Monday, February 28, 2022

I-278 1964+1969 Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge between Staten Island and Brooklyn

(Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; HAERSatellite)

"Upper level opened November 21, 1964; lower level opened June 28, 1969." Each level has six lanes. [BridgeHunter]

HAER NY,24-BROK,57--3
3. VIEW OF VERRAZANO-NARROWS BRIDGE LOOKING NORTHWEST WITH MANHATTAN IN BACKGROUND - Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Spanning Narrows between Fort Hamilton (Brooklyn) & Fort Washington (Staten Island), Brooklyn, Kings County, NY
Jessica DeBruler Yarbrough posted

Dennis DeBruler commented on Jessica's post
Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4...

Bridges Now and Then posted
On New York's Verrazzano Bridge, c. 1962. (Viewing NYC) [Both sides are NYC.]
Steven Gembara: Great view on the Brooklyn end.
Donald Dugas: The bridge opened on November 21, 1964, and a lower deck was opened in June 1969 to alleviate high levels of traffic.
James Torgeson shared

Bridges Now and Then posted
New York City's Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge during construction, 1963. (Staten Island Advance)
[Look at all of the spools of wire.]
Comments on post
Dave Frieder commented on post
One of the 400 Ton Roadway units being lifted into position and attached to the suspender ropes.
Classic Staten Island posted
Steelworkers, safe from traffic below, perform for hundreds of sidewalk onlookers gather near the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn. Come November, the traffic will be there Circa 1964 (Staten Island Advance Photo)
James Torgeson shared
Ironworkers from the American Bridge Division of USS erect the deck of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge between Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Colin Milne provided two photos on BN&T's post with the comment: "Same bridge from the Queen Mary II, New York to Southampton……"


Zane Zack commented on BN&T's post

Dave Frieder commented on BN&T's post
BOTH Towers are sitting on Sand and Clay. The Caissons never went to Bedrock.

Dave Frieder commented on BN&T's post
Another image I made at Mid Span.

Bill Jeczalik commented on BN&T's post
Picture I took during a flight lesson out of Teterboro Airport of the Verrazano-Narrows during construction. June 1964

Building the towers with two columns connected with a big, arched crossmember at the top makes the towers look simple but strong. HistoricBridges observes that these simple towers are a signature of Othmar Ammann, and they make his bridges look more modern than they really are.

Because the lower deck is built within the stiffening truss, we can get a better view of that truss than we can in most other suspension bridges.
Street View

Via HistoricBridges

Via HistoricBridges

This 2003 photo shows the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from the Bay Ridge shoreline, looking west toward Staten Island. (Photo by Jim K. Georges.)
[This web page has an extensive history of the bridge.]

Sunday, February 27, 2022

1928+1990 US-22 Bridges over Ohio River between Steubenville and Weirton

1928: (Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridge) Fort Steuben Bridge
1990: (Bridge HunterB&T, Blog; John Weeks is "under construction"; 3D Satellite) Veterans Memorial Bridge

Opey Patrick Sr. posted, cropped
Fort Steuben Bridge.over the Ohio River
Bob Marshall: February 21, 2012

Regular and slow speed 1:57 YouTube video of the "energetic felling" 
HistoricBridges has a copy of the same video and calls it the official ODOT video. I quote from HistoricBridges: " 'When ODOT's not out plowing snow or repairing the roads we also enjoy blowing up old bridges.' -Quote from Ohio Department of Transportation describing the official video of the demolition."

Boston Public Library Flickr Photo via BridgeHunter-1928, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

The tower certainly looks strong with all of those diagonals. HistoricBridges points out the arch in the lower cross member.
2010 Photo by Jason Smith via BridgeHunter-1928
[One of Jason's many photos on BridgeHunter-1928 shows the pin connection of eye bars. But this photo shows that they use cables for the suspension. So I don't know where the eye bars are used.]

EngineeringRecord via HistoricBridges, p3

This answers the eye bar question, they were part of the anchorage.
EngineeringRecord via HistoricBridges, p4

The above anchorage was on the Ohio side. The eye bar chain is much more extensive on the WV side.
EngineeringRecord via HistoricBridges, p6

The cable-stay bridge was built in 1990, and comments in BridgeHunter-1990 report that it is falling apart already.
Photo via LC-DIG-highsm- 31930 (ONLINE) [P&P]
Credit line: West Virginia Collection within the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
Carol M. Highsmith's photographs are in the public domain.

