Wednesday, August 31, 2022

1840+1956+1970 Green River Lock and Dam #1 at Spottsville, KY


The US-60 Bridge is in the right background of this photo.

The lock is 600' long, but only 84' wide and the dam was completed in 1970. [TheTownTalk] Normally a USACE lock is 110' wide because barges are 35' wide.

The USACE claims the existing dam was built in 1956, but I believe the 1970 date in TheTownTalk because the dam uses a cell structure. I thought the cell structure construction technique was a 21st Century development. I wonder if this 1970 dam was one of  the first applications of that technique.

1:14 Aug 2022 video @ 0:14

The river gauge located here not only measures the usual stream data of gage height, discharge and stream velocity, it measures water quality data as part of the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative. The water quality data is "dissolved oxygen, nitrate plus nitrite, pH, specific conductance at 25°C, turbidity and water temperature."

In this flood, the dam and lock walls are completely submerged.

While editing the Spottsville bridges notes, I noticed you could not see the dam in a satellite image. But you can see the lock walls. I fired up Google Earth to get a date for this image. It was May 2022.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

1802-1858 Canal and 1928 49mw Hydropower Plant in Bellows Falls, VT

Bridge in Photo: (Bridge HunterSatellite)
Powerhouse: (Satellite)

Street View

I was going to skip this photo because the truss seems rather insignificant. But then I read that the bridge went over one of the first canals dug in the USA.
Dave Blaze Rail Photography posted
601 Shoving Out
An unexpected bonus while in Bellows Falls for GMRC 405 was the appearance of New England Central Railroad local 601 down from White River Junction. Alas we were busy shooting the Alco on the bridge to North Walpole when we heard them so didn't get them nosing into the tunnel to clear the connection switch to the VRS. They spent a while switching up on the Patch Track and with their work done they are shoving out with a big cut of around 30 cars back onto their own property south of the diamond. This is about MP B0.3 at the end of modern day VRS' Falls Running Track of the Bellows Falls Subdivision which is the original Rutland Railway Green Mountain mainline.
They are crossing the truss bridge over the Bellows Falls Canal, one of the nation's first canals, which opened in 1802 to allow navigation on the Connecticut River to bypass the 52 ft high Great Falls. By 1858 the canal was no longer used for navigation, having been supplanted by the railroads, but instead provided water power to six adjacent mills. Eventually the lower end of the canal with the locks was filled in and the upper end here was widened in conjunction with the opening of the Bellows Falls Hydroelectric plant in 1928. The 49 megawatt station continues in use today and since 2017 has been owned by Great River Hydro LLC which owns 13 hydroelectric power facilities and 3 storage-only reservoirs along the Deerfield and Connecticut Rivers.
 Village of Bellows Falls
Rockingham, Vermont
Friday August 19, 2022

This bridge originally carried the Rutland Railroad (RUT). It now carries the Green Mountain Railroad (GMRC) and the New England Central Railroad (NECR). Rutland used to terminate in Bellows Falls with a connection to Boston & Maine. B&M was on both sides of the Connecticut River south of town and on the east side of the river north of town. GMRC/RUT goes up the west side of the river north of town.
1927 Bellows Falls Quad @ 62,500

The canal used to provide water power for several mills. It now provides water for a hydropower plant.

The plant has "49 megawatts of generation capacity with three General Electric generators with Francis waterwheels," [GreatRiverHydro]



About a block west of here the railroad goes through a tunnel.
Steven J. Brown via Dennis DeBruler

Monday, August 29, 2022

Ohio & Erie Canal and Muskingum River Waterway Overviews

This canal was on the east side of the state. The Miami and Erie Canal was on the west side of the state.

I'm saveing some information I came across while looking for a lock on the Muskingum River.

A waterway between the Ohio & Erie Canal and the Ohio River was created by building locks and dams from 1836 to 1841 on the Muskingum River. This allowed steamboats to go upriver all the way to Zanesville, OH. The locks were 35'x160'. [hmdb] The waterway had 10 dams and 11 locks. 10 of the locks are still operational. "It is the only remaining system of hand-operated locks in the nation." [OhioDNR]

Most sources specified the lock dimenstions as 35'x160'. But ASCE specifies 36'x184', which allows boats up to 160' long to use the canal. It was one of the first complete slackwater navigation systems for steam-powered vessels in the USA.

The double lock and the dam in Marietta was removed in the 1960s after the Ohio River was raised by the construction of the large lock and dam in Belleville.

It took five years after the flood of 1913 to repair the system. The USACE quit supporting the waterway in 1948. The state took back ownershipin 1958 and restored the system for recreational use, [OhioHistoryCentral]

Sunday, August 28, 2022

1951,1987-89,2015,2018-20 Martin Luther King Bridge over Mississippi River at St. Louis

(Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; John A. Weeks III3D Satellite)

The original name of this bridge was Veterans Memorial.

HistoricBridges calls the length of the main span, 962', technologically significant. JohnWeeks elaborates that "it was the 6th longest cantilevered truss bridge in the US, and the largest cantilevered truss bridge over the Mississippi River."

