Friday, December 30, 2016

One more look back

If you work in the news business, you have to do a year-in-review article. That usually includes a list of the ten biggest stories of the year.

So what were the biggest stories on the Ohio River in 2016? The more I thought about it, the more I realized I could not rank them. How big the stories are depends on where you live and what you do. Starting from that, here are a few of the biggest stories of the year, unranked.

If you live in the Louisville area, the opening of the new Lewis and Clark Bridge has to be a big deal. By the way, today they start collecting tolls.

If you work on the river down in the Paducah area, the continuing deterioration of Locks and Dam 52 has to be high on your list.

At the end of the river, you have to vote for the problems at the New Cumberland Locks and Dam. The Pittsburgh District of the Army Corps of Engineers has posted a short piece on its website about what happened there. Longer term, you have continuing lobbying for improvements at Emsworth and Montgomery.

If you are more interested in the energy industry, three developments would interest you.

First, the startup of hydroelectric power projects at the Meldahl, Willow Island and Cannelton locks and dams.

Second, the continuing sell-off of coal-fired power plants by utilities in states where the retail electricity market has been deregulated. The Gavin plant at Cheshire, Ohio, is one of those.

Third, the continuing decline in coal traffic on the Ohio. More on that when year-end numbers become available.

Another nominee would be that Jeffboat built its first towboat at Jeffersonville in a long time.

Here in my area around Mile 308, the big story would have been the opening of the new bridge connecting Ironton, Ohio, and Russell, Kentucky. Undoubtedly there are other things that have happened that are big news locally but not so big elsewhere. Among those I will nominate the possibility of ferry service connecting the casino at Rising Sun, Indiana, with the nearby communities in Northern Kentucky, which is shorthand for the Cincinnati area.

Those are my choices. What did I miss?

M/V Linda Reed (three pictures)

Going through the photo files at the end of the year to see what's worth to share but hasn't been ...

Here is a photo spread of the Linda Reed