Sunday, March 26, 2023

Gloucester Draw (SUC) Bridges over Annisquam River in Gloucester, MA

1911: (Bridge Hunter

Modjeski uses the term Strauss Underhung Bridge. I use the term that I see more often: Strauss Underneath Counterweight (SUC) Bridge.

The original bridge was built in 1911. The 2022 bridge cost $100m. [MBTA]

Nov 2014 Photo by Ian Martin via BridgeHunter-1911



MBTA closed the old bridge in 2020 because of "unforeseen site conditions." This article lists other work that was done during the closure in addition to replacing the bridge.


0:45 video @ 0:45

0:38 video @ 0:06

These two photos taught me that the Strauss design that used a parallelogram of links has been abandoned. They now use the curved rack of the Chicago Style Trunnion Bridge.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

1825+1862+1918 Erie Canal Overview

"Built between 1817 and 1825, the original Erie Canal traversed 363 miles from Albany to Buffalo. It was the longest artificial waterway and the greatest public works project in North America. The canal put New York on the map as the Empire State—the leader in population, industry, and economic strength. It transformed New York City into the nation's principal seaport and opened the interior of North America to settlement." [ErieCanalway-history]

Google Search Results

Features for which I have written some notes, from east to west:
Map via SchenectadyHistory via Dennis DeBruler
Finch, p2 via NYcanals

Almost any of the links referenced will explain the economic impact of this canal on New York and the Midwest. So I'm not going to repeat it here. The fact that it moved the "big city" of the country from Philadelphia to New York is a nice illustration of the impact. And that the canal motivated Pennsylvania and Washington DC to build their own canals and Baltimore to build the B&O Railroad.
  • Stagecoach: two weeks
  • 1817-25    40' (12m) x 4', 90' (27.4m) long locks    83 lift locks    5 days   [EC-history]
  • 1836-62    70' (21m) x 7', 110' (33.5m) long locks    72 locks   [EC-facts, ErieCanal]
  • 1903-18    12-13' x 120-200', 310' (94.4) long locks    36 locks   [EC-facts, ErieCanal]  locks are 44.5' (13.5m) wide and clearance of 5.5' (1.6m) [Finch, p25 via NYcanals]
The St. Lawrence Seaway killed most of the commercial traffic when it opened in 1959. But today the New York State Canal System has an important economic impact on the towns along the canal because of tourist traffic. [NYcanals]

The 40' width in 1825 was at the surface. Barges passing each other really had only 28' (8.5m).

I record this as a feature that needs to be researched.
SmithsonianMag, Library of Congress
"In Little Falls, New York (pictured c. 1890), locks lifted boats more than 40 feet at the canal’s most difficult impasse."

I have needed an overview of the Erie Canal for a while. This 24:00 video (source) is what motivated me to write it. I think that what he calls the Potowmack Canal became the C&O Canal. He implies that it was built before the Erie Canal. His own dates indicate that is wrong because he puts the start date as 1828. The Erie Canal started in 1817 and was done in 1825. When he started talking about debtor prisons, I quit watching.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Navy Research Ship Petrel tipped over in a drydock in Scotland, UK

(Satellite, BBC said Imperial Dock but the first video showed Dales Marine Services, which is more consistent with the photos)

safe_image for Multiple injuries after ship tips over at Edinburgh dockyard
"NHS Lothian said 23 people had been treated in hospital and 12 people at the scene of the incident at Imperial Dock, Leith....Pictures posted on social media showed the 3,000-tonne vessel, which is owned by the US Navy, leaning at a 45-degree angle....A spokesperson for NHS Lothian said eight were still in the Royal Infirmary, some with 'serious injuries', and outpatient appointments, endoscopies and planned surgeries had been cancelled to 'free-up our surgical staff'....Iraklis Lazakis, from the department of marine architecture and engineering at the University of Strathclyde, said it was a 'very, very unusual' incident. He told BBC Scotland's The Nine he believed the strong winds were unlikely to be the root cause of the incident."
Several people had "thoughts" and some of them also had "prayers."
[The end of the article has some details about the ship.]

"A spokesperson from Forth Ports said the incident happened at the facility of its tenant, Dales Marine Services."