Street View

The final construction cost was $90m. Engineering studies began in 1961 and the 1970s was spent processing red tape. Construction started in 1979. So it took over a decade to buld. The tower is 360' tall. "When the bridge was under construction, only three cable-stayed steel girder trusses existed outside of Europe or Japan—in Sitka, Alaska;  Luling, Louisiana, and Quincy, Illinois."
[The railroad bridge in the foreground is NS/PRR (Panhandle)]

It has six 12-foot lanes [WV]. yet on a 2022 accessed satellite image I could find only one car and one truck using it. Sure enough, Robert C. Byrd helped get funding for this example of pork barrel extravaganzas. 

I generously count eight vehicles using the bridge in this photo.
[This source says the tower is 431' above the river. The WV Department of Highways hired the company that built the bridge to do an inspection. What are the odds that they are going to be honest about problems in what they built? Using the contractor that built a bridge to inspect the bridge strikes me as being rather stupid on WVDOH's part.]

So the old bridge was not torn down when the new bridge opened. It was simply allowed to deteriorate until it was no longer safe for traffic. What I don't understand is why a bridge that can no longer carry traffic can't still carry pedestrians and bikes. To rub salt into the wound, HistoricBridges reports that ODOT, after spending $2.3m to destroy the bridge, spent $250,000 to build a new truss for an overlook. Didn't it occur to anyone in the halls of the ODOT office that the old bridge would have made a fantastic overlook? Or, as HistoricBridges suggests, reuse part of the stiffening truss for the new overlook.

This is what $250,000 gets you. Now I can see why they didn't reuse part of the old truss. It would not have fit in that little space.

Street View

I had noticed that "a hazard to navigation" was not used as an excuse for the demolition. In fact, I never did see a statement from the ODOT as to why it needed to be destroyed other than they like blowing up bridges. I can understand why it was closed to traffic because it costs money to maintain it. But I would think it would have to do a lot more rusting before it couldn't hold up itself and people. Since the bridge made it into the 21st Century, it occurred to me that I could use Global Earth to see how the navigation spans line up.
Google Earth, Nov 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Illinois Central Grain Elevators on the Chicago River

(Satellite, see the 1901 topo map below for better information)

Brendon Baillod posted two images with comments about the ships.
Brendon Baillod shared
Dennis DeBruler shared to RAILROAD HISTORY BUFFS OF ILLINOIS, but I can't get the link
Dennis DeBruler shared to Chicago Area Railroad Historians, but I can't get the link
Dennis DeBruler shared


Dennis DeBruler made four comments on his shares:
This Sanborn Map index of grain elevators in 1901 shows how a ship could be docked south of elevators 7 & 8.
Sanborn fire insurance map provided courtesy of the Map Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This is a Sanborn Map for elevators 7 & 8.
Sanborn fire insurance map provided courtesy of the Map Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Digitally Zoomed

This is a Sanborn Map for elevators 7 & 8.
Sanborn fire insurance map provided courtesy of the Map Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Digitally Zoomed

Actually, it looks like the ship was parked in a slip off the Chicago River.
1901 Chicago Quadrangle @ 1:62,500

Six of the photos in IC Freight Houses Along Michigan Avenue show at least one of the grain elevators and they have been copied to here.
Paul Petraitis posted 

Paul Petraitis posted 

Paul Petraitis posted
Our original river/rail connection, 1858, probably a Hesler photo.
Paul Petraitis Original in the Chicago History Museum collections, a gift of Mrs. Lizzie Moulton Kneeland.
Richard Fiedler shared
Rick Powell The Buckingham family owned many of the grain elevators at the north end of the IC tracks. Namesake of the fountain and also the tiny town in Kankakee County.

David Daruszka commented on Richard's share
Image of the IC holdings in the lakefront and river. There was quite a panoply of railroads using IC's first Central Station (#2 in the image). The CB&Q had their first office building next to the station.

Thomas Manz commented on Richard's share
What was the last business or industry north of Randolph Street to have a rail connection?

