I am a lifelong amateur photographer and incurable tourist who has pointed my camera at a number of bridges along the way. Some of my pictures of bridges have accidentally become historic, as the bridges have been destroyed or altered since I photographed them. I am currently focusing on bridges in the Chicago area.
View from southwest, ground levelArcher Avenue Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Aerial view of bridgeSan Diego - Coronado Bridge (San Diego County, California)
View from southeastNCRC - South Loup River Bridge (Howard County, Nebraska)
I live in the area, and cross this bridge from time to time. It has certainly been in the news lately, especially after the Lake Shore Drive bridge partial collapse two weeks ago. As bad as its structural condition is, it is perhaps worse functionally - it's a huge bottleneck. It carries 10,000 trucks per day, a reason for both its physical condition, and its traffic congestion.
What is needed is a 4-bridge solution. Build two new bridges on either side of the existing bridges. Divert all traffic to them and totally rehabilitate the old bridges. With no traffic on them, this could be done really well. When done, keep the two new bridges as service/feeder/collector roads to keep the local traffic off the main roadway, and eliminate a couple of suicide merges approaching the bridges. The existing bridges are each already 3 lanes wide, which will be adequate for the mainline once the bad merges and local traffic are diverted to the new service road bridges.
A phased 4-bridge approach like this could both solve the traffic issues here, and preserve the historic but inadequate and crumbling bridges. This would be a win-win, compared to the proposed solution to tear down the existing bridges and replace them with new, wider bridges. This isn't just any road, it's Interstate 80. Complete replacement would be as bad as a failure - several years of a devastating regional and transcontinental traffic nightmare.
This bridge has been reopened thanks to temporary shoring holding up the cracked girders.
It turns out 2 out of 7 girders had broken at a badly corroded expansion joint. The weather the week before of 23 degrees below zero, followed by 60 degrees above, probably made the expansion joints move more than usual. But due to corrosion, they couldn't slide as well as designed, so instead the (also corroded) beams broke. This is pretty easy to see in the copyrighted newspaper photo linked to in my previous posting.
It was discovered by a city crew replacing traffic signal light bulbs. They saw it, knew it was not good, and called the engineers. They may have saved lives.
What is also apparent in the numerous photos of this incident, is that the concrete piers holding up this roadway are also badly deteriorated, with serious spalling exposing rebar to the elements. Poor maintenance! The failed approach span was built in 1986, much too recently for this kind of deterioration and failure. This whole affair had nothing to do with the original 1938 bascule bridge itself - it was all on the 1986 south approach span.
Makes me wonder if we're going to see more late 20th century bridges begin to fail, as they age much more quickly than older bridges.
All upper deck northbound lanes of this bridge have been closed due to "Incident with structure damage". A steel beam has cracked and failed in the south approach span, which was built in 1983.
Photo of damage in newspaper article: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-la...
C. Hanchey's nice photos led me to investigate further, discovering this bridge's fascinating history in the NRHP Nomination form. It appears that this was just a poor place to build a bridge due to repeated flooding and course changes of the river. The parallel modern road crosses the Gila River via a low water crossing, not a bridge.
This was welcome news when I heard about it on the radio last night and read about it in the newspaper this morning. Jail is a good place for this dastardly thief.
All I can say is that I am thankful for Nathan Holth's excellent photo documentation of this distinctive bridge. Link under "Sources". This incident should inspire us all to take more pictures of historic bridges, because they could be gone someday.
There's a lot of interesting material available online now, about the Silver Bridge Disaster. More than just Mothman. I have added links in "Sources" to Open University courses about the Silver Bridge and its demise.
Local artists in Point Pleasant WV are painting a section of the Ohio River floodwall to make it look like the bridge is still there, complete with a period car driving on it about to arrive in Point Pleasant. It's really quite an illusion!
Another piece of the bridge can be seen at a state rest area about 1 mile north of the bridge site on OH-7.
