Monday, July 31, 2023

1899 Trail/NS/Pennsy Bridge over Kiskimenitas River near Freeport, PA

(Bridge Hunter broke Mar 22, 2023; Historic BridgesSatellite)

Rich Tallis posted two photos with the comment:
The Kiski Junction rail bridge over the Kiskimenitas River. The rails will soon be pulled up and Norfolk Southern has already begun removing parts of the Wye and switches on their end. 
The signal has seen its last use when the scrap gondolas left a few weeks ago. 
The bridge bearings are expected to be repaired albeit modified for less weight than what a train would need for trail use.
Rich Gilbert: Is this the branch they reinstalled 10-12 years back for the mine? Goes north, the old AVRR line? Conrail pulled it up in the early 80s too if I remember.
Rich Tallis: Rich Gilbert Yes. Rosebud closed and reclaimed everything. The war on coal caused the type they were minjng to not be enough to pay the bills.
Neil Remsen: Did this railroad run a tourist train ride?
Brian Westgate: Neil Remsen yes
Matthew Cesare: I actually volunteered at the KJR when it was running and was interested in starting a 501c3 to get it operating again, but the owners weren't interested. Everything was in place. You couldn't have asked for a more perfect scenic rail line. I like rail trails too, but this could have been a much needed tourist attraction for the Pittsburgh area. The closest heritage lines are now at the Oil Creek & Titusville and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic. I real stab in the back!!!
Tim Shanahan shared
Looking south from the Schenely side of the bridge. Active NS tracks and the soon to be scrapped wye are at the other end.
[Since the bridge has tierods, I presume that it has at least some pin connections. (HistoricBridges confirms that it is pin connected.)]

The illuminated red signal at the south end of the bridge. Already an obsolete signal with the switches being removed.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Tim's share,-79.6669293,805m/data=!3m1!1e3?entry=ttu

Sunday, July 30, 2023

1928 10mw Coolidge Dam on Gila River near Peridot, AZ


Both 5mw generators where "closed" in 1983. [EnergyJustice]

Judging from Google Earth images, the water level in this reservoir is normally rather low.
Street View, Jan 2011
"San Carlos Reservoir is located at Coolidge Dam in Arizona and was constructed in 1928 by the Bureau of Reclamation for irrigation purposes. It is the largest reservoir in the San Carlos Irrigation Project, covering an area of 19,500 acres and with a capacity of up to 1,315,400 acre-feet of water." [snoflo]

USACE. Photo by Todd Cleveland, engineering technician in the Construction Branch.

"The dam is 250 feet high and provides over 900,000 acre-feet of storage, which is used to irrigate over 100,000 acres.  The dam consists of three reinforced concrete dome arches with buttress supports.  The dam includes two uncontrolled spillways which each contain three 50-foot-wide bays and inoperable 50-foot-wide by 12-foot-high drum gates.  The outlet works consists of two 250-foot-high intake towers with 8-foot-diameter conduits extending through the dam."


"This is the fullest it has been in five years."

Why is it missing the 2022 data?

Dam "limbo": how low can you go?
PinalCentral, Courtesy of Nancy Caywood (2018)


Back when the hydropower units were still used.
40. CLOSE-UP VIEW OF DOWNSTREAM FACE, SHOWING POWER HOUSE - Coolidge Dam, Gila River, Peridot, Gila County, AZ Photos from Survey HAER AZ-7

35. INTERIOR VIEW OF POWER HOUSE, SHOWING GENERATORS, c. 1928 - Coolidge Dam, Gila River, Peridot, Gila County, AZ Photos from Survey HAER AZ-7

50. VIEW OF POWER HOUSE CONTROL ROOM FROM WEST END - Coolidge Dam, Gila River, Peridot, Gila County, AZ Photos from Survey HAER AZ-7
Satellite, according to Google Earth, this was Jan 2016

I had to go back to 1998 to find a relatively full reservoir.
Google Earth, May 1998

The spillways have been used only in 1993.
9:00 video @ 1:05

Are they using the outlet pipe above, but the outlet is under water?
@ 0:53

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Trail/Rock Island Bridge over Spoon River

