Friday, June 30, 2023

2008 G60 Zhuchanghe River and Hutiaohe Bridges in Province Guizhou in China

Zhuchange River: (Satellite)
Hutiaohe: (Satellite, Google Maps had trouble stitching the satellite images together. There is a tunnel on the west end.)

Both of these bridges are on the G60 ShanghaiKunming Expressway.

Zhuchanghe River Bridge

Highway Engineering Discoveries posted
Also Civil Engineering Discoveries Flickr and Eric Sakawski's photo in HighestBridges
Zhuchanghe River Bridge, 224-meter-high [735'] concrete beam bridge in China.
Zhuchanghe Bridge 朱昌河特大桥 Sanbanqiaozhen, Guizhou, China 735 feet high / 224 meters high; 656 foot span / 200 meter span.  A giant new prestressed concrete beam bridge, the Zhuchanghe River bridge crosses an extremely deep, V-shaped valley near Sanbanqiaozhe. posted
Zhuchanghe River Bridge, 224-meter-high concrete beam bridge in China. See More: [This web page claims it is a cable-stayed bridge, but I don't see that.]
Highway Engineering Discoveries posted again
Also wikidatapinterest and wikimedia
Opened 2008  Total length: 672m (.4 mile)
G60 ShanghaiKunming Expressway
"As of 2012, it is among the thirty highest bridges in the world." [I wonder what the ranking is among bridges that don't use cables.]
1 of many photos by Eric Sakowski in HighestBridges
"The Zhuchanghe Bridge plan follows a continuous arc that gives the span the unique distinction of being the world's second highest curving bridge after the Millau Viaduct in France."

Express Way Explorers posted
Zhuchanghe River Bridge, 224-meter-high concrete beam bridge in China. See More:
Highway Engineering Discoveries posted
Zhuchanghe River Bridge, 224-meter-high concrete beam bridge in China.
Satish Yadav: India's Chenab Bridge is 40 meters higher than the refill tower. [Whatever that means.]

Anele Ansary commented on the Express Way Explorers post
Not finished yet but rumours says it will be number 2 bridge height Msikaba Bridge) Eastern Cape
[I think there should be a highest for pier-based as well as for cabled.]

Hutiaohe Bridge

"The bridge is 1,958 metres (6,424 ft [1.2 miles]) and forms part of the G60 Shanghai–Kunming Expressway. It stands at a height of 209 metres (686 ft) above the river, placing it amongst the highest bridges in the world." [dbpedia]

GlabbCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

1:59 video @ 0:47

Image by via HighestBridges

Tunnels, Etc.

There must have been an accident in the G60 tunnel because this is the first time I have seen some traffic on a Chinese expressway in the rural areas. And this is just a small part of the traffic jam. Note the high ratio of trucks to cars.

Parallel 2016 High-Speed Railroad via HighestBridges

When I was studying the Zhuchanghe River Bridge, I noticed a railroad bridge down in the valley. This must be part of the 2016 high-speed railroad that HighestBridges mentions above. 

The expressway and railroad offer a good case study in the tradeoff of using a high or low elevation for the right-of-way in a mountainous region. High RoWs have expensive bridges whereas low RoWs have expensive tunnels. (The red line below is probably not the path of the tunnel. I added it to highlight the distance between the two portals of the tunnel.) The Zhuchanghe River Bridge is on the left side of the excerpt and the Hutiaohe Bridge is on the right side.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad (BPRR) Overview

This topic tripped my "twice in two days" rule. In fact, it was twice in one day. (The CSX abandonment request below and Ridgway, PA, depot)

I think of B&O as an east/west railroad that goes across the southwestern part of Pennsylvania. So I was surprised when I learned that B&O had a depot in New York. I found this map that shows that B&O had a branch that left their east/west route in Eidenau and went into the coal fields of PA and on up into New York to the Buffalo and Rochester areas.
Rumsey via Dennis DeBruler

The news article at the bottom of these notes shows that CSX must have already abandoned the east fork to Rochester because it doesn't say that the proposed abandonment of the rest of their New York track would impact towns on that route. But the B&P map shows that the segment from Ashford to Machias survived because that is how the B&P gets to the former-Pennsy route to Buffalo.
gwrr_bprr via Dennis DeBruler
[The BPRR gains access to Pittsburgh by connecting to the Allegheny Valley Railroad.]

The B&P has picked up other segments that CSX and NS didn't want. For example, it operates a former-Pennsy route that intersects its former-B&O route in DuBois, PA.

I found a date of 1974.
Raymond Storey posted
Greg Amerman: What year did this happen?
Dennis DeBruler: Greg Amerman I was wondering also. Then I saw it cite traffic numbers for 1Q 1974.

