Wednesday, November 30, 2022

1929,1981,2004,2013 Old US-36 Florence Bridge over Illinois River at Florence, IL

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

Of the nine truss spans, five of them are over flood plains. 

Bred Davidson posted, cropped, May 3, 2022
The Florence IL. Bridge

Kevin Stewart, Jul 2019
Single photo enhanced with easyHDR 3.14: Illinois River Bridge.
1930 photo by Art Kistler from IDOT via BridgeHunter (HistoricBridges also has this photo.)

Street View

It is good to see that Illinois is doing at least some maintenance on a truss bridge.
Street View, Oct 2016

But maintenance expenditures will be stranded assets.  IDOT completed a 3-year environmental impact study and plans on replacing this bridge with a UCEB (Ugly Concrete Eyesore Bridge) 300' south of this bridge in their FY21-26 funding cycle.  IDOT says it will look similar to the Champ Clark Bridge. The Clark Bridge is just two lanes, but it does have wide shoulders. It will not only be high enough that it doesn't need a moveable span, it will be designed to more effectively avoid flooding. [wlds]
IDOT via roadtraffic-technology


Florence is not much more than a grain elevator. There is a stone quarry just a little north of this road.

Ed & Woodie's Tap is now permanently closed. This is another reminder that 2019 was a very wet year in the heart of the USA. However, it does appear to have opened again as the Riverbank. If the water was this far inland, it must have been real close to the bottom of the trusses.
Kiersten Herron, May 2019

And the flood plain extends beyond the truss spans that were built over land.
Apr 2013 photo by Jeremy Ruble via BridgeHunter

Taking another look at a satellite image, the above view is of the east side and the hill in the foreground is a levee.

"The Florence bridge was refurbished in 1981, and refurbished again in 2004. In the 2004 project, the deck was replaced, the bridge was sandblasted and painted, the lift cables were replaced, a new operators house was built, and electrical work was performed. Update—the Florence Bridge was closed on June 28, 2012, when a routine inspection revealed a structural issue at the top of one of the lift towers. This caused one set of large pulleys at the top of the bridge to shift laterally. If the bridge were to remain in operation, additional damage would occur that would be much more difficult to repair. The bridge is expected to be closed at least 9 months while a repair strategy is developed. In the mean time, the lift span has been left in the open position to allow river navigation traffic to pass under the structure." [JohnWeeksIII] According to comments in BridgeHunter, the bridge was closed again in 2016 and 2019 because of allisions by barges.
Mar 2013 photo by Calvin K Lunny via BridgeHunter, License: Released into public domain
[Calvin has uploaded several photos to Bridge Hunter that were taken from and of the control house during the 2013 repair of the sheave that shifted laterally in 2012.]

Judy Goby Oxtoby posted three photos with the comment: "Joy riding on IL Rt 106…crossing the Illinois River on a wonderful old draw bridge."
Ronald R. Turner: The drawbridge at Florence, Illinois. Today, it is Illinois Routes 100 and 106 that cross the Illinois River on this bridge. Prior to the completion of what is now Interstate 72, this bridge carried U.S. Route 36 and Illinois Route 100 across the Illinois River. Back then, Illinois Route 106 ended at Winchester, Ilinois, where it intersected with U. S. 36.
A new bridge is supposed to be built at this location in a couple of years. Once that bridge is completed, this bridge will be removed.
Norman Schafer shared



Lisa Ruble commented on Judy's post
Interior of the Florence Bridge (Illinois River Bridge) machinery room in 1930. The bridge was Dedicated on May 19th 1930. The bridge is one of four Strauss Vertical lift bridges built in Illinois, two have been demolished and replaced. The machinery room is on the lift span of the Florence Bridge.
Photo Credit: Art Kistler, IDOT
Tender House

Lisa Ruble commented on Judy's post
[Lisa provided a ton of photos of this bridge and of some other bridge in the comments. She also posted photos of her "bucket list" bridges.]

[Illinois is claiming that construction will begin in 2024, yet a comment says they have yet to buy any land.]