Street View

This bridge carried US-40 and US-66 from 1955 until 1967 when the Popular Street Interstate Bridge opened. So US-66 must have moved from the Chain of Rocks Bridge to this bridge in 1955.

Redeker Rail Video & Photography posted
Glad I was able to grab a shot of the Terminal 101 Job detouring over the high line along the Mississippi River through Lacledes Landing in St.Louis on Wednesday. After a long day that started in Humbolt, Tennessee with a failed attempt at the CSX OCS (ran 2 hours early before sunrise) and included TigerTail deliveries to 4 stores in Illinois, I was very pleased to catch a TRRA Job in great afternoon light running the high line due to the final bridge span being replaced on its normal route over the Merchants Bridge. The huge cut of double stacks was interesting to see on this job which I assume were destined for the NS. After the shot had time to grab some Ted Drew’s and make it back to Memphis before midnight, lol. 8/24/2022
Terry Redeker shared
Dennis DeBruler: Thanks for framing this shot with the Martin Luther King Bridge.!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4...

Stupp Brothers Photo via BridgeHunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

Charles A. Ellis was one of the designers of the bridge until he died in 1949. Ellis was effectively the chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge. But Richard B. Strauss, the Chief Engineer of record, stole all of the credit for the design from Ellis. [HistoricBridges, Dennis DeBruler]

Postcard via BridgeHunter
[The Eads Bridge is in the background.]

Every link that I found  that went to St. Louis Post-Dispatch was either broken or behind a paywall. Fortunately, John Weeks explains "The Illinois DOT plans to close the MLK bridge between October 12, 2009, and October 24, 2009, to make safety repairs to the MLK bridge. The narrow lanes and the lack of a divider has lead to 38 serious accidents between 2003 and 2009. The bridge will be reconfigured for 2 lanes heading east into Illinois, and one lane heading west into Saint Louis. Converting the bridge to 3 lanes will allow the lanes to be a bit wider and allow for a center divider to be installed." John also found a traffic count for 2003 of 31,800.

Street View, Oct 2007
[Note that the semi is over the white line!]

Street View, Jun 2012

I was surprised that the 10 street views between 2007 and 2022 showed very light traffic on the bridge. Then it occurred to me that the street view drivers probably avoid the rush hours. Also, the opening of the Stan Musial Bridge in 2014 reduced the daily count from 23,000 to 12,000. [stlpublicradio]

At first, I was surprised that the barrier wasn't movable so that the direction of the 2-lane traffic could be changed between rush hours. I've seen that on other bridges. But when I looked at a satellite map, I realized that the eastbound lanes terminate on an Interstate highway, which can handle the traffic, whereas the westbound lane terminates on downtown streets, which can't handle the traffic.

The main reason the bridge was closed in Aug 2018 was for a $24.3m replacement of the approach bridge on the Illinois side. The bridge was to reopen in fall 2019. It is a shame this this work wasn't coordinated with the $16m repairs of the bridge itself for six months in 2015. [stlpublicradio] Not overlapping the two outages was especially bad because the opening for the Illinois repairs were delayed until summer 2020 because of the Mississippi floods in 2019. [wsiltv] This page describes the 2015 work, and this page described the 2018-20 work.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

1943 Dale Hollow Dam and 54mw Powerhouse near Celina, TN


"The project was completed for flood control in 1943. Power generating units were added in 1948, 1949 and 1953....Each unit generates 18,000 kilowatts for a total of 54,000 kilowatts."



Wilson Lock posted seven photos with the comment: "Hydropower has greatly contributed to the nation’s clean energy infrastructure and is the second largest source of renewable energy in the United States. In celebration of Hydropower Day, check out some of these historical photos of engineers constructing Dale Hollow Power Plant in the 1940s."
Pickwick Lock also posted this information.




[USACE says the dam uses Francis turbines.]



Friday, August 26, 2022

1817-1902+190?+1928 Market Street Bridges over Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, PA

1817: (Bridge Hunter)
190?: (photo in BridgeHunter-1928)

The reason for researching the 1928 bridge is that it was designed by Modjeski and Masters. Both the 1817 and 1928 bridges were built over the East Channel. The bridge over the West Channel is now just a UCEB (Ugly Concrete Eyesore Bridge)

The 1929 bridge is a concrete bridge with a stone façade. "The stone façade was chosen for this bridge not only for aesthetic reasons, but also because the stone would protect the concrete superstructure in the event of a flood that might carry ice and other heavy debris." [HistoricBridges]

Street View

Significance: The river crossing where the bridge now stands had historically been the western gateway into Harrisburg. For over a century, spans here were operated by the Harrisburg Bridge Company, including the first bridge, the famous Camel Back covered bridge designed by Theodore Burr. Because the bridge was a toll crossing, the construction sequence was designed to interrupt traffic as little as possible and therefore maintain toll revenues. The present bridge, designed by engineers Modjeski and Masters and architect Paul Philippe Cret, serves as a monumental entrance to Pennsylvania's capital city. The Market Street Bridge was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. [HAER-data]

