Friday, June 18, 2010

It's down

Okay, this is a long one, and it's not about the Ohio River per se, but it's close -- maybe a tenth of a mile away.

Adam and I went down to the Guyandotte neighborhood of Huntington, W.Va., today to watch an 84-year-old steel truss bridge be destroyed with five to seven charges of explosives. The blasts dropped the bridge into the Guyandotte River. Unfortunately, the cops who patroled the best viewing location when we got there ran people away, so we had to go to a place that didn't afford such a good view. We didn't get any photos of the blast itself, but we did get some pictures of the aftermath. And here we go. ...

The eastern end of the bridge rests on the river bank.

Removal operations begin as the mv. Anna S. of Ohio River Salvage takes a barge with a crane up the Guyandotte to the part of the bridge resting in the water. The Anna S. would back out a few minutes later and bring an open hopper barge to put the bridge steel in.

And salvage workers begin the process of cutting the bridge into smaller pieces so the crane can place them in the barge. Adam shot this for me as we drove on the entrance ramp to the East End bridge over the Ohio River. We walked up on the ramp later to get better pictures. Too bad I forgot to turn my autofocus back on, or we would have had some really nice ones.

More cutting work, this time as seen from banks of the Guyandotte.

Here it's lifted out of the water.

Once in the barge, it's cut again.

Why was the bridge closed to traffic three years ago? Probably because some of the steel beams that supported the roadway looked like this.

I liked the sound the water of the Guyandotte, swelled by heavy rains up in the mountains last weekend, made as it flowed through and over the side guardrails.

One more thing. I have no idea how this vest and this pair of gloves wound up on the banks of the Guyandotte.

Today was good practice should I have the cash to run up to Wheeling this summer for the demolition of an Ohio River bridge up there.

P.S. Tonight or tomorrow, I might post some video that Adam shot of the salvage operation.