Tuesday, January 23, 2024

M/V J.S. Lewis

It's been a while since one of my favorite boats has been on the river, but she has a new owner. As this is written, the J.S. Lewis is on its way to Neale Island at Vienna WV, having been bought from Amherst Madison. Here the boat is being pushed by the M/V Alabama as they pass the John E. Amos Power Plant on the Kanawha River.

Here's one in black and white as seen from St. Albans WV.

I look forward to seeing how C.R. Neale III restores this classic after having saved her from the scrapper.


Sunday, January 21, 2024

Three boats on a winter afternoon

 A cloudless sky and a bright sun made subfreezing temperatures bearable today I got these cold-hating bones down to the mouth of the Big Sandy River, where small pieces of ice came out into the Ohio and melted. And I got to see three boats.

First was the R.H. Beymer coming out of the Big Sandy before turning and heading up the Ohio.

Then came the Louisville. I had seen it was coming downriver, and I asked myself if it would stop and drop its barges at South Point, which it did.

And then there was the Stephen T, which also came out of the Big Sandy and headed up the Ohio.

I have a few other photos to process, but they might not be done before the snow melts and people lose interest in cold weather photos.

Sunday, January 14, 2024


 There's not been much to shoot down at the river lately -- meaning shots I haven't gotten a hundred times before. Maybe a boat that I've never photographed has come through, but other than that, it's been pretty normal here.

This evening as the day was ending I got this shot of the M/V Louisville.

This image has problems. The light wasn't great, and I shot it from inside my truck because the boat arrived at the park just as I got there and, frankly, I didn't want to spend a lot of time out in the cold.

I think of this as a practice run. Looking at the original image, I would have preferred to have more daylight. Having a late April or early May background with lots of green foliage would have helped. And I noticed some things to correct with where I place the camera and how to compensate for lens quirks that you don't notice until you look at the photo large.

This spring I'll go back and get a simlar picture in better conditions and with a little more planning, I hope.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Jennings Randolph Bridge re-opens

 I wanted to post this last night, but my internet service went down for a while.

This news release came from the West Virginia Division of Highways. My comments are below it.

(Photo courtesy West Virgiia Division of Highways)

CHARLESTON, WV – The Jennings Randolph Bridge, which carries US 30 across the Ohio River between Chester, West Virginia, and East Liverpool, Ohio, is scheduled to reopen to traffic this afternoon.
The bridge was closed on Monday, December 11, 2023, after a federally mandated inspection discovered cracking in two welds on the steel bridge structure. The cracks were not visible to the naked eye, but the WVDOH, in an abundance of caution, decided to close the bridge while repairs were completed.
The Jennings Randolph Bridge was built in 1977 using T-1 steel. At the time, welded T-1 steel was common in bridge construction, but it was later discovered that cracks could develop in the welds joining the beams. Cracks in T-1 steel welds led to the closure of the Interstate 64 Sherman Minton Bridge in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2011, and the Interstate 40 Hernando de Soto Bridge in Memphis in 2021.
Recently, the federal government required specialized testing on all bridges made with T-1 steel. Special testing on bridges made with T-1 steel has since been conducted on bridges all over the United States.
It was during one of those tests that a few cracks were identified in welds on the Jennings Randolph Bridge. Because the cracks could cause safety issues in the future, the WVDOH shut the bridge down to repair the cracks.
Bridge inspection consultant Modjeski & Masters identified 18 additional internal defects on welds on the bridge that needed to be repaired before reopening the bridge. Those defects on the bridge have since been repaired.

All four lanes are opening this afternoon.  Intermittent closures of the outside lanes will be required at times as additional repairs are completed.  Those repairs can be completed with traffic present, allowing at least one lane in each direction to remain open. 
With work continuing in all 55 counties across the state, the West Virginia Division of Highways and the West Virginia Department of Transportation remind the public of the importance of keeping everyone safe in work zones by keeping “Heads up; phones down!”

This reminded me of the Sherman Minton Bridge at Louisville, which was closed in 2012 for similar reasons. Some butt weld cracks had to be repaired. You don't know how hard it was for me to get those three words in the correct order.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

M/V Michael T. Somales, and that's it for 2023

 My final river photo of 2024. The M/V Michael T. Somales upbound at Huntington WV.

I attended the christening of this boat back in 2015 in Elizabethtown, PA. It was a good day.

Have a good new year, everyone.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Morning in Point Pleasant, Part 4 (the end)

 So after the M/V Charles T. Jones disappeared up the Kanawha, I walked around the Point Pleasant riverfront getting pictures of some things. I was about to leave when I saw some empty barges coming out of the Kanawha. I figured I'd wait and get some pictures, and guess who was pushing them.

As I watched the Dan Elder push its barges up the Ohio, I glanced back upriver and saw two tanker barges rounding a bend. My time at Point Pleasant would be extended for one more boat.

It was the M/V Catlettsburg of Marathon Petroleum.

And that wraps it up except for one more picture. I was joined for a few seconds by a curious local.

That's all for now.

Morning in Point Pleasant, Part 3

I was so focused on the M/V Dan Elder that I hadn't noticed the M/V Charles T. Jones had come up behind it.

If you look in the third picture, you can see the M/V Elizabeth Ann. Here are a few pics of it, too.

And there is one more set of boat pics I need to deal with before the account of this morning is done.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Morning in Point Pleasant, Part 2

Here are a few photos of the M/V Dan Elder at Point Pleasant the morning of Dec. 24, 2023, departing and heading up the Kanawha River.

More pictures from the morning to come, if all goes well. Next up would be the M/V Charles T. Jones.

Morning in Point Pleasant, Part 1

 I'll share details later. Let's say for now I seized a few minutes -- and I mean a few, maybe three at most -- to get closeups of the M/V Dan Elder at the riverfront park at Point Pleasant WV this morning.

More later. I planned to spend a few minutes there getting shots of this boat. I ended up spending more than an hour getting shots of at least four boats. These were taken with a phone camera. I had my good camera with me, too, but only one lens, which cut down by versatility, but I did get decent shots.

It was a good morning photographically, but a tiring one.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Early morning


The Map Runner heading toward the Norfolk Southern railroad bridge at Kenova WV.