2:36 video

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

1948,1973,2009 I-280 Stickel and 1903 NJTR/DL&W Bridges over Passaic River at Newark, NJ

Stickel: (Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; Satellite)

DL&W = Delaware, Lackawanna & Western

Any Interstate highway that still has a movable bridge is worthy of note.

The double-deck NJTR swing bridge is in the foreground and the I-280 lift bridge is in the background. The railroad was originally the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, but I used the rrErie label because that is more informative than rrMisc. The lower level of the DL&W bridge was for freight, and it has been abandoned. [BridgeHunter-NJTR]

Street View

Cowen Matt posted
The Stickle Bridge
Thomas Whitner: The bridge is rarely open, if ever, it now a part of Route 280.
Douglas Butler shared

This photo is a better view of the swing bridge.
River Rail Photo posted
A Weathered Engine. On Friday, January 26, 2024, NJ TRANSIT Train 6238 was led by "the model engine", NJTR ALP45-DP 4503 (Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc. 100th Anniversary). After being bottled up on the Raritan Valley Line since its release, the social wrap locomotive has made its way out of captivity across the Newark Division this week. The consist is seen crossing the Passaic River in Newark, New Jersey just after departing the Newark Broad Street Station. A cycle of snow, ice, and rain have made it difficult to keep the white of the engine clean, but isn't this the look that the modelers want?

In addition to replacing the floor system, the $36m 2009 rehabilitation included "replacing the counterweight wire rope system and overhauling of all mechanical systems that cause the bridge to open to allow the passage of ships on the Passaic River."

"The bridge is named in honor of William A. Stickel, a civil engineer from Newark who served as the Essex County engineer for over 20 years." [wikiwand]
Jonathan Konopka posted
This is the William A. Stickel Memorial Bridge in Newark, NJ. It is a vertical lift bridge that was built in 1949 and carries Interstate 280 across the Passaic River.
Lyle Merdler: This bridge is seen in a few Sopranos episodes.

They do give you some advance warning that there is a stop sign ahead on an Interstate highway. Given the traffic in the oncoming lanes, this bridge is heavily used. (In fact, 90,000 vehicles per day. [IEW]) The bridge has narrow lanes and tight ramps and suffers from a high accident rate. Because of that accident rate, the speed limit is just 40mph. [wikiwand]
Street View

One advantage of working on bridges that cross navigation channels is that it is easier to use cranes during the construction.

"For this project, NJDOT utilized innovative construction methods which results in significant cost savings and increased the life expectancy of the bridge deck by replacing the existing cast-in-place concrete deck slab with a concrete-filled steel grid deck. This replacement method eliminates the long delay times awaiting the concrete to cure/harden and obtain the significant strength to allow traffic to ride on its surface." The work was divided into five stages to maintain two travel lanes in each direction. The contract allowed a maximum of 15 detour days. [NJDOT]

A Flickr photo (source)
Bob Bahrs: From this angle one can clearly see where the original swing bridge use to be. For those that don't already know, I'll mention that this bridge once had a track on its lower level. where just a walkway is now. It lead to the lower Freight yard in Newark, just past where the large concrete silos are. It came back up and met the main near Harrison Station on the near side of the photo. Great Shot Mark.

So why is the upper chord curved in this photo but not in any of the others?
Cowen Matt posted
The Stickle Bridge
Thomas Whitner: The bridge is rarely open, if ever, it now a part of Route 280.
Douglas Butler shared

Monday, November 28, 2022

London's New Elizabeth or Crossrail Line

The line opens May 24, 2022. But ridership has not recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic.

safe_image for Elizabeth line: How the 'perfect' project became a nightmare
Management continued to insist that it would open in Dec 2018. The tunneling was on time, but the stations and the interworking of the signaling systems were a bad joke.

Management did not admit there would be delays until just three months before the planned 2018 opening ceremony. [standard]

This was published in Dec 2017.
"A new Tube map has been released featuring the Elizabeth Line in anticipation of its opening in 2018. The Crossrail"
Work broke ground in 2009 with eight new tunneling machines. It runs for 60 miles through 41 stations.