(Bridge Hunter broke Mar 22, 2023; Satellite)

Jim David posted two photos with the comment: "Freight train on the CRI&P from Toulon, IL to Wyoming, IL crossing the Spoon River bridge. This portion of the line was abandoned in 1963 and the bridge has been preserved on the Rock Island Trail. The first photo (apologies for the poor quality) is from the Roy Schmidt collection; he worked as a railway postal clerk on the CRI&P for many years."
Roger Kujawa shared
Dennis DeBruler shared


Dennis DeBruler commented on Roger's share

A B; Sep 2022

Friday, July 28, 2023

1825 Codorus was the first iron steamboat

Evidently, Robert Fulton made his steamboat with wood instead of iron.

National Canal Museum posted
America’s first iron steamboat, and the world’s first boat that was powered by a steam engine fueled with anthracite coal, was built in York in 1825.
The “Codorus” was built at the behest of merchants in Baltimore, who believed establishing two-way shipping on the Susquehanna River would give them access to resources and markets deep into central and northern Pennsylvania.
The “Codorus” was made of riveted sheet iron, flat-bottomed with a side paddlewheel so it could navigate the shallow and rocky Susquehanna. Launched on November 22, 1825, the “Codorus” was the first—and only—steamboat to ascend that waterway. Her destination: Binghamton, New York, 300 miles away.
Unfortunately, the trip took three months. The unpredictability of the river, and the many stops needed for refueling, showed that steam navigation of the Susquehanna was completely impractical.
What did prove practical for shipping on the Susquehanna? Canal boats. The various divisions of the Pennsylvania Canal turned out to be faster, cheaper, and reach more of the state than did the Susquehanna.
At least on water, mules beat iron horses.

Nike Missile Sites in Chicagoland Featuring Naperville (C-70) and Homewood (C-49)

C-70 Missile Site: (Satellite, it was not the namesake park, it was the office campus)
C-70 Barracks and Control Center: (Satellite, it is long gone)
C-49 Missile Site: (3D Satellite, it is not labeled on Google Maps, but it is now an Army Reserve Training Center [hfchronicle])
C-49 Barracks and Control Center: (Satellite, it is now Patriots Park)

Nike missiles were deployed in the 1950s to stop Russian bombers that would fly over the North Pole. The launching of Sputnik in 1957 made them obsolete because of the development of ICBMs (InterContinental Ballistic Missiles). But they were active until 1974. [ChicagoTribune] The missiles were stored in silos on elevators that would raise them for launch.

Nike Ajax missiles, REDSTONE ARSENAL.
Bell Laboratories, through its subsidiary Western Electric Company, designed the Nike systems radar and communication equipment In order to save time and money, the engineers recommended a system that was as simple as possible and based on existing technology, SMITHSONIAN.
[Two of the original low-power radar antennas are mounted on the roof.]

This was the high-powered radar, which was a later development.

The above must have been a development site. When deployed, the radar stands were taller and more compact.
hfchronicle, Photo from Homewood Historical Society

Nathan McMuir posted two images with the comment: "Remember the Nike missile sites."
[There are way more comments than I'm going to look at. But some comments about the Homewood site caught me eye.]
Charlette Moore: My husband was stationed at the one in Homewood, Illinois
Part of it was off of Halsted and another part was on 187th.


[Several comments explain what is now on some of these sites.]

I started working in northeast Naperville in 1973. One time when we were driving someplace for lunch along Diehl Road, someone pointed out where the Nike missile base was. So that is why I'm going to dig into the details of that base, which was C-70. I start with an overview because the missle silos (red rectangle) were south of I-88, but the control center and barracks (yellow rectangle) were north of I-88. I included the quarry that was in Warrenville because it doesn't impact the display resolution. Note that today's Nike Park was fields. 
Earth Explorer: Mar 1, 1962 @ 24,000; AR1VALM00010099

The missle site at the photo's resolution:
Earth Explorer: Mar 1, 1962 @ 24,000; AR1VALM00010099

The control site (on the west side) and the barracks (on the east side). I include Washington Street on the right to help with locating the facility on today's satellite maps. I also included the field boundaries north of Warrenville because, if you zoom out on a satellite map, you can still see evidence of those boundaries.
Earth Explorer: Mar 1, 1962 @ 24,000; AR1VALM00010099

