Monday, May 24, 2010

Boats on the wall

If you work on the Steven J. Mason, AEP Mariner, Buckeye State or Detroit, you might like to know that my 10-year-old son, Adam, has a picture of your boat taped to the wall beside his bed. He has notified me that he plans to raid my stash for more pictures.

He will probably want the R. Clayton McWhorter, Linda Reed, Paula Ruble, Pamela Dewey, West Virginia, Mountain State, Charleston, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Ronald E. Wagenblast, Henry J. Soudelier III, George King, Hoosier State, AEP Leader, Jincy, Neil N. Diehl, D.A. Grimm, Bill Stile, MAP Runner, Speedway, Tri-State, Valvoline, SuperAmerica, Paul G. Blazer and Leonard L. Whittington, among others.

There will have to be at least one Dravo Viking, one Dravo 3200, one old St. Louis Ship boat, one more recent St. Louis Ship boat, one Jeffboat and one from Quality Shipyard, among others. And he'll probably want one each from Ingram, AEP, Crounse, Madison Coal & Supply, Campbell, Marathon Petroleum, Marquette and a few other companies whose names escape me right now. My apologies if you pass Ohio River Mile 308 frequently and I didn't mention you.

That's going to be one busy wall.

Final days for an old bridge

I had it in my mind that demolition of the old 5th Avenue bridge over the Guyandotte River at Huntington, W.Va., was to start today, Monday, but it looks like someone got a head start on removing the old pavement.

The bridge has been closed for several years, waiting for money for a replacement.

The shadow across the pile of asphalt in the foreground comes from the entrance ramp for the East End bridge over the Ohio River.

This bridge was built a gazillion years ago. Adam and I took a final walk across it on Sunday. We saw a lot of twisted and rusting steel members. I  told Adam that about a year ago, I went on the river bank under the bridge and saw a lot of support members rusted through and hanging down from the bridge deck, which couldn't have been good.

I hate to see old steel truss bridges go, but this one's end came long ago.

A renamed barge

Here's something I didn't expect to see, because it's something I never really thought about.

This is an AEP barge that was tied up at Virginia Point Park at Kenova, W.Va., on Sunday afternoon. The old "M/G" had to refer to M/G Transport Services, one of those long-gone towing companies on the Ohio River, like Union Mechling and G&C Towing. I remember M/G for having the white boats with dark blue pilothouses, and sometimes with nameboards that were almost impossible to read from shore without binoculars.

But I have lots of pictures of those boats anyway.