Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fastest bridge? Not so fast.

Here's an article about construction of the new Ohio River bridge at Madison, Ind., being under way now. This part caught my eye:

The new span is expected to be open to traffic by September 15, 2012, making it the "fastest modern-day bridge built across the Ohio River".

I'll challenge that statement. The Silver Memorial Bridge was built in less than two years. It opened on Dec. 15, 1969, two years to the day after the Silver Bridge fell into the river. The Silver Memorial Bridge was built downstream of the old bridge at a new site, with new piers and everything. Siting, design, approaches, everything was done in two years.

This argument could hinge on what exactly you mean by "modern-day," but I think the first four-lane bridge built in these parts constitutes a "modern-day" bridge. Or it could hinge on exactly when construction began on the Silver Memorial Bridge. I'll listen to fact-based arguments that seek to refudiate my challenge.

A cold day by the river

I finally got to spend a little time down by the Ohio River today, but not much, as I had to be somewhere. But I did manage to squeeze in a few quick shots.  I hope to do some more leisurely but more focused shooting tomorrow or Thursday.

First, you can tell by the drift left behind that the river got this far up the the boat launch ramp at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington a few days ago.

About seven miles up the river, I saw the Buckeye State approaching the bend where old Lock and Dam 27 was until it was removed from the river almost half a century ago.

Heading back toward Huntington, this is the Lawson W. Hamilton Jr. approaching the East End bridge. As with the Buckeye State, flurries obstruct the view a bit.

Here is one example of the ice sculptures the river made while washing over various objects along the shore.

And this is the Lawson W. Hamilton Jr. heading down the river.