While I was on a role, I also got an aerial photo that was ten years later. We can see how BP/Amaco built around the Nike facility and why that is vacant land today. I also included the former-Bell Labs facility in the northwest quadrant of Warrenville and Naperville Roads because that is where I worked. It still has the configuration that it had when it was built in 1967. That is significant because I had heard that the roads and parking lots were designed so that it would look like AT&T's bell logo. And indeed it did.
Earth Explorer: Oct 26, 1972 W 30,000; AR1VDCR00010440

I also dug into the details of the Homewood site since David Addison provided some details.
EarthExplorer: Apr 18, 1962 @ 24,000; AR1VAHU00020023

EarthExplorer: Apr 18, 1962 @ 24,000; AR1VAHU00020023

EarthExplorer: Apr 18, 1962 @ 24,000; AR1VAHU00020023

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Aban/Camas Prairie/Northern Pacific Wooden Trestle in Cottonwood, ID


Josh Schmid posted two photos with the comment: "Yesterday [Jul 8, 2023], I found this abandoned trestle on the west side of Cottonwood, Idaho. This was part of the Camas Prairie Railroad, the famous "railroad on stilts". While much of the line has been abandoned for decades, there are several remaining wooden trestles along or within a short distance of US Route 95 in this area."
Tim Shanahan shared


In 1924, the railroad was labeled the Northern Pacific. This would be the "3 span trestle" on the west side of Cottonwood. The "5 span trestle" could not have been very deep. I could find no evidence of it on a satellite map. It is interesting that this topo map doesn't have any contour lines.
1924 Kamiah Quad @ 125,000

In 1967, the railroad was labelled the Camas Prairie.
1967 Cottonwood Quad @ 24,000

By 1981, the new US-95 avoids the town. The railroad is still labelled Camas Prairie. Because US-95 avoids the town, both the 2007 and 2008 street car drivers did not go into this town.
1981 Cottonwood Quad @ 24,000

It turns out that this route was always the Camas Prairie Railroad, and it was jointly owned by NP and UP. [I lost the reference.] I've noticed before, that topo maps won't list multiple railroads if a route has more than one owner.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

US-98 Bridges over Santa Rosa Sound in Okaloosa County, FL

(Bridge Hunter broke Mar 22, 2023; Satellite)

Why am I bothering talking about replacing a UCEB (Ugly Concrete Eyesore Bridge) with a couple of UCEBs? Because I have never before seen the use of a steel framework to help pound pilings into the ground. And this is just for temporary pilings.
FDOT Northwest Florida added
Crews are constructing the temporary work trestles required for the construction of the new Brooks Bridge in Okaloosa County.
Although the work trestles are temporary, they require a strong foundation, deep within the ground. Here is a look at pile driving operations underway near the base of the bridge in Fort Walton Beach.
First, crews assemble a large auger (shown in the first photo) to drill 10 feet into the soil. This essentially creates a large “pilot hole” to stabilize the pipe pile as it is hammered into the ground.
The second photo displays a pipe pile being placed into steel framework, which acts as a template to ensure that the piles (30 inches in diameter and 80 feet tall) are placed and driven into the drilled hole.
The third picture shows crews assembling the hammer and placing it in the steel lead system, which will keep the pile and hammer aligned.
The final photo shows crews placing the crane-mounted hammer and lead over the pipe pile. With everything in place, the diesel-powered hammer drives the pipe pile into the ground.
Once built, the temporary trestle will provide access for cranes and heavy equipment to reconstruct the bridge over the Santa Rosa Sound without the use of barges. The $171-million Brooks Bridge replacement project includes constructing two new, parallel bridges that will increase capacity to six travel lanes from the current four-lane bridge that opened in 1966. Project completion is estimated for summer 2027.

The lower parts of the bridge over shallow water used concrete girders and the part over deeper water used longer steel girders.
Street View, Feb 2020

I think that green thing is a vibrator. Note the hydraulic hoses that power the vibrator. I presume they are driving the columns for the steel framework here.

FDOT Northwest Florida added

The new bridge will carry 6 lanes instead of 4, will improve the vertical clearance from 50' (15m) to 65' (20m) and widen the channel from 140' (43m) to 150' (46m). It has a budget of $171m, and it is expected to be done in mid-2027.

The permanent bridge will require driving 348 concrete pilings. To help reduce the impact of the noise, pile driving won't be done when the sun is down. [TheDestinLog]

The current bridge has "an average annual daily traffic count (AADT) of 66,000." [nwflroads]

Monday, July 24, 2023

1909 Virginian (VGN) Railroad Garwood Trestle (Viaduct) and Tunnel #9

Bridge: (Bridge Hunter broke Mar 22, 2023; no Historic Bridges; B&TSatellite)
Tunnel: (Satellite)

Jack D. Kuiphoff posted
(SEE & HEAR)---Norfolk Southern, NS C39's 8657-8638, on the ex-Virginian Garwood trestle, Garwood, West Virginia. July 15, 1988. Jack D Kuiphoff photo © video.
See this and the pushers working hard in my Youtube link.
[That view must be easier to get to than I would have thought because here is another video from that vantage point.]
Jim Carter: It is a railroad bridge. Contrary to the understanding of many, not all railroad bridges are trestles. Trestles and viaducts are both types of railroad bridge construction. Garwood is a viaduct. The Virginian Railway has many wonderful viaducts, all built by Virginia Iron and Bridge. All are 30/60 viaducts, meaning 30 ft. deck plate girder spans on the towers and 60 between. The only trestle construction on the Virginian main line that is still in use are a few between Mullens and Deepwater and the approaches to the two drawbridges in Hampton Roads, and the Tanners Creek bridge on the Sewells Point Branch.

I've mentioned before that I've noticed that the definition of a trestle vs. a viaduct is very controversial. In fact, I've seen someone state that only the steel-girders-on-towers design is a trestle. Which is not only exactly opposite of Jim Carter's view, but rules out the following design. However, I think everyone but that one person would agree that the following is a trestle. If I had seen Jim's explanation years ago, I would have probably introduced the "bridgeViaduct" label. But that it is too late now to be that precise. I did add "viaduct" to the title of these notes to flag that they contain Jim's comment.
Robert Billingsley commented on Jack's post, cropped
This is considered a trestle. Short repeating spans.

It still has a catenary from when it was electrified. Was Jack setting on another catenary when he shot his video?
Street View, Jun 2021

The VGN was completed in 1909 with grades up to 2.07%. In 1923, VGN employees went on strike because of health concerns taking steam locomotives through poorly ventilated tunnels at 7mph. By 1925, VGN had electrified 133.6 miles between Mullens and Roanoke. "Alco-Westinghouse EL-3As, operated in sets of three, could transport a 6,000-ton coal train at 14 MPH." The coal powered trains were just 4 to 6 thousand tons a 7mph. "The Norfolk & Western Railway acquired the VGN in December 1959, and by July 1962, the electrified locomotives were replaced with diesel locomotives....The Norfolk & Western Railway merged with the Southern Railway in 1982 to form the Norfolk Southern Railway (NS). The last revenue “Hill Run” traveled between Elmore and Clark’s Gap on October 9, 2015, and the Clark’s Gap yard was used to store coal hoppers until April 15, 2021."

Back when it was still electrified:
Mar 17, 1954

I lucked out, a quadrangle covers all of the electrified route. I put a red cross near the upper-left corner to mark the location of the Garwood Trestle. The VGN paralleled the N&W between Ingleside, WV, and north of Radford, VA. The VGN crossed the New River at Glen Lyn, VA, so that it used the north and east shore of New River while the N&W used the south and west shore. Now, I can't find either railroad in Glen Lyn.
1955 Bluefield Quad @ 250,000


A viaduct that is in the town of Covel, which is a little north of Garwood.
Street View, Oct 2008 (Satellite)

There is another short tunnel a couple hundred feet south of #9 and a longer tunnel a few hundred feet further south through the Micajah Ridge.

This is where I found the three tunnels.
1925 Bramwell Quad @ 62,500