Tuesday, October 31, 2023

1924 Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Bridge over Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, PA

(Bridge Hunter broke Mar 22, 2023; Historic Bridges; HAERSatellite)

"This bridge features a staggering 51 semicircle concrete deck arch spans, three more than the famous Rockville Bridge north of Harrisburg, a stone arch bridge that was the longest stone bridge in the world when completed." [HistoricBridges]

Street View, Sep 2023

"Significance: This structure is significant as a late example of a reinforced concrete arch designed by the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, and perhaps the longest such structure on the former P&R system. Its design, falsework, and construction embody refinements developed during nearly two decades of experience with the material. The P&R's bridge also provides an important contrast to a nearby Pennsylvania Railroad bridge, reflecting the differing design philosophies of competing lines." [HAER_data]
I presume the "nearby Pennsylvania Railroad bridge" is the Rockville Bridge.

HAER PA,22-HARBU,30--2
2. OBLIQUE VIEW, LOOKING SOUTH FROM EAST BANK OF SUSQUEHANNA RIVER. NOTE INSCRIPTIONS ON PIER AT TOP LEFT. - Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, Susquehanna River Bridge, Spanning Susquehanna River, North of I-83 Bridge, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA

The bridge is now owned by Norfolk Southern.
BrianSolomon, this webpage has more photos

MP Rail Photography posted
NS 275 crosses the former Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Bridge which sits on the Susquehanna River on the NS Lurgan Branch.  The bridge was completed in 1924 by the James McGraw Company of Philadelphia and has three more arch semi-circle spans than the Rockville Bridge to the north.  In the background of this photo the now abandoned Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge can be seen along with the Market Street Bridge.
October 5, 2023
Harrisburg, PA
NS 4457 - AC44C6M
NS 9959 - C44-9W
MP Rail Photography shared

Dennis DeBruler commented on the above share

This 1943 topo map implies that the Philadelphia & Reading became part of the Reading Railroad. Thus I use the label "rrAlphaEast."
1943 Harrisburg Quad @ 62,500

Metrotrails added
A train on the former Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Bridge over the Susquehanna in Harrisburg PA. The earlier bridge here was constructed in 1891, and the current structure encases some of the old masonry piers from the former truss bridge. The current bridge was constructed bit by bit from 1920-24 one track at a time by replacing trusses with concrete arches. There are a total of fifty one arches.
Seen from the Capital Area Greenbelt.
Mark Podvia: The old Cumberland Valley Railroad bridge can be seen in the background.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Brickyards along the North Shore Channel in Chicago, IL

South of Oakton: (Satellite, bounded by Oakton, Dodge, "L" and North Channel)
South of Touhy: (Satellite, bounded by Touhy, Sacramento, Pratt and Kedzie)

MWRD posted
A view to the south showing several structures on the National Brick Company property near Kedzie and Touhy avenues in Chicago on July 6, 1907. This property was near the path of the planned North Shore Channel, for which the Sanitary District (now MWRD) began construction in 1907 and completed in 1910.

Dennis DeBruler commented on MWRD's post
I included the gasometer that was south of the brickyard because I like finding them. https://clearinghouse.isgs.illinois.edu/webdocs/ilhap/county/data/cook/flight6/0bwq07041.jpg
Bill Meyer: That airplane directional message was pointing toward what was then Sky Harbor airport in Shermerville, that would become today's Northbrook. Airport long gone...

Dennis DeBruler commented on MWRD's post
I first found this clay pit. But then I realized that it is south of Oakton instead of Touhy and close to the O'Brien WRP. The railroad that went over the North Channel was the C&NW Weber Branch.

I presume the Oakton brickyard was the one owned by Barney F. Weber as mentioned in the following comment.
David Daruszka commented on Brian's post
The Weber Branch derived its name from Barney F. Weber who owned a brickyard. He founded the Chicago & West Ridge Railroad, that consisted of track but no rolling stock. It was operated under agreement by the C&NW, but was not part of the Mayfair Cutoff. It connected with the C&NW at Weber Yard. So Mr. Weber's name somehow become associated with the yard and the branch line. Information from the Rogers Park Historical Society newsletter "The Historian".

