Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Olympus Dam and 8.1kw Marys Lake and 45kw Estes Park Hydro Plants in Estes Park, CO

Marys Lake: (Satellite)
Estes Park: (Satellite)
Dam: (Satellite)

Aaron Kulas posted
Near Estes Park, CO
The head is 515' [usbr]

This is two of the three 15kw generator units in the Estes Park Powerhouse.

Each unit is fed by a 78" diameter penstock. Most of the 4000' penstocks are under a mountain between Marys Lake and the powerhouse. But a 600' long section is above ground.

Unlike most powerhouses, the Olumpus Dam does not store water for the powerhouses. Instead, it is downstream of the powerhouses, and it provides the afterbay that smooths out the flow of water from the Estes Park powerhouse.
LC-DIG-highsm- 33314 (ONLINE) [P&P]
Olympus Dam, which turns a portion of the Big Thompson River in Larimer County, Colorado, into Lake Estes, east of downtown in the town of Estes Park
Credit line: Gates Frontiers Fund Colorado Collection within the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Structural Height: 70', Hydraulic Height: 45'; Crest Length: 320'
Spillway Capacity at 7475': 21,200cfs; Max Water Elevation: 7487'
EstesParkNews, Bureau of Reclamation photo
In the Fall of 2022, the bureau dropped the level of the lake for upgrades to this dam. "At the same time, the Marys Lake Powerplant, southwest of Estes Park, will undergo a unit runner replacement and turbine overhaul. "

The conduit for the Marys Lake Powerhouse is fed by the east portal of the Adams Tunnel. That portal does not have a lake so there is no forebay for the powerhouse, which runs as a base load plant with a plant factor of 58%. Marys Lake is a forebay for the Estes Park Powerhouse, and it has Estes Lake as its afterbay, so its output fluctuates to meet daily variations in energy demand. Thus its production mode is "intermediate." Its load factor is 26.2%. [various mouse clicks in usbr]

These topo maps show the conduit that went from Marys Lake to the Estes Park Powerhouse.
1957 Estes Park and Longs Peak Quads @ 24,000

Similarly, most of the conduit that supplies Marys Lake is under another mountain. This conduit is fed by the Alva B. Adams Tunnel.
1957 Longs Peak Quad @ 24,000

1947 Alva B. Adams Tunnel and the Colorado-Big Thompson Project

West Portal: (Satellite)
East Portal: (Satellite)

Colorado has the problem that its water supply is west of the Continental Divide and its farms and urban areas are east of the divide. The 13.1 mile long Alva B. Adams Tunnel is part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project that was built by the Bureau of Reclamation to help solve that problem. (To emphasize the severity of this water supply problem, one of the reasons for building the Moffat Tunnel was to transport water from the West Slope to the Front Range.)

80% of the water supply is on the West Slope, but about 85% of the population lives along the Front Range. [0:60]

The east portal is the output for the water carried by this tunnel under the Continental Divide. It is also the input for 69kv electricity being transmitted from the Estes Park Power Plant on the Front Range to pumping stations on the West Slope.
clui, License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)
East Portal
"When the tunnel opened in 1947, it was the longest irrigation water tunnel in the nation. Today the annual 220,000 acre-feet of water it delivers is consumed by a variety of end users, mostly urban."

The water input at the West Portal is under the Grand Lake so we can't see the input. What we can see is the service entrance and where the electricity comes out of the tunnel.
"The concrete-lined tunnel is 9-feet 9-inches in diameter, cylindrical-shaped and runs as much as 3,800 feet beneath the surface of the Continental Divide. The Adams Tunnel drops 109 feet in elevation between the West and East portals, enabling water to flow by gravity without pumping assistance. With a capacity of 550 cubic feet per second, the tunnel delivers more than 200,000 acre-feet of West Slope water annually to Northeastern Colorado. It takes water about two hours to flow the length of the tunnel....The tunnel is named for Alva B. Adams, a U.S. senator from Colorado who played a key role in convincing Congress to fund and construct the C-BT Project. At the time it was built, the Adams Tunnel was the longest tunnel in the United States to provide water for irrigation. The tunnel cost $12.8 million to construct."

Seven construction photos from NorthernWater-tunnel. "Construction of the Adams Tunnel began on June 23, 1940. Contractors bored the tunnel simultaneously from both portals, and when the two crews met on June 10, 1944, the alignment was off by less than the width of a penny. The first C-BT Project water flowed through the Adams Tunnel on June 23, 1947."







ColoradoEncylopedia-construction via ColoradoEncylopedia-tunnel, Image by: Brian Werner
"Workers used railed carts like the one shown here to excavate the 13.1-mile Alva B. Adams Tunnel. Construction of the tunnel, which would become the largest water diversion project in the state, lasted between 1940 and 1944."

The water falls 2,900' down the East Slope. Six hydropower plants were built to capture some of that energy to help offset the cost of the project. The project wasn't finished until 1957 and cost $160m, four times its original estimate.
ColoradoEncylopedia-map, cropped via ColoradoEncylopedia-tunnel
Copyright Notes: Courtesy of Center of the American West, University of Colorado and Fulcrum Publishing. The map was created by Honey Lindburg and originally appeared on pages 124-5 of A Ditch in Time by Patricia Nelson Limerick and Jason L. Hanson, published by Fulcrum Publishing in 2012.

NorthernWater-distribution via NorthernWater-project and nps 

NorthernWater-map via NorthernWater-project

Monday, October 3, 2022

1868(tunnel),1891,1913 Washington Boulevard (Street) Bridge

(Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; Chicago Loop; HAERSatellite)

Google Maps calls this Washington Street Bridge, but all of the bridge expert sites call it Washington Boulevard Bridge. I put "Street" in the title in parenthesis to make it easier to do a title search for this bridge.