Photos 8, 9, and 10 are of a different bridge, the Bartow Jones Bridge (BH41918), not this bridge.
Actually an interesting bridge, even though it carries very little traffic today compared to when it was built in 1944. NR eligible due to association with World War II. Retains very good historical integrity, with very little maintenance having been performed. The roadway Ford City Drive (a.k.a. Keller Drive or 77th Street) is a minefield of bone-jarring potholes, which may be one reason it carries so little traffic. The state report cites a number of statistics about it, some of which like crashes will get worse when this bridge is eventually demolished and replaced with a longer left-turn lane at a stop light. A better solution for this historic structure would be to repair the spalling concrete and fix the potholes. That would improve safety, especially for Daley College students who use it for access to a main parking lot.
This is a nice discussion of bridge lighting, but the Silver Memorial Bridge carrying US 35 across the Ohio River is not lit. I am typing this in a motel room overlooking this nice cantilever truss bridge, and except for normal streetlights shining down at the roadway, it is dark.
BTW a favorite lighted bridge is the possibly doomed Blackhawk Bridge over the Mississippi River between Iowa and Wisconsin.
CN RR is about to begin reconstruction of the St. Charles Airline, currently used by both Amtrak and freight trains to traverse Chicago's South Loop. Note that this investment means that the St. Charles Airline itself will likely be around for quite a bit longer. The 99-year old bascule bridge over the Chicago River (http://bridgehunter.com/il/cook/st-charles-air-line/) and the remarkably long clear-span Indiana Avenue bridge (http://bridgehunter.com/il/cook/bh70163/) are not included on the list of replacements. But we'll lose some other very old, notable plate girder bridges. Next time I take my camera out for a drive, I'll try to document the bridges at Michigan, Wabash, State, Dearborn, and Clark before they're torn down.
From the South Loop Neighbors Newsletter (Chicago):
St. Charles Air Line to be rebuilt
Canadian National Railroad is about to begin reconstruction of the St. Charles Air Line (the railroad that runs through the South Loop at 1530 S). They'll be replacing overpasses built for four tracks at Michigan, Wabash, State, Dearborn, and Clark with new single-track spans that don't need any pillars within the street ROW. The centerline of the single remaining track will be moved to the north slightly in order to ease the curves at either end a tiny bit. All bridges except Dearborn will be Cor-Ten steel. The decorative ironwork at Michigan will be saved and-possibly-donated to someone who wants it.
Nothing will be done with the now-unused portion of the ROW, south of the active tracks, and the unused abutments will remain. Utility work will begin this winter, with most work being finished in 2019. The project includes moving the westbound control point to just north of McCormick Place, meaning trains will no longer idle next to Dearborn Tower waiting long periods of time for clearance to cross the Metra Rock Island tracks.
Now doomed, though there is a proposal to relocate it to Blackhawk Street. One more step on the city's plan to demolish all historic bascule bridges on the North Branch of the Chicago River.
This isn't in the U.S., but it's major bridge news. A busy motorway bridge in Genoa, Italy collapsed today during a thunderstorm, killing "dozens". This story is still developing, so follow the media for details. An eyewitness report said that lightning hit one of the towers, and then it fell.
Story, including video of the bridge collapsing: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45183624
Follow this story as it develops. We may learn more about the reports of repairs being underway at the time (Echoes of I-35W), and the original design of the bridge.
I just added that log bridge, with photos. I also linked it to this bridge as being "Downstream".
I just visited here. Not quite sure how to catagorize this structure. It appears to be part dam and part low-water crossing. The water level in the Mississippi River downstream of this structure is definitely lower than the water level of Lake Itasca, so it is certainly holding the water of Lake Itasca back. You can see that in the photos I just added. We can laugh as intrepid tourists hop barefoot from stone to stone, but this structure is actually fairly significant for controlling the water level of the lake and its flow into the river and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico.
You've got to love the "street view" which is from the river. Apparently Google put its street view camera in a canoe, and went quite a distance downstream.