New vertical lift span
Photo taken by David Miles
BH Photo #100583
I took these November 27, 2015 as I was the only one working. I use to raise and lower the bridge on occasion. The task was originally assigned to Clerks who no longer work in the Pine Bluff yard. It is now controlled by dispatchers in Omaha.
If I'm not mistaken, this is the bridge with the unusual arrangement where there are six 239-foot long each lift spans, with horizontal movable towers (Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Americana 1941 edition). Am I right here, guys?
Just a little note on the bridge's operation: There is no bridge tender or lift operator on site, nor is the bridge's lift automatic. The lift is remotely operated by a Union Pacific Train Dispatcher in Omaha Nebraska. When a boat needs to clear the bridge, the vessel's captain radios the dispatcher who then operates the controls to lift the bridge. When the boat is clear of the bridge the captain calls back in and the dispatcher lowers the bridge. If there is a train on the bridge or closely approaching it, the boat has to wait a while.
Visited this bridge on Saturday 17 Feb 2007 at 5:45 pm. Getting close to this bridge was no easy matter. I tried various routes on dirt roads & levee's before I found on dirt levee road near the Lock & Dam. As one approaches the rails, the road is posted "Private No Tresspassing" but it is not gated and you can drive right to the AR river bank at the west approach of the bridge. This is probably the road that would be used by the lift span operator, unless this process is completely automated. This railroad bridge is very long and gangly, and has multiple configurations. A locomotive was towing a long string of railcars through the bridge when I arrived. Since I got there at sunset and didn't have a tripod, my photos are a bit off, but there is a lot of bridge here, for sure. Well worth seeing.
Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.