Bob Hendricks posted
April 10, 1937 – Fire breaks out at 4:00 a.m. at the South Shore depot that sits alongside the Illinois Central Railroad station just east of Randolph Street. It doesn’t take long before “flames burst through the roof of the structure, lighting up Michigan avenue in the vicinity of the public library, and attracting hundreds of motorists and loopgoers to the scene.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, April 11, 1937] The fire brings a large response from the Chicago Fire Department as fire fighters keep their distance battling the 2-11 fire while crowds on the Randolph Street viaduct watch the heroics. The twelve-year-old structure was first used by the Illinois Central but was turned over to the South Shore in 1931. This'll be the second time a fire guts the depot. In a May, 1934 fire, five fire fighters were injured. In the above photo the station stands just to the right of the peristyle, which was torn down in February, 1953. Today this is the northwest corner of Millennium Park.

Glen Miller posted
1906 postcard of the Illinois Central's yard. The Michigan Central Railroad, a subsidiary of the New York Central, shared track rights with the Illinois Central. The Michigan Central also shared the IC's Central Station in Chicago as well. A switcher locomotive sneaking behind the freight cars, lower right.
Glen Miller Vintage Railroad Postcards

David M Laz also posted
David Daruszka commented on a posting
Markham Yard in Harvey wasn't built until 1926. There were yards at Wildwood, Fordham and the main yards on the lakefront. Here's a postcard image of downtown.

Jim Arvites posted
Postcard view of the Illinois Central yard in downtown Chicago at Pleasure Craft Harbor and Randolph Street circa 1905. Note the Michigan Central passenger cars. The Michigan Central, a New York Central subsidary, used the IC's Central Station for its Chicago - Detroit passenger service until the late 1950's.
David DaruszkaDavid and 3 others manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. Other railroads that used the station prior to 1871 were the Chicago & Alton Railroad, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, The Galena & Chicago Union and the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway from 1886 to 1893. At one time, and for years, through passenger trains were run between Chicago and Dubuque, Iowa. These trains ran between Chicago and Freeport, Il over the Galena & Chicago Union, and between Freeport and Dubuque over the Illinois Central. Two separate trains ran out of both Great Central Station and G&CU’s Kinzie Street Station. The two trains were combined at Oak Park as one train. On the return the train was split and each section ran to the respective stations.

These IC elevators would be the two elevators in the right background of this photo.
Glen Miller posted
Wolf Point in 1885
Raymond Kunst shared post
Neil Gale My article
ChicagoLoopBridges posted

Dennis DeBruler shared a Brendon Baillod post via Dennis DeBruler

Friday, February 25, 2022

C&NW Grain Elevator Along the Main Stem of the Chicago River

(Satellite, the land was occupied by Sun-Times and is now occupied by Trump Tower)

This elevator was served by the C&NW/Galina & Chicago Union railroad and it was located in its State Street Yard.

Mile 326.4 A cofferdam was built in 1902 so that workers could pour concrete for the subsection of the State Street Bridge. But the wooden barrier often leaked, which added to construction delays. This view is from the south bank looking northeast. The Rush Street Bridge is in the background. — The Lost Panoramas, May 16, 2013

1901 Sanborn
Sanborn fire insurance map provided courtesy of the Map Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

1901 Sanborn
Sanborn fire insurance map provided courtesy of the Map Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

It is the elevator near the middle background of this view down the Main Stem.
Glen Miller posted
Wolf Point in 1885
Raymond Kunst shared post
Neil Gale My article
ChicagoLoopBridges posted

MWRD posted
A northeasterly view of the State Street Bridge over the Chicago River on March 1, 1903.

Historic Chicago posted
Rush Street Bridge (1900)
[I include this photo of the Rush Street Bridge because it provides another view of the grain elevator.]

MWRD posted
A view from the Chicago River looking toward the east side of State Street on the north side of the Chicago River on February 25, 1902. The stairway at left leads up to the street and what remains of an old State Street bridge that was being replaced. The new bridge would be completed in 1903 and was later replaced with the current bridge in 1949.
[The yard would be to the left of the warehouse and grain elevator. Is that the Kraft factory in the background?]