BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 19

This Pic of the Week takes us to Minnesota, where I was born and raised, and to another bridge used for target practice: The Broadway Avenue Bridge, spanning the Minnesota River, carrying MN Hwy. 99 in St. Peter, located 13 miles (26 km) northeast of Mankato.

Built in 1931, the 400-foot long span features Siamese Pennsylvania through truss spans, molded together to make it one span. The Howe-lattice portal bracings are skewed by 10°. The bridge was rehabbed recently, as a new coat of paint was added, along with new decking and lighting. Yet despite this, the bridge looks somewhat the same as before, minus the color change. Have a look at the difference and see what you think. I’ve stopped at the bridge at least five times for a photo opp. The shot taken before the rehab was in 2013. The shot after the rehab was in July 2018, six months after the rehab was completed. Enjoy! 🙂

Before

 

After

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You can click on the link above to see what else they have done to see for yourself. 🙂

 

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Mystery Bridge Nr. 105: An Abandoned Wooden Stringer Span on Route 66

Route 66, the Mother Road that connected Chicago with Los Angeles, is one of the main features that makes America great in the eyes of the tourist for many reasons. From monuments to restaurants; people to bridges….

…..and in particular, abandoned bridges like this one.

This mystery bridge was discovered by Roamin Rich in 2014, spanning the San Jose Rio River near Grants, New Mexico. Records have it dated to 1926 as the construction date of this wooden stringer span. Yet as Rich mentioned on this video enclosed below, there is a lot to know about the bridge- in particular, who built it, how long did it serve traffic until it was bypassed by another bridge on a new alignment and how long has it heed abandoned. Have a look at the video and feel free to comment:

 

Good luck! 🙂

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Spectacular Bridge Falls- The Top 10 and Film

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In connection with the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, Italy, a couple of videos came to mind that I came across recently. Prior to the disaster, there has been a debate as to determining which bridge disasters should be in the top 10, for there are several sources that have their own set- be it in terms of history, natural disasters or even structural failures. Here are a couple examples of bridge disasters that feature the top 10 prior to the Genoa disaster. The first one focuses on disasters in terms of structural failure combined with history.

 

This video focuses on natural disasters and bridge failures, originating from Russia…..

Now here is the homework assignment for you: How would you rank your top 10 bridge disasters? What criteria would you set before finding your ten best examples? Would your focus be on the international stage or would you prefer local examples? And would you agree that your top 10 would be based on natural disasters, structural failures, both or neither of them?

Have a look at the videos and then look for your top ten bridge collapses. You may comment here or on the Chronicles’ facebook page.

Good luck! 🙂

 

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BHC Photo of the Week Nr. 14

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This Bridge Photo of the Week keeps us at Niagara Falls but takes us north to the Whirlpool Rapids Bridges. They span the Niagara River south of the Rapids at the US/ Canada border. They are both deck arches with Pratt truss features. Yet the question is, ignoring the photo taken in black and white, which one is older, and which one is still open to traffic?

Before going further, I’ll let you debate over this. The answer will come when the tour guide on the bridges of the Niagara Falls comes out before the end of the year. 🙂

 

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BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 10

Our next pic of the week is also a throwback dating back to almost a decade ago. This pic was taken at sundown at the Arial Lift Bridge in Duluth, Minnesota in September 2009. It was during that time we celebrated our last day in the States with a couple friends from the Mille Lacs region and we decided to take a day trip up north to see the city, its beautiful landscape and pieces of history that are typical of the city. The Arial Lift Bridge was one of those landmarks. Built as a transporter bridge in 1905, it was converted to a vertical lift bridge in 1930 and hs functioned in its original form ever since. For more details, click here. Nevertheless, the bridge still serves as a gateway to the Great Lakes Region , where ships start their journey through the five largest lakes in the United States before continuing along the St. Lawrence River and into the Atlantic Ocean.

And with that marks the start of the weekend. 🙂  Enjoy the pics and the information on the bridge. If you want to know more about the rest of Duluth’s bridges, click on this link.

 

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Sunset at Tappan Zee Bridge in New York

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If one has to go, it should go gracefully. It should go off into the sunset, foot-by-foot, mile by mile and in the case of the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York City, bit by bit.

Fellow pontist and photographer Dan Murphy had an opportunity recently to take a photo of both the new bridge and the old one, spanning the Hudson River connecting New York with New Jersey, and with that, the suburbs on both sides. The new structure, a pair of cable-stayed suspension bridges, whose towers are V-shaped are now opened to all traffic, providing a key connection to the Big Apple and other key areas along the East Coast and into New England via Thruway.  The old structure, a 1954 steel cantilever through truss bridge with Warren truss design is slowly disappearing into the sunset.

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And as one can see much more clearly, work has already begun taking apart the cantilever bridge itself after removing several deck truss spans, one by one.

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The old bridge is scheduled to disappear into the sunset by the end of this year. However, not everything will be scrapped, recycled and reused for other purposes. The bridge will be reused in multiple sections in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which includes the City of Pittsburgh. How and where they will be reused is unknown. It is known that the bridge will disppear with the setting sun soon. And with that, a piece of history that will be seen in the history books, unless one wishes to see sections of them in Steelers country.  😉

Special thanks to Dan Murphy for allowing use of the photos to be posted. More can be seen in the Bridges page on facebook.  To learn more about the Tappan Zee Bridge, check out this article here.

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Mystery Bridge Nr. 97: The Unknown Truss Bridge at Westword (Iowa)

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The best historic bridges are the ones that are unknown, undocumented and undiscovered, for they are the ones itching to be researched by those who are interested.

A couple weeks ago, as I was looking for some information on another bridge, I happened to stumble on this rather unknown historic bridge by accident. And while this bridge was filed by bridgehunter.com, this historic Iowa structure is very unknown. No historian, like the late James Hippen has touched it. No agency like IowaDOT and Henry County has mentioned it, yet. No information was ever recorded in any historic bridge or building survey. However when this gets out, many historians and bridge lovers will flock to it for pictures to be posted in the social media, the portal that is the most appropriate location to share information and discuss this.

The bridge at hand is a through truss bridge spanning the old channel of the Skunk River. Its exact location is in the Westwood district, a mile west of Mount Pleasant. It is a quarter mile south of the old Hwy. 34, a quarter mile east of Franklin Avenue (County Highway W55) and a half mile northwest of the Henry County Quarry. It used to carry what is now Graham Avenue, which ends 500 feet east of the bridge. Judging by the bird’s eye perspective via Google Map, the bridge appears to have 5-8 panels and pinned connections. Looking at it more closely, it appears to be a Pratt truss. It has been abandoned for many years but may have been fenced off to keep people from approaching the structure (and crossing private property), which would explain why the bridge has been untouched for that long of time.

And that is all we know of the bridge. We have no further information about its appearance up-close, meaning its portal view, truss type, its connections, builder’s plaques and even its total dimensions. Furthermore, we have no information about its history, which is very important as we would like to know whether or not it is elgible for the National Register of Historic Places. We basically know absolutely nothing about the bridge, except for its location. We just know that the river was channeled a century ago to straighten it out and protect the area from flooding. But the rest is completely open for research.

What do we know about the bridge? What does it look like? What about its history?

Comment via mail, in the comment section both here or on the Chronicles’ facebook page. A photo folder will be made for photos of this bridge should you decide to visit the bridge. The main thing is whether the bridge is historically significant to join Oakland Mills Bridge on the National Register of Historic Places.

Can you answer any of these questions and provide some stories and photos? If so, we are ready to read them. Thank you for your help. 🙂

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