Sunday, October 29, 2023

1925+1951+2011 Térénez (Terenez) Bridges in France

(Satellite, 1,314 photos)

Note the suspension bridge in the background of this 2011 view. It has since been removed.
Street View, May 2011

I've never seen masonry towers before for a suspension bridge.

The original bridge was destroyed by the German army in 1944. This one opened in 1951. It had a main span of 272m. [afgc]
Street View, Mar 2011

Street View, Mar 2011

The curved bridge avoids hairpin turns on both riverbanks without requiring either a very high bridge (expensive) or very deep cuts (damages the beautiful landscape).

The 1951 bridge was built on the piers of the 1925 bridge. Cracks were developing in the concrete, so it had to be replaced. [StructuresAndSpans and afgc]

I was going to skip yet another cable-stayed bridge until I noticed that the towers are very asymmetric. And then I noticed that the towers were asymmetric because the span was curved. I'm glad I researched this one because it is interesting.
Highway Engineering Discoveries posted and Twitter
The Térénez bridge is a cable-stayed bridge, located between Landévennec and Rosnoën, Finistère, France.
It is 515 meters long.

I was looking for a better view of how the cables attached to the top of the towers and discovered that the 1951 bridge lasted until at least 2014. It was gone in a 2018 view.
Street View, Jun 2014

The pylons were built using jump forms.
Length: 515 m
Main span: 285 m
Height of the pylons: approx. 100 m

CSX/B&O Bridge over Maumee River near Sherwood, OH

(Bridge Hunter broke Mar 22, 2023; Satellite)

Chad Malinovsky posted
September 1999, Q110 is flying across the Maumee River near Sherwood Ohio on the Willard Sub.   This track was relaid in 97/98 in prep of the split and influx of traffic that would appear in June of 99.

Ron Schwiebert commented on Chad's post
Little different angle of your picture.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Chad's post
It looks like two out of six truss spans got replaced by steel girders and additional piers. https://maps.app.goo.gl/zgRWrH6hUzwwa6cu9

Saturday, October 28, 2023

1934 Lock and Dam #2 on Allegheny River at Pittsburgh, PA


There no longer is a L&D #1 on the Allegheny River.

The lock is 56' (17m) x 360' (108m). The dam lenght is 1473' (450m) with an uncontrolled spillway of 1393 (425m)'. Supposedly, it has a hydraulic height of 58' (18m), but it sure doesn't look that high. [gainesville and data.telegram]

USACE, Pittsburgh District posted two photos with the comment:
On this day [Oct 25] in 1934, Allegheny Lock and Dam No. 2 began its operations! Located on the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania, this crucial infrastructure was built to manage the flow of water and facilitate river navigation. 🚢 For nearly 90 years, it has stood as a testament to engineering prowess, playing a pivotal role in supporting commerce, recreation, and regional development. Today, we commemorate its enduring legacy and importance to our community. Learn more about the mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District at https://www.lrp.usace.army.mil/

[The road bridge is the Highland Park Bridge.]


Joseph Flickr, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)
Allegheny River Lock and Dam No. 2
This lock on the Allegheny between Pittsburgh's Highland Park neighborhood and Sharpsburg is the last before the river's confluence with the Monongahela to form the Ohio. This is one of the first barges I have seen on the Allegheny, although I believe there is still a steel mill located somewhere further upriver.

The USACE cut the boating season short in 2019 for a $6.6m project to fix the concrete on the land wall.
"The 87-year-old lock at mile 6.7 on the Allegheny River is the busiest lock for recreational boaters in the Pittsburgh area. It receives an average of 3,000 recreational lockages annually, according to the Corps. It also receives about 1,000 commercial vessels annually, the Corps said."