Are the three signaling systems still not talking to each other? "The line will initially operate in three sections — the western section between Reading, Heathrow and Paddington, the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood, and the eastern section between Liverpool Street and Shenfield." Through service is not expected until May 2023. And only the central section is opening May 24. The other sections are expected to open in the Fall. It cost 20 billion pounds. The original cost was 14.6 billion pounds. [standard]

I remember a TV show about the construction of this subway. It was a big challenge to thread another tunnel under London. One of the challenges was the "eye of the needle." 
"The 900-tonne tunnel-boring machine has had to pass through a space where 30cm above it was a live escalator and 85 cm underneath was the active Northern Line.'

Sunday, November 27, 2022

1885 Aban/C&O Wood and Iron Bridge over James River at Eagle Rock, VA

(Bridge Hunter; no Historic Bridges; B&T; Satellite)

The bridge was built by the Richmond and Allegheny RR, which became part of the C&O RR.

Postcard via BridgeHunter

Street View, Aug 2012

This bridge used wood and iron. As expected, wood was used for the compression members while iron was used for the tension members. It appears that wood was also used for bracing, railings, flooring, etc.
Apr 2010 Photo by  C Hanchey via BridgeHunter

1 of 4 photos posted by Bridges & Tunnels
Virginia has three combination wood and iron Pratt through trusses remaining over the James River. One of these is located in Eagle Rock.
In May 1883, the Richmond & Allegheny Railroad Company agreed with the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors to build three bridges over the James River as part of the construction of its mainline between Richmond and Clifton Forge. Presumably, the bridges were to encourage the use of the railroad by citizens on the opposite side of the river. The new Eagle Rock Bridge was completed in 1885 and was functionally bypassed in 1933.
The circa 1885 Eagle Rock Bridge was heavily damaged in a severe flood on November 5, 1985, and only one truss span survived.
➤ Check out more from the Eagle Rock Truss Bridge at

Saturday, November 26, 2022

1900-1978,1994 511' Sharps Tunnel for Greenbrier River Trail/C&O near Harter, WV

(Bridge Hunter; B&T; Satellite)

"Opened by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway on December 25, 1900, and closed to rail traffic on December 29, 1978. It reopened as the Greenbrier River Trail in 1994." In addition to pedestrians, cyclists and cross-country skiers, this trail can be used by horseback riders and authorized landowners. [BridgeHunter]

The trail is 78 miles long. [wvtourism]

The south end is through solid rock.
1 of 4 photos posted by Bridges & Tunnels
Nestled in Pocahontas County, West Virginia is Sharps Tunnel along the former Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Greenbrier Division. Finished in December 1900, the 511-foot-long tunnel was part of the Greenbrier Division's extension to Cass from Marlinton. It remained in use by the railroad until 1978 when the line was abandoned. The former right-of-way was reopened for the multi-modal Greenbrier River Trail in 1994.
➤ Check out more photos and a history of Sharps Tunnel at
➤ Learn more about the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Greenbrier Division at our partner site, Abandoned, at

The north end needed shoring.
Photo by Sherman Cahal via BridgeHunter

Cass is in the upper-right corner and Marlinton is in the lower-left corner. 
1925 Marlinton & Mingo and 1924 Cass Quads @ 62,500

Friday, November 25, 2022

Cimarron Valley Railroad/Santa Fe Trestle over Cimarron River near Satanta, KS

(no Bridge Hunter; Satellite)

I found this bridge on the satellite by tracing the Cimarron River upstream from The Samson of the Cimarron. Since there was no water in the river, it was a bit of a challenge to follow the river on the satellite.

Richard Orth posted
‎‎April , ‎2011, The Cimarron Valley Railroad bridge over the Cimarron River got caught up in a wild fire. The bridge is few miles west of Satanta ks, and was quickly replaced.
The replacing of the bridge. Won't burn this time.

1975 Ryus Quadrangle @ 1:24,000

Five photos from American Concrete Products (amconco).  By using "precast/prestressed concrete bridge products" from this company, the railroad was able to rebuild the 900' bridge in  nine months, which was ahead of schedule.






