Saturday, September 30, 2023

US-431 George Houston Bridge and NC&StL Ferry at Guntersville, AL

(Bridge Hunter broke Mar 22, 2023; Satellite)

NC&StL = Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway 

Bridges Now and Then posted
A 1948 postcard of the George Houston Bridge across the Tennessee River at Guntersville, Alabama. (Marshallco)

Dennis DeBruler commented on the above post
The topo maps normally don't record the names of bridges. But these topos do. 1950 Mt Carmel and Guntersville Quads @ 24,000
The town is surrounded by water because of the Guntersville Dam.  The railroad ferry went downriver past the Flint River.

The ferry caught my eye, so I found its route. I don't remember another railroad ferry using the inland waterway.
1903 Gadsden Quad @ 125,000

As we have come to expect, today the road bridge is just another UCEB (Ugly Concrete Eyesore Bridge).
Street View, Jul 2022

Friday, September 29, 2023

2021 Shin-Aso-Ohashi Bridge in Japan

(Satellite, 1,460 photos)

This bridge opened in 2021 to replace a bridge that collapsed in 2016 due to a landslide caused by a 7.0 earthquake. [grapeejapan]


Highway Engineering Discoveries posted

6:49 video
New Aso Bridge, a Symbol of Technical Expertise in the Kumamoto Reconstruction

I have not found a photo of the old bridge while it was still intact.
@ 0:32

Not only did the landslide wipe out the bridge, it left a road and a railroad under a lot of debris. Also note that in the background that a smaller landslide undermined the road. I think the bridge in the upper-right corner among the text is the Aso Choyoo Bridge.



These four construction techniques helped trim 16 months off the construction time.

The landslide area is now a park.

Below this photo of a visitor center sign is an English version of the content.
M O, May 2021

kumamoto, p1

kumamoto, p2

kumamoto, p3

[An article describing the construction]

Thursday, September 28, 2023

1956 Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam in Minneapolis, MN

(John A. Weeks III; Satellite)

Note the Stone Arch Bridge in the background.
Street View, Oct 2018

John A. Weeks III
"It has a 24-foot head....The lock is 56 feet wide by 400 feet long, which is about two-thirds the size of a typical Mississippi River lock."
This photo "was taken from the 10th Avenue Bridge. This photo is only possible with the collapse of the I-35W bridge, which would normally block the view of the lock & dam. Note the nice view of the Stone Arch Bridge and the 3rd Avenue Bridge in the background. The lock and this section of the Mississippi River was closed from August 1, 2007 to October 5, 2007 following the I-35W bridge disaster."
[Note the collapsed bridge in the left foreground.]

John A. Weeks III
"The photo above is a view of the Lower Saint Anthony Falls Lock & Dam after the new I-35W bridge was completed. This photo was taken from the Northern Pacific Bridge #9 due to the observation area on the 10th Avenue Bridge having been closed after the new I-35W bridge was completed."

"Dam consists of concrete spillway 275' long with four Tainter gates. Abutment connecting to short earth embankment owned by Xcel Energy Company"
[The debris from the old I-35 bridge has been removed, and they are starting the construction of the replacement bridge.]

John explained that they studied installing a "linear turbine" next to the lock. It looks like the conclusion of the study was positive.

This is what the river looked like upstream before the dam was built.
Brian Marsh posted via Dennis DeBruler

ParkConnection via Dennis DeBruler

They are now thinking about removing the three dams in Minneapolis. So the above two views may become more common.
"The St. Paul District is currently studying the disposition of the three locks and dams located within the city of Minneapolis. The purpose of these disposition studies is to determine whether there is federal interest in continuing to own and operate the locks and dams. If there is no longer a federal interest, the Corps of Engineers is then directed to identify a viable disposal alternative, meaning the locks and dams would be transferred out of federal ownership to a local, state or federal agency."

Friends of the Mississippi River
If the USACE no longer wants them, should they be removed?

A rendering of the river if this dam were removed.
fmr_rederings via fmr_could_not_find_date

Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Historically, drydocks were concrete bays that had a gate at one end. A ship would float in, the gate would be closed and the bay would be pumped dry. They were called graving yards because originally that is where old wooden boats would be taken apart for the lumber. 