Towns or towers on this railroad that I have documented:
Evidently B&P has restored the former-B&O route that CSX asked to abandon because Springville is on the route between West Valley and Orchard Park. Even though that route is not on the above B&P map, a USGS map shows that route is owned by B&P.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Diverging Diamond Interchanges (DDI) and European Roundabouts


When they added a lane to IL-59 in west-suburbia Chicago, they rebuilt the interchange for I-88. I did not understand why this is better.

But a comment on this post explained why a DDI is better.
Highway Engineering Discoveries posted
Multiple Diverging Diamond Interchanges (DDI) are coming to Interstate 4 (I-4) as part of I-4 Beyond the Ultimate. These innovative interchanges allow about twice the traffic flow in the same amount of time. DDIs also reduce the number of traffic signal phases and allow motorists to enter the freeway without crossing oncoming traffic.
Will McBurney: The point is these intersections work specifically when two conditions are met:
- More traffic is coming from the highways than from the top and bottom.
- Traffic coming from the tup and bottom tends the flow one direction at a time (ie people driving towards town during the day and driving home at night)
In those two conditions, you get dramatically improved traffic flow

Those conditions are true for the I-88 vs. IL-59 intersection. The main reason for IL-59 in this area is to get people to and from I-88. In fact, a fourth lane of I-88 terminates here, and a second exit-only lane was added years before this interchange was rebuilt. And the two exit lanes are long because traffic trying to get off I-88 during the evening rush hour would back up so far.

Several comments said a roundabout was better. I could not image how they could be better for multiple lanes of traffic until a comment showed how the Europeans do it. That is a much more elaborate roundabout than I'm used to. As pointed out by some other comments, through traffic is not hindered by this type of interchange. I'm also learning that what we call ramps are called slip roads in other countries. Another comment observed that an advantage of DDIs is that they use about the same footprint of land that a standard intersection used.
Andrew Virnuls commented on the above post
It's the standard way of doing it here.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Branson/Old US-65 Bridge on White River at Branson, MO

(Bridge Hunter broke Mar 22, 2023; Satellite)

Missouri's Historic Highways posted
US 65 Taney CO south of Branson 1952

The railroad in the photo allowed me to determine that US-65 has been rerouted and that this arch bridge still exists downstream as a state road bridge.
Street View, Nov 2013
Street View, May 2019

Neha must have posted an old photo because it doesn't have the Branson Landing Blvd Bridge.

MoDOT must have liked open-spandrel bridges because the 1935 US-65 Bridge over the Lake of Ozarks is similar.
Missouri's Historic Highways posted via Dennis DeBruler

Sunday, June 25, 2023

2009 Sidu River Bridge in China


The bridge cost US$100m. [awayn]

Taoan Ma, Aug 2016

"It is said that if a person falls from the Siduhe bridge it will reach terminal velocity, meaning that there is no acceleration, the body of the person is falling at a constant speed; this is the only bridge in the world where is possible such a phenomenon." [LookBridges]

This photo confirms that the east end goes directly into a tunnel, and this bridge is another example of short backstays because they are anchored to a mountian.
The highest bridge in the world at 1,627 feet (496m). [Until the 2016 Duge Bridge.]
The main span of the bridge is 2,952 feet long (900m).
AtlasObscura, GLABB/CC BY-SA 3.0
"This highest bridge in the world [Until the 2016 Duge Bridge] spans such a great chasm that it had to be established using rockets."
Several sources have stated that the pilot line was carried across the valley using a rocket. One even said that a helicopter could not do it. But the source did not explain why it couldn't. Is it because the weight and lateral tension of the wire would be too great for a helicopter?

Highway Engineering Discoveries posted
Sidu River Bridge
Suspension bridge , China
Height 496m
[I made this photo small because the post is rather obviously wrong. This is a photo of a different bridge.]
Dennis DeBruler: I don't know which bridge is in the photo, but it is not the Sidu River Bridge.
Dennis DeBruler: I think the photo is of the Duge Bridge.

Construction started in 2004, and the rocket flew on Jul 31, 2006.
[Note the white bridge with the tall piers on the left. More on that below.]

reduper has three photos of the rocket. The first photo shows it was done near the completion of the towers. I'm trying to figure out how they caught the cable when it arrived at the far side.



They didn't use a cute box girder deck. They used an old-fashioned, heavy-duty truss deck.
17th of 19 photos in datajembatan
"The main suspension cable are made of 127 parallel wire strands bundled into a hexagonal shape. Each strand is made of 127 wires (also making a hexagonal shape so that there is a total of 16,129 wires in each of the two main suspension cables."

I wonder how often often base jumpers use the bridge.

Just walking across the bridge would be enough excitment for me.
15th of 19 photos in datajembatan

This gives a whole new meaning to the notion of a fear of heights: high above the world's highest (2009-2016) bridge deck.
Yang San, Jun 2016

This bridge is just the tip of an iceberg in terms of constructing G50 between Chongquing and Shanghai. Because of the tunnel entrance on the east side, I zoomed out to see what was happening.