The original bridge was a camelback bridge designed by Theodore Burr. The "Burr arch" was an arch reinforced truss bridge. [BridgeHunter-1817]
1890 Photo via BridgeHunter-1817

These two postcard images provide another example of different artists colorizing a photo differently. 
Postcard via BridgeHunter-1817

Postcard via BridgeHunter-1817

Apr 2013 Photo by Jodi Christman via BridgeHunter-1928

This is the bridge that proceed the current bridge.
Photo via BridgeHunter-1922, License: Released into public domain
Market St. girder bridge getting built
"Pictorial History West Shore Area" Published by Cumberland County 250th Anniversary Committee

HAER PA,22-HARBU,27--9 (CT)
3/4 VIEW FROM SOUTHEAST. - Market Street Bridge, Spanning East channel of Susquehanna River at Market Street (State Route 3012), Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA

Thursday, August 25, 2022

1957,2002 Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge over Hudson River

(Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; Satellite)

"George Clinton Kingston-Rhinecliff" is the official name for this bridge. [NYCroads]

This bridge was designed by David Steinman. [HistoricBridges]

The clearance at the center above mean high water is 152' (46.3m). Because of shortages of steel and funding, the construction of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge was delayed until after this bridge was completed. [nycroads]

Old Postcard via BridgeHunter
Bridge via Museum via HBHV

1 of 3 plaque photos taken by Josh Schnmid in March 2021 via BridgeHunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)

This bridge is one of the country's longest continuous deck truss bridges. Its rehabilitation in 2000-02 included a new, wider deck that was made with hot-dip galvanized steel for lower maintenance costs.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

1963,1984+1980 I-84 Newburgh-Beacon Bridge over Hudson River

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

"Hamilton Fish Newburgh-Beacon" is the official name for this bridge.

Both of these spans were designed by Modjeski and Masters. "The bridge's main cantilever unit is 2,204 feet long, with a main navigation span of 1,000 feet and anchor spans of 602 feet." [HistoricBridges] I like the aesthetics of the arched cantilevered truss design.

 The clearance at the center above mean high water is 135' (41.1m) [nycroads]

Street View, Jun 2012

Oct 2017 Photo by Josh Schmid via BridgeHunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
Newburgh-Beacon Bridge from Beacon Mountain

1 of 5 photos posted by Bridges & Tunnels
Massive but graceful, the Hamilton Fish Newburgh-Beacon Bridge carries Interstate 84 and NY Route 52 over the Hudson River between Newburgh and Beacon, New York. The first fixed crossing over the Hudson between those two cities opened in 1963 after years of consideration and legislative flexing while the parallel crossing opened in 1980.
➤ Check out more photos and history of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge at

The south span is built with COR-TEN, and the north span was painted brown to match. The bridge caused 220 years of ferry service to end. It was the last ferry north of NYC. But a private ferry service was started in 2005 so that Newburgh commuters could catch the Metro-North Hudson Line to Grand Central Station. 

Photo via Gallery via Bridge via Museum via HBHV

One reason this bridge was built until the 1960s was that the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge was given funding priority. [nysba]
"This 1959 photo shows the original rendering for the proposed four-lane Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. Owing to rising construction costs and low initial projected traffic demand, the state decided to build a two-lane bridge instead. Construction began the following year. (Illustration by Harold "Dutch" Huber / Modjeski and Masters via Randy Huber, from the Historic Bridges of the Hudson Valley archives,"

"Before its construction, it was estimated that the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge would carry 25,000 cars each day, requiring a four-lane design. When funding became difficult, Governor Rockefeller had decided that the bridge would never carry that many vehicles, and that a two-lane structure would be sufficient. Even Dr. John Edwards, chairman of the New York State Bridge Authority, said in 1963 that a parallel span would not be needed until 1988. However, by 1964, the first full year of the bridge's operation, 25,000 vehicles were using the bridge daily, and by the 1970s, traffic volume across the two-lane bridge had doubled. The need for greater carrying capacity was realized further by the completion of the entire I-84 route between Sturbridge, Massachusetts and Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1978."

"The Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, whose main cantilever truss spans are the 19th longest in the world, now carries approximately 65,000 vehicles per day (AADT). In the years since the bridge has opened, Interstate 84 has not only become a major commercial link between New England and points west, but also formed part of the outer loop around the New York metropolitan area. Despite growing traffic volume, there are no plans to increase capacity across the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge at the present time."

This view is from the 1980 bridge looking at the 1963 bridge. When I first saw the 1963 bridge, I thought it was the new bridge because there was no V-lacing.
Street View, Sep 2017

But when I saw how massive the beams were on the close bridge, I remembered that the far bridge was built in the 1960s rather than before WWII, so it would have more modern truss members.
Street View, Nov 2016

It looks like the 1963 bridge was built with rivets but has been patched using bolts.
Street View, Oct 2019

The bridge is well maintained. I had trouble finding street views with decent lighting that did not have maintenance equipment in the way. Here we see them inspecting the bridge.
Street View, Nov 2016

A satellite view confirms that the southern bridge is the newer one because it has a shoulder and a cantilevered walkway.