HistoricPittsburgh, PSS 23_B015_F05_I01, USACE, Public Domain, cropped
"Allegheny River Lock 2"   Date: Dec 9, 1912
[This must be the predecessor L&D #2 that was built between 1902-1908 at river mile 7.0. [USACE]]

HistoricPittsburgh, PSS 23_B052_F33_I01, USACE, Public Domain, cropped

USACE_NAVIGATION specifies the lock hours as "4 a.m. - 12 a.m." But that does not make sense to me. It is a good thing THAT I'm not a boater.

Friday, October 27, 2023

1913 Amtrak/New Haven Bridge over Shaws Cove in New London, CT

(Bridge Hunter broke Mar 22, 2023; HAERSatellite)

1. VIEW, LOOKING WEST, SHOWING BRIDGE IN CLOSED POSITION - New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, Shaw's Cove Bridge, Spanning Shaw's Cove, New London, New London County, CT Photos from Survey HAER CT-24

Since the bridge is low ("3 feet at mean high water and 6 feet at mean low water" [FederalRegister_shaw]), it must open quite frequently in the non-Winter months when the marina in Shaw Cove is full.
In fact, it sounds like they will stop an Amtrak train for a recreatoinal boat to ensure a maximum delay of 10 minutes from 5am to 10pm during the months of Apr-Nov. [FederalRegister_regulations]
The horizontal clerance is 70'. [WaterwayGuide]


Significance: "The Shaw's Cove Bridge is a forged steel rim-bearing swing bridge. It is a single-span, pin-connected Pratt through truss with thin diagonal eye-bars serving as tension members. It is significant as part of the transportation link in the shoreline route of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, and as an individual engineering solution to the need to provide dependable rail service while accommodating river navigation." There have been plans to replace it since at least 1983. I wonder what the clearance of the new bridge would be.  [HAER_data]

River Rail Photo posted
Sticker Cars. On the afternoon of Sunday October 8, 2023, Kawasaki built M8 9365 led Shore Line East Train 3645, seen crossing Shaw's Cove in New London, Connecticut on the way to New Haven, Connecticut. Of the more than 500 M8s purchased by MTA Metro-North Railroad and the Connecticut Department of Transportation, generally 12 are assigned to Shore Line East Service since May of 2022. These cars have their third rail shoes removed for clearance purposes and recently have had a "CT Rail - Shore Line East" sticker placed over the Metro-North logo.
[This train had just crossed the Thames River Bridge.]
Doug Kendall: Nice touch catching the Orient Point ferry coming in at right...
Phill Inokeechobeefl: Doug Kendall Actually called the Cross Sound Ferry I was on one of them every Friday and Sunday for years going to Orient to work on a Lobster boat from there.

The Cross Sound Ferry is a shortcut to Long Island.

Flickr photo

1:03 video, it is a looooong Amtrak train.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

1874,1978 Meldon Viaduct and 1970 Dam near Okehampton, UK

Vidauct: (Satellite)

The viaduct still has its original riveted wrought iron lattice piers. And its Warren truss design would have been bleeding edge in 1874.

Street View, Apr 2010

"Meldon Viaduct (bridge 613) was built in 1874....It was built with riveted wrought iron lattice piers....It was originally built for a single track railway, but in 1878 double track was required, so in effect a second bridge using welded steel piers was built on the east side of the original, and the 2 bridges were braced together. At various times in its life it was reinforced to cope with the weight and speed demands of the traffic of the day. It spans over 160m [525'] and is up to 45m [148'] above the valley floor."

This photo clearly shows the curve of the viaduct.
This curve explains why some of the reinforcements of the viaduct included adding weight to the outer trestle legs with additional concrete to resist uplift. [dartmoor] The trains going around the curve would produce a lateral force at the top of the towers which would torque the base of the towers. The valley also had high winds which would also produce lateral forces.