I added a red line to indicate the location of the Sidu River Bridge. The yellow lines show the two tunnels in the area.

Here I zoom in on the concrete bridge that is on the east end of the western tunnel.

I presume this video is of that concrete bridge because it was in with the collection of photos for the Sidu River Bridge.
Mr Lawdar, Aug 2021

MRL/NP Twin Bridge over Yellowstone River Collapsed


Jun 24, 2023, 6:45am local time. No one was injured.

Dat Boi, Jun 2023

"Three cars with hot asphalt and four cars with molten sulfur fell into the river....Two cars were carrying sodium hydro sulfate, but neither had entered the water or been breached." [nytimes]

There is no expected hazmat impact because both the molten sulfur and hot asphalt solidify rapidly when they cool off. "Montana Rail Link said that two cars which contained sodium hydrogen sulfate, an acid salt, did not enter the water, and that initial air and water tests did not find any evidence that they had leaked." [cbsnews]

The yellow on the water surface was probably a molten sulfur leak.
1:31 video @ 0:23 in abcnews

This  view is rather redundant with Dat Boi's view above, but I include it to confirm that the near pier is tilted. Did the wreck cause the activation of the emergency braking system and the resulting longitudinal forces shoved the top of the pier sideways? Or did the high water cause the pier to tilt, and that is the cause of the accident? Below, I note that the piers are rather new. So, I hope the train braking is what moved the pier.
abcnews, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks - Region 5

All of the older photos I have seen show the river was drier than it was in Jun 2023.
The road bridge was removed in 2021 after erosion made it a risk to the public. [abc7chicago] At first, I didn't think I had the correct bridge because none of the accident photos included the road bridge.
Street View, Jul 2013

This Aug 2022 photo shows that new piers have been installed since the above 2013 view.
Lourdes Rivero, Aug 2022

The bridge carried a major fiber-optic cable through Montana. So high-speed internet was impacted for many of the customers of Global Net. [abc7chicago]

Saturday, June 24, 2023

2016 The First Beipanjiang (Duge) Bridge in China, as of 2023, World's Highest


It cost US$146m. "Duge Bridge is famous for its height exceeding Sidu River Bridge, setting a record for the world’s highest bridge."
The length is 1341.4m (0.8 mile) with a main span of 720m (0.45 mile). "The height of the bridge tower on the Guizhou side and the Yunnan side is 269 meters [883'] and 247 meters [820'], the vertical distance from the bridge surface to the river surface is 565.4 meters [1,855'], and the vertical distance from the top of the bridge tower to the river surface is 740 meters [2,248']. There are 112 pairs of 224 cable stays in the bridge."
In addition to World's Highest, as of 2018, it "was the world's largest cable-stayed bridge with steel truss beams." (I've noticed that most cable-stayed bridges use box girder decks.)
It shortened the travel time between Xuanwei and Shuicheng from more than four hours to less than one hour.
Highway Engineering Discoveries posted
World Highest Bridge
The Duge Bridge , also called the Beipanjiang Bridge, is a four-lane cable-stayed bridge on the border between the provinces of Guizhou and Yunnan in China.As of 2021, the bridge is the highest in the world, with the road deck sitting over 565 metres (1,854 ft) above the Beipan River. The bridge is part of the G56 Hangzhou–Ruili Expressway between Qujing and Liupanshui. The eastern tower measures 269 m (883 ft), making it one of the tallest in the world.

Photo via HighestBridges
Duge Bridge is "the first cable stayed bridge to ever hold the title of The World’s Highest Bridge." It also has "the third longest steel trussed cable stayed span."
[This web page has many photos, including a sequnce that shows how a travelling gantry built the deck from truss segments.]

Diagram via HighestBridges
"Today the Province of Guizhou is home to more high bridges then every other country on earth combined. By 2030 Guizhou will have more then 1,000 bridges over 100 meters high as measured from the road or rail deck to the water. Compare that with Italy which has the world’s second greatest number of high bridges with only 60 spans exceeding 100 meters in height. Of the world’s 50 super-high spans that exceed 300 meters from deck to water, all are in China except for 3."

Shakylsles CC BY-SA 4.0 via AtlasObscura
"Chicago’s Sears Tower would fit under the Beipanjiang Bridge with 400 feet [122m] to spare."
It is so high because "the designers kept having to move the final location of the bridge higher and higher to avoid caves and cracking in the karst mountains at either side of the valley."
(One of the sources said that the river carved the canyon in a limestone mountian. I learned while studying Hales Bar Lock & Dam that limestone mountians do not make good foundations.) posted
Construction of the World's Highest Bridge in China. See More:
Highway Engineering Discoveries posted
Bridge Construction in China
Dennis DeBruler: Duge Bridge, currently the world's highest bridge.