The designer of the bridge was BNSF [amconco-CVRbridge] using the products of precast pier caps and...
These components are installed under traffic without disturbing the train schedule. Steel piling is driven into the ground through the existing structure and cut off to the exact height so the caps and abutments can be welded in place."

...prestressed girders.
"These girders are installed on the precast caps during a specified ‘change out’ window. This window is an exact time frame where the existing bridge is removed and replaced with the new concrete. The time to change out the bridge completely is normally less than 16 hours. The train traffic is back to normal speed as soon as the change out is complete. This is the key to the system. Minimal loss of track time equals little loss of revenue for the railroad."
[In this case they did not have to worry about maintaining traffic over the existing bridge.]

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Removing Four Dams from the Klamath River in California

1961 Iron Gate Dam: (Satellite)
1925 Copco 2 Dam: (Satellite)
1918 Copco 1 Dam: (Satellite)
1958 J.C. Boyle Dam: (Satellite)
The following two are not part of the removal plan.
1966 Keno Dam: (Satellite) Used for irrigation instead of power and has a functioning fish ladder.
1921 Link River Dam: (Satellite) Controls water release from Upper Klamath Lake and has a functioning fish ladder.

safe_image for The rebirth of a historic river
The largest dam set to come down on the Klamath is the Iron Gate Dam, standing at 173ft (53m) high (Credit: Dave Meurer)
The removal of four dams in the Klamath River, California, will be the largest dam-removal project in US history.
The simultaneous removal of the four dams, with a combined height of 411ft (125m), makes it the largest dam removal project in America’s history, according to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, the nonprofit tasked with overseeing the dam removals. It is also set to be the most expensive, at a cost of almost $450m (£340m). [bbc]
All that verbiage about fish and they don't even give the names of the other three dams. The generating capacity of the four dams is 8% of 2,208 MW or 177 MW. But it doesn't rain year round in California. The average daily output would be much less than this. (In fact, it is about 2 GWH per day. And the capacity is actually 169 MW. [pacificorp-projectacificorp-project]) So the loss of hydropower is probably not a big deal. (I finally came across a reference that specifies both households and watthours. Since 2 GWH is supposed to support 70,000 households, that means a house consumes 28 kwh per day. As a sanity check, I use about 17 kwh/day and ComEd does flag us as an efficient user. So I now have the conversion factor that a typical household uses 28 kwh/day) Another source puts the projects capacity at 154 MW. [KlamathWaterQuality-project]

But the article doesn't say anything about the dams helping California's chronic water shortage. How much water is pumped out of the reservoirs to slake California's thirst? And how prone is the river to flooding? In a LA Times article I found "They are not used for irrigation, they are not managed for flood control, and none has 'fish ladders,' concrete chutes fish can pass through." (Actually, looking at the satellite image, they did build a fish ladder. But I can believe it doesn't work because the channel to the ladder is practically dry.) Given the length of the article, the BBC reporter should have explicitly said they don't supply water nor do they control floods. If the article had said that, most of the Facebook comments should have never happened. People just assumed that California would not allow water to simply run into the ocean. But that is what it does, it just happens to make a little electricity on the way.


The J.C. Boyle Dam...produces more than half of the Klamath River hydroelectric project's power and nearly four-times as much power as any other dam on the river....
The key to J.C. Boyle's power potential is its design. The powerhouse is four miles downstream from the dam. A concrete canal and metal penstock carry up to 2,400 cubic-feet-per-second of water down the Klamath River Canyon and through a hillside. Rushing downhill through the penstock the water gains kinetic energy, which turns two turbines at the J.C. Boyle Powerhouse.
The J.C. Boyle Dam is proposed for removal in the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement. Some have said it should be excluded from the agreement because it produces the majority of the power and already has a fish ladder.
The dam provides no flood control or irrigation water.
[HeraldAndNews, paycount 10]
HeraldAndNews, paycount 10

If you pan to the right, you can see that the people in the BBC article complaining about toxic blue-green algae is valid. I've never seen so much algae on a dam reservoir before. Yet in both the above photo and in the satellite image, the left gate is spilling water. So the river has algae when there is a decent flow in the river.

Note the tunnel entrance in the upper-right corner of this excerpt.