Random Railways posted four photos with the comment:
A few shots of the wonderful Meldon viaduct. Just West of Okehampton, Devon Opened 1874 as part of the London & South Western line Exeter-Plymouth route round Dartmoor. 
Double tracked in 1879. Track lifted 1990, now a walking/cycling path as part of the Granite Way




Alex Ainscow, Aug 2021

Meldon Dam

The Google Maps satellite image as the dam face in a shadow so I fired up Google Earth and found this view.
Google Earth, Jun 2018

A satellite caught it spilling water in Sep 2017.
Google Earth, Sep 2017

I saw this dam in the background of some of the viaduct photos, so I checked it out.

swlakestrust, cropped and FissPassApp
The reservoir has Wild Brown Trout.

You can walk across the dam and then take a trail down into the valley and under the viaduct, cross the river, and then take a trail out of the valley back to your parking spot.
[I believe this is the circular trail for which VisitDartmoor_circuit has a map.]


I could not find any dimensions for the dam.
1 of 4 photos posted by South West Water
Oh damn! 😍
Meldon Dam overflowing today [Mar 1 2020]💧🌧

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

1943-1957+1960 Peace River Bridges at Taylor, BC


The Alaska Highway uses this crossing.


Alaska Highway Bridge (1943-1957) over the Peace River (photograph looking south-west). 

"At approximately 23:00 on 15 October 1957, the Alaska Highway was closed by movement of the north anchor block of the Peace River highway suspension bridge, at Taylor, BC, Canada. The two north spans of the bridge collapsed thirteen hours later. There were no injuries."
"It was constructed by a famous American bridge building company, John A. Roebling’s Sons Company, under contract to the US Public Roads Administration (PRA)....When it opened in 1943 after only nine months of construction, it was the longest bridge on the Alaska Highway, measuring 647 m (2,130 feet) long....A car/truck ferry dealt with backed up traffic until the Pacific Great Eastern Railway gave permission to convert its rail bridge into a one-lane vehicular bridge. This stopgap measure was used during the two years it took to build a replacement. The new bridge, opened in 1960, still stands today."

Three of the photos from researchgate and from cgs that show the collapse:



Bridges Now and Then posted
The Peace River Suspension Bridge collapsed at Taylor, British Columbia, October 16, 1957. (Larry Evans)
David Cooper: Excellent illustration of the immense reserve of safety in steel structures. Here we have an "Ultimate limit state" (collapse) of the side span...but only the side span. The remainder has reached to and beyond any rational "Serviceability limit state"...but it still resolutely stands even though the towers (in particular) are grossly overstressed when compared with with design code allowable stress limits.

"The Taylor Bridge was built in 1960 and is 721 metres long....Current traffic volume on Highway 97 between Dawson Creek and Fort St. John is approximately 7,500 vehicles per day, 30 per cent of which is commercial vehicle traffic."
Engineering studies for a long term solution started in 2021.

bc_storymap, select The Five Concepts
The five concepts presented to the public for feedback:
1) Continue to maintain the existing bridge.
2) Extensively renew the existing bridge.
3) Replace the bridge with a 2-lane bridge that includes a bike path.
4) Replace the bridge with a 4-lane bridge.
5) Renew the existing bridge and build a 2-lane bridge with a bike path. The lanes on the old bridge would be wider because the pedestrian paths can be removed.
[My two cents: 7,500 vehicles/day doesn't warrant four lanes, but the lack of alternate routes in the area warrants the redundancy of two bridges, so I vote for the fifth option. It has the advantage of allowing traffic to flow freely while the existing bridge is renewed because the new bridge would be opened before the renovation. This should also make the renovation cheaper since the contractor doesn't have to worry about bridge closure rules.]
The fifth concept


bc_storymap, select Gallery

The BC province is spending a lot of money on bridges and light-rail in the southern (urban) part, but this bridge is not even in the 10-year capital budget. [TerraceStandard and EnergeticCity]