalich Flickr, Aug 1984
BRC 100th st Yard
BRC TR4 set switches Rail To Water near 100th St, 8-84.

Jim Prrfan posted
Rail to Water dock on Calumet River 4-1968. Steel Mill related.
Jim PRRFan photo
Dennis DeBruler shared to Southeast Chicago Historical Society,-87.5474876,786m/data=!3m1!1e3
Daniel Kleszynski: RTW was opened in 1948. At one time it was owned by 7 coal mining companies. The docks as seen in the photo were constructed in 1954-1955. The North ship loader (closest on in the picture) was the original stationary ship loader.
Dale Windhorst: I just recently found out that it was built by the Chicago and Western Indiana RR. [The BRC was created from the freight operations of the C&WI. [Dennis DeBruler]]
Jeannie Caturano Leinweber: I worked at RTW during the summer before I left for college. I was working on site for an engineering company that was rebuilding the facility after a disgruntled employee torched it!
Daniel Kleszynski: Jeannie Caturano Leinweber that was in 1976.

Larry Candilas commented on Jim's post
Around the same time but a lot slower day with the river traffic.

Friday, August 27, 2021

1937 Mississippi Lock and Dam #18 near Gladstone, IL

(HAERJohn A Weeks IIISatellite)

I have visited this dam a couple of times in 2013. During the second visit, I saw an interesting tow lock through. I describe that operation in these notes. We met some people on the visitor's deck, but they were interested in the eagles in the area, not the tows.


This dam is similar to some of the dams further up the river in that the concrete part across the main channel is a small part of the total length of the dam. There is a submersible dike across the wildlife refuge and transition dikes on either side of the river. The maximum lift is 9.8' with an average lift of 6.9'. It takes approximately 10 minutes to fill or empty the lock. "The dam is composed of 14 submersible Tainter gates (20 feet high by 60 feet long) and three submersible roller gates (20 feet high by 100 feet long). All gates submerge to a depth of eight feet....Dams 11 and 18 were the first in the Rock Island District to employ submersible, elliptical Tainter gates. They were also the first dams in the District to use submersible roller gates. Four sites were considered for Dam 18: just below the foot of Otter Island at mile 406.5, immediately above the old mouth of the Henderson River at mile 412.0, near Oquawka and at the current site. The selected site called for diversion of the Henderson River to a point below the dam. The final site was partially selected because the Iowa River Flint Creek Levee and Drainage District No. 16 drainage pumps discharged into the lower pool and were unaffected by raising of the water level for the upper pool" [USACE-fact-sheet, p1]


Steve Vogt posted

2. GENERAL VIEW OF DAM, DOWNSTREAM SIDE, LOOKING FROM GUIDEWALL - Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Project, Lock & Dam No. 18, Upper Mississippi River, Gladstone, Henderson County, IL Photos from Survey HAER IL-29



HAER ILL,36-GLAST,1-, cropped

I'm saving this one because it explains some new terminology.
RiverWorks Discovery posted
Knock out Double Lock at Lock 18 on the Upper Miss
A double lockage with barges in the first cut and only the tow boat in the second cut is called a knockout double. The boat is unfaced from the tow (knocked out of tow) to allow the 600' tow to lock thru. 
It can also be called a "quick double" since facing the boat back up to the tow is considerably quicker than re-laying the wires at a barge to barge coupling.
Here we see Marquette Transportation's M/V Theresa L. Wood southbound with 8 loads at Lock 18 on the Upper Mississippi River mm 410. 
USACE's M/V Quincy is along with a gate lift/maintenance crane and support barges are tied off on the outer intermediate wall.
Courtesy of Capt John Vaughn.
Chase Gordon: First barge of the season. [Mar 9, 2022]