Sunday, October 19, 2014

Trying something to see if it works

Here, I decided to use a timberhead at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington to see if its shadow could block the setting sun, allowing me to get a photo of the Robert C. Bridge, known locally as the 6th Street bridge.

Meanwhile, some of my friends and acquaintances are in Louisville for the big goings on there. They seem to be having a good time. I wish I could be with them. Maybe for the bicentennial. I'll be very old then, but it will be worth the wait.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

More on bridge tolls and such

Bloomberg has a story about how the Ohio River bridges project at Louisville could be a model for public-private partnerships for future infrastructure projects, as opposed to what happened when Indiana leased its turnpike to a private operator.

As noted here before, most of the high bridges built over the Ohio River in the early part of the 20th century, at least in my area, were done by private companies. Private entities operated ferries, so it was natural for private entities for build and operate bridges, charging tolls for the opportunity to cross, just as ferries charged tolls.

It's understandable that people who pay fuel taxes for highways and bridges don't want to be charged again to use a bridge. Believe me, I feel that way every time I drive the hundred miles or so of the West Virginia Turnpike. As far as curves and grades so, it's probably the most harrowing four-lane road I have driven, particularly at night. But at present levels of funding, there is no way the West Virginia Division of Highways could take over that road and maintain it without something else being neglected.

Also, there are about twenty miles or so of U.S. 35 along the Kanawha River between Point Pleasant and Charleston that need to be upgraded to four lanes. You have four lanes for most of the way with two lanes through farm country in the middle. That part of the road is dangerous, too, especially when you're driving at or above the 55 mph speed limit and the grille of an 18 wheeler fills your rear view mirror. Much of the traffic on the road is trucks moving between Columbus and Charleston. Locals don't want tolls, and that resistance is slowing down completion of the road.

I understand that people in northern Kentucky are resisting the idea of tolls on a new bridge to replace to take some of the burden off the Brent Spence Bridge. But with large bridge projects costing in the billions now, something will have to give.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I guess monsoon season is here

I went to the boat ramp to see if there was anything to see in the rain, and I saw that I just missed the Nashville Hunter. But I did get one halfway decent image of it going under the bridge.

I usually don't like going out in the rain, but sometimes you get some good pictures down by the river by doing so. In case you wonder, I did not touch this image other than to add the copyright reminder and to crop it in 16-by-9 format. Otherwise this is how it came out of the camera. It was a black and white world this evening here in Huntington WV.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Last batch of W.P. Snyder Jr. photos ... for now

I might catch the boat when it comes back upriver. Until then, these are probably the last photos I'll be posting from last Thursday.

M/V Alan P. Hall

Adam and I saw the Alan P. Hall as it passed Huntington yesterday.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

M/V Amber Brittany

If the Amber Brittany isn't the prettiest towboat working the Ohio River today, it's one of the top ten. Adam and I got to see it today, meaning we got a few pictures, of course.

Cincinnati bridge deteriorates

This item from The Cincinnati Enquirer is comforting.

— Years of inspection reports show that the high-traffic Interstate 75 bridge over the Ohio River is showing its age after five decades. ... The bridge has been deemed safe, but its deteriorating condition concerns some experts.

I've traveled over bridges with a lot worse rating than the Brent Spence Bridge. Granted, the Ironton-Russell Bridge had a rating of 3 at one time, although it's better now, and they still close it for safety reasons in really cold weather. And the Ironton bridge doesn't have nearly the traffic volume that a bridge in Cincinnati does.

Bridges are getting more and more expensive, and tolls may be the only way to get some built. That was how bridges were built a hundred years ago when private enterprise, not the states, built and operated them. I remember paying a dime to cross the bridges here in Huntington back in the mid 1970s even.

Time is cyclical. What happened before will happen again.

More W.P. Snyder Jr. photos

As the J.S. Lewis and the W.P. Snyder near Louisville, here are a few more photos that I got Thursday after they left the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam.

If I had the money and the time, I would be in Louisville this week. But that's not how life goes. Let me know if anyone has fun down there.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

W.P. Snyder Jr. ... and more to come

More later, including more pictures, but today I got to see the W.P. Snyder Jr. and the J.S. Lewis lock through Gallipolis Robert C. Byrd on their way to Louisville to take part in the Belle of Louisville centennial. Here is one picture I got from the day.

More to come later as I process them. It's getting close to suppertime. Adam and I will go look for the boats after we eat.

By the way, trudging up and down the river bank several times trying to get a good picture -- or waiting patiently for one -- is not easy when you also are responsible for watching an active 20-month-old that day.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Three more boats

A short trip down to the river turned into a long one -- particularly when I should have been home doing other things -- when I saw three boats, including one of my favorites.

First, there was the Holy Angel.

Then there was the O. Nelson Jones.

Finally, there was the Mary Ellen Jones.

While the O. Nelson Jones was passing, there was a pleasure boat out in the channel. It was pulling something that looked like a dock segment. Towing it, if you prefer, when a real towboat went by.