Friday, May 7, 2010

Big load coming

Back in 1985, the Corps of Engineers or the Coast Guard issued an advisory to navigators to be careful with oversized barge tows. It seems several boats in the Huntington area were pushing so many barges that other companies were complaining. I did a story, and the copy desk used the headline I suggested: Ohio River barge tows getting too big for its bridges.

This evening, Adam and I saw the first oversized tow in the Huntington area that I had seen for a long time. The mv. Jackson H. Randolph was coming down the river pushing 25 coal barges. By the way, they were loaded to a draft of 10 feet. I always thought the normal depth for a loaded coal barge was nine feet, as that is the official channel depth of the Ohio River. Lately I've noticed a lot of barges loaded to 10 feet. It's probably been going one for a while, but I hadn't noticed  until January.

Anyway, as seen from the Robert C. Byrd Bridge, this is the Jackson H. Randolph heading into the evening sun.

Here it is going under the bridge. I like this shot. This is such a handsome boat. The folks who ran the Ohio River Co. knew how to pick boat designs for maximum aesthetic effect, and the Ingram Barge folks know how to pick colors.

And here it is heading into the setting sun.

As the Jackson H. Randolph was going under the bridge downbound, the Stephen T was emerging from under the bridge upbound.

And that's about all I have to say about that. For now.


Anonymous said...

St Louis Shipbuilding built boats with very nice lines particularly the Ohio River Company boats.

Anonymous said...

You will see a lot of large tows this summer in the Meldahl Pool from Wheelersburg south.Helper boats are being contracted to help with the lockings.
You will see 30 barge empty tows quite often.
Boaters be ready to move if you are anchored near the sailing line.

ohio981 said...

Why is that, Anonymous?

ohio981 said...

Okay, I just saw on the Corps of Engineers vessel locations that the W.H. Dickhoner is upbound im Greenup Pool pushing 25 barges. Its last reported location was the dock at Mile 311, right below the bridge.