This is a follow up video that has three photos of the tipped ship. The previous video gives some background on the ship.
11:34 video @ 0:00

9:54 video @ 2:14

Thursday, March 23, 2023

1917 Lost Pedestrian SOC Bridge over Mattawoman Creek

The deck is 106.5' long, but just 4' wide. [BridgeHunter]

Image from Engineering News-Record via BridgeHunter

Douglas Butler posted
From NSF Foot Strauss Overhead Counterweight Bascule Bridge for foot traffic was removed in Indian Head, MD is removed.

Photo from Cleveland State University Book via BridgeHunter

US Navy Photograph via BridgeHunter

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

NYS&W/Erie SOC Bridge over Overpeck Creek near Hackensack River in Ridgefield Park, NJ

(Bridge Hunter; Satellite)

SOC = Strauss Overhead Counterweight

Obviously, it used to also be a road bridge. The swing bridge on the left was NYC, and it is now CSX.
Street View, Mar 2022
Nov 1977 Photo by Geoff Hubbs via BridgeHunter, License: Released into public domain

jag9889 Flickr has a good view the attachment of the of the counterweight to the rear of the movable span.

Jeffs4653 Flickr's comment confirms I'm seeing Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) across the bridge. As I expected, the bridges have notbeen  opened in decades.

It has recently seen some maintenance work. This work was funded by $4.3m from taxpayers and about $1.8m from CSX. [NorthJersey]
Street View, Aug 2018

When the swing span opened, it must have been awfully close to the bascule bridge. This bridge had a predecessor swing bridge.
3D Satellite

The NYS&W route was Erie and the CSX route was NYC's West Shore RR.
1935 Weehawken Quad @ 24,000

Photo via AgateConstruction via BridgeHunter

AgateConstruction, cropped

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

1909 Lost/(Ohio Electric and/or NKP) SOC Bridge over Swan Creek in Toledo, OH

(Bridge Hunter; Satellite)

SOC = Strauss Overhead Counterweight

Image From "The Strauss Bascule Bridge Company, specialists on movable bridges : Bulletin no. 3, Bascule bridges" by the Strauss Bascule Bridge Company. Published 1910 via BridgeHunter, Public Domain: Published Prior to 1923
Also StraussBridgeCo

Did the NKP railroad share this bridge with the Ohio Electric Co.? The reason for the question is that the topo maps label the route NYC&StL, which is the Nickel Plate Railroad.
1952 Toledo Quad @ 24,000

At first I was confused about why the NKP would be in Toledo because the NKP mainline was significantly further south of Toledo. So I consulted a NKP map. That reminded me that, by 1952, NKP had bought the Cloverleaf Railroad and that the eastern terminus of that railroad was Toledo. Note the Cloverleaf Yard in the lower-left corner of this topo excerpt.
Map via NKPHTS via Dennis DeBruler

Monday, March 20, 2023

MBTA SOC Bridge over Saugus River at Lynn, MA

1911,1989: (Bridge Hunter; no Historic Bridges; HAER; 3D Satellite)

SOC = Strauss Overhead Counterweight

"Significance: The Saugus River Drawbridge is a single-leaf Strauss overhead counterweight bascule which is believed to be the oldest known example of its type in Massachusetts. It is particularly significant for its innovative engineering design and association with a prominent bridge engineer, Joseph Baermann Strauss, whose company designed the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco." [HAER-data]

3D Satellite

5. VIEW OF DRAW SPAN CLOSED, LOOKING WEST - Saugus River Drawbridge, Spanning Saugus River at MBTA Railroad Eastern Route, Saugus, Essex County, MA


MBTA Commuter Rail posted
Here’s an eastbound (outbound) train being pulled by a 4-6-2 “P2” steam locomotive thundering across the Saugus Draw in West Lynn in early- to mid-1956. Today, this is next to River Works on the Newburyport/Rockport Line. This train’s likely destination is Marblehead or Danvers, now closed branches of the commuter rail network. These were some of the last routes to use steam locomotives before the full replacement with diesel.
📸: Russel F Munroe, Jr
Douglas Butler posted

Street View, Oct 2021