The original crossing of the river here was done with with the first vehicular tunnel that was built in 1868. (The only other tunnel was for La Salle Street, opened in 1870.) In 1891, the city moved the swing bridge that was at Madison Street to this location. The current bridge was built in 1913.

20161021 6592, cropped
[It is framed on the right by the Civic Opera House.]

Street View of the northern elevation, Aug 2022

A history and photo collection written as part of a celebration of its 100th anniversary on May 26, 2013. This bridge is considered the first one of the second generation of Chicago-type bascule bridges because an effort was made to make the bridgehouses more attractive in accordance with the 1909 Plan of Chicago. Motivated by the need to build above the tunnel, a new foundation design technique was introduced tath was also used in subsequent bridges. And the 1911 patent by Chicago Public Works engineer Alexander von Babo was introduced. That design places the rack and pinion underground. (See Cortland Street Bridge for an example of the first generation rack-and-pinion design, which was above ground.) "During 1914, the first full year of operation of this bridge, a total of 9,540 vessels entered and cleared the Chicago River. The Washington Blvd. bridge opened 3,773 times in that year alone."

Historic Bridges uses the transition from a through truss to a pony truss as the distinguishing feature between the first and second generation Chicago-type bridges.

HAER ILL, 16-CHIG, 134-1
1. VIEW AT NIGHT OF WASHINGTON STREET BRIDGE WITH RAISED SPAN - Chicago River Bascule Bridge, Washington Street, Spanning Chicago River at Washington Street, Chicago, Cook County, IL

Significance: The development of the Chicago trunnion bascule bridge occurred during the first three decades of the twentieth century. Despite the controversy over patent infringement — Joseph E. Strauss charged the City of Chicago engineers with infringing on his patented StraussTrunion bascule bridge — the Chicago bascule received great acclaim within the civil engineering profession. [HAER-data]

Sunday, October 2, 2022

(1963) 1969,1986 I-279 Fort Duquesne Bridge over Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, PA

(Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridgespghbridges; B&T; 3D Satellite)

The bridge was started in 1958 and finished in 1963. But that completion date is in parenthesis in the title because it was a bridge to nowhere on the north end! In 1969 some ramps finally connected it to one highway and in 1986 some additional ramps connected it to other highways. [pghbridges] The delays were caused by problems with acquiring the right-of-way. [B&T]

20220817 1084, taken from the parking lot for the Duquesne Incline

A view from the top of the incline. The Fort Duquesne Bridge is the tied-arch bridge on the left.

The first of the Three Sisters is the Roberto Clemente (6th Street) Bridge and the next two are the Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson Bridges.

The Fort Duquesne Bridge is the one on the left.

Bridge & Tunnels posted
In a city of bridges, Fort Duquesne Bridge stands out for being -the- Bridge to Nowhere for years.
Carrying Interstate 279 over the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Fort Duquesne Bridge's main span and south approach were completed in 1963 while its northern approaches were not finished until 1969 and 1986 when connections to the East Street Valley Expressway (Interstate 279) and North Shore Expressway (Interstate 279 and PA Route 28) were finished.
The crossing was notable for one incident that occurred on December 12, 1964, when a student from the University of Pittsburgh drove his 1959 Chrysler station wagon through the bridge’s wooden barricades, raced off the end of the bridge, and landed upside down. The student was unhurt in the incident.
▶︎ Check out more photos and a history of the Fort Duquesne Bridge at 

The Fort Duquesne Bridge replaced the 1915 Manchester Bridge, which replaced the 1875 Union Bridge.

HAER PA,2-PITBU,59--17
17. Charles W, Shane, Photographer, April 1970. VIEW FROM THE SOUTHEAST. - North Side Point Bridge, Spanning Allegheny River at Point of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA

I believe the building on the right side of this photo was the Three Rivers Stadium.
HAER PA,2-PITBU,59--24
24. Charles W. Shane, Photographer, April 1970. VIEW FROM THE SOUTHEAST. - North Side Point Bridge, Spanning Allegheny River at Point of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA

Significance: The Manchester Bridge replaced the old wooden Union Bridge, the first bridge erected at the Point and demolished in 1907. Both bridges spanned the Allegheny, connecting the Point of Pittsburgh to its North Side. The superstructure consisted of two Pennsylvania through-truss spans, each 531 feet long, with a clearance of 70 feet above harbor pool level. The designs of the bridge and the finely crafted, ornamental ironwork of the portals were executed under the direction of the Pittsburgh Department of Public Works. [HAER-data]

The clearance of the Union Bridge was just 40', and the Secretary of War ruled that was too low. [B&T]

Originally, the bridge was constructed with rolled beams that were welded together. But that caused "lamellar tearing" because the structure was too ridged and it didn't absorb temperature and load stresses. So they went back to using bolted splice plate connections. [pghbridges]
Street View

Saturday, October 1, 2022

MWRD Kirie Water Reclamation Plant (WRP)


The creek next to the plant is Higgins Creek.

Street View

MWRD posted 13 photos with the comment: "πŸπŸ‘The goats and sheep are on the go, munching our native prairie today at the Kirie Water Reclamation Plant in Des Plaines, providing an environmental alternative to maintain the grounds by reducing the use of herbicides and fuel. Stay hungry friends!"
Walter Bruning: Where are the goats kept in winter? How often are they transported to each site?
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago: Walter Bruning the herd is from Richland Center, Wisconsin. Depending on the workload at each of our sites, they will move around by trailer to where needed with our vendors from Vegetation Solutions. In less than a month, about 50 goats and sheep will clear out more than a dozen acres of shrubs, plants and other overgrowth with each animal clearing at least 250 square feet of vegetation per day.