DeBruler-Sturgeon Bay

DeBruler-Newport News

For smaller boats, floating drydocks were developed. The drydock ballast tanks are flooded so that a boat can float into it. Then the water is pumped out of the ballast tanks so that it floats and raises the boat out of the water.
DeBruler-Chicago Drydock

And floating drydocks grew to handle ships.
Marine Video posted
The advanced base sectional dock used as a floating dry dock by the US Navy, repairing USS South Dakota at Apra Harbor at Guam. South Dakota was in need of drydock repairs after an accidental explosion on 6 May 1945 while She was rearming from USS Wrangell.
Donald Soper: She wasn’t docked because of the explosion. “The battleship’s orders directed her to sail to Guam for inspection and repairs of her shafts and strut bearings to determine the cause of excessive vibration at high speeds, especially when she made 23 knots and used 10° or more left rudder”. The vibration was severe enough to disable radar and optical tracking systems in the superstructure. For details about the explosion and vibration issues, see

This is in Oct 2023 because the museum ship is being refurbished. 
Steven Proto posted
Battleship Texas in dry dock.

Or sometimes you can tip the ship to expose what needs to be worked on. I have seen a photo of a Great Lakes freighter tilted so that they could do emergency repairs to the bow thruster.  But that photo got uploaded to the city in which it took place. And I now can't remember where that was. But here is another photo.
Stu Mac posted
The VLCC S/R LONG BEACH, 211k DWT. Tipped aft using internal ballasting, in San Francisco Bay. USCG/Class approved and safely performed so that a fwd, in-hull transducer box could be worked on from a workboat. Sure beat having to go to a large drydock!
Nyall Gonsalves: What would cause ‘damage’ to in hull transducer box? Are they under or on the side of these tankers?
Stu Mac: Nyall Gonsalves , Located on bottom. Can’t recall if it was water ingress or problems with the transducer electronics. This procedure was/is performed on numerous ships. Sometimes also tipped down by the head so that the prop, rudder, shaft seals, etc could be maintained or repaired.
Charles Brown: How is that not gonna bend the keel though?
Stu Mac: Charles Brown , Stresses all pre-calculated by computer and with experience and managed safely with ballasting, while also monitoring weather, tides, currents, etc. Actually far less overall static longitudinal stress than some of what she or other ships might encounter in very dynamic fashion during severe storms at sea.
Bruce Harsch: Odd not to to see a Bulbous bow.

Roger Stutler posted two photos with the comment: "M/V bilson in drydock."
1, cropped

2, cropped

Seth Jarett posted
Harvey, LA

Dave Gust posted
Newt Marine Service based out of Dubuque, IA is looking for an experienced marine mechanic to help service and maintain our fleet of tow boats. Check out or message me for more details. *I'm not a recruiter, I work for Newt Marine.

[Lost the reference]
"Newt Marine offers an extensive line of dry docking and ship repair services. We have two drydocks, with 60 feet between the wing-walls and a capacity of over 600 gross TN, we can handle most vessels." 

Large floating drydocks made it easier for the Navy to project its power across the Pacific Ocean.
MilitaryPhotoDepot posted
USS Wisconsin BB-64 taken in AFDB-1, at Apra Harbor, Guam, 5 April 1952. NHHC Image
David Dryer: Iowa Class Battleships  [Then that drydock can hold the biggest battleships that the US built.]
Frederick Selstrom: The drydocks came apart to fit through the Panama canal .
[Several comments imply this was AFDM-8.]
Alexandre Salgueiro posted
USS MISSOURI (BB-63) undergoing modernisation in the 80’s.
Brandon Hopkins: I've seen other sources that claim that this is when she was being maintained in 2009-2010 in Pearl Harbor. Note the guys in Hawaiian shirts, also how low the black line is painted since it's not got its full displacement as a museum ship and doesn't sit as low in the water. The cranes also match some video i've seen.
Either way, it's always amazing how big they look when they're in drydock.
Greg Moyer: My home from 86-89 as a BT. This picture was taken in Hawaii when she became a museum. I think 09 or 2010

MilitaryPhotoDepot posted
12/28/1944 USS Iowa (BB-61) entering and inside floating dry-dock ABSD-2, 28 December 1944. USN Image

Wisconsin, Missouri and Iowa are three of our four biggest battleships.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Trail/NYC/WKVY Wallkill Valley RR Bridge over Wallkill River near New Platz, NY

(Bridge Hunter broke Mar 22, 2023; no Historic Bridges; Satellite)

WKVY = Wallkill Valley Railway
By 1942, this route was owned by NYC. [1942 Rosendale Topo Map @ 24,000]

While studying the Wallkill Valley Trestle, I came across several photos of this bridge that is on the same trail. See Bridges & Tunnels for the trestle bridge for some history for of this railroad route and trail.

Katy Silberger Flickr, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
Wallkill Valley Railroad Bridge near New Paltz, NY
The Wallkill Valley Railroad, begun in 1866, reached New Paltz, NY in 1870. On December 22, 1870 on page 2, the New York Times reported, "A pleasant party left this City on Tuesday morning for New Paltz, in Ulster County, NY, for the purpose of attending the celebration of the opening of the Wallkill Valley Railway."
Eventually it became part of Vanderbilt's New York Central Railroad and finally Conrail. Passenger service ceased in 1937, and freight in 1997. The railroad tracks are almost all gone now, and around New Paltz, it is a 15 mile long park called the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.
This is the old Wallkill Valley Railroad bridge near Rosendale.

[This web page is a travelog about the trail.]

I could not find any elevation views of the bridge. Looking at a satellite image, the reason is that both shores are lined with a thick stand of trees.
This part of the trail was opened in 1993.
"Half of the trail, from New Paltz to Kingston, has been designated as part of the statewide Empire State Trail, which, when complete next year, will stretch 750 miles, running from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo."
New Paltz is a regional hub for trails. This trail has access to four nearby trails.

HudsonValleyOne, photo by Lauren Thomas
But this bridge was closed in 2016 due to safety concerns.

It wasn't fixed and reopened until 2021. [TimesUnion]

1872+1895 Trail/NYC/WKVY Wallkill Valley Trestle over Rondout Creek near Rosendale, NY

(Bridge Hunter broke Mar 22, 2023; no Historic Bridges; Bridges & Tunnels; Satellite)

WKVY = Wallkill Valley Railway
By 1942, this route was owned by NYC. [1942 Rosendale Topo Map @ 24,000]

The trail also crosses a truss bridge near New Platz, NY.

The trees in the middle obscure a pier. The span is not as long as this photo implies.
Street View, Sep 2019

Metrotrails posted two photos with the comment:
Metrotrails Then and Now Series: Historic early 1900s postcard image in Rosendale NY, featuring the Wallkill Valley Railroad trestle, compared to the same scene on our 2023 hike.
The trestle was originally built in 1872, and was replaced in 1895 with the structure seen here.
The road is present day Rt 213, built on the Delaware and Hudson Canal abandoned in 1917.
Lock 7 is where the first buildings are on the road, now filled in.
Metrotrails shared


Metrotrails posted two photos with the comment:
Metrotrails Then and Now Series: Historic late 1800s postcard image of the Delaware and Hudson Canal and Rosendale trestle of the Wallkill Valley Railroad in Rosendale NY, compared to the same scene on our 2023 hike.
The Rosendale Trestle was built by Kings Bridge Company in 1895 to replace the original 1872 structure, now Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. 
The D&H Canal was built here in 1827 and remained in operation through 1917 while the rest of it west of High Falls was abandoned in 1899.
Rt 213 is built over the canal here today.
Metrotrails shared with the comment: "Another then and now in Rosendale New York featuring trestle."


As expected, given its completion date, it uses a pin-connected truss.
Street View, Sep 2023

"At the time of its completion, it boasted the highest span of any bridge in the nation, costing $250,000 to construct." The route was abandoned in 1982 and opened as a trail in 2013.
[This web page has an extensive history of the bridge.]

"150 feet high [46m], 940 feet [287m] long"
[This web page has directions to the parking lot for the trailhead of the bridge.]

The trail has a nice surface.
[This web page has several more photos.]

The handrails are high enough to help protect bikers.

12:04 video of the trestle via hbtrails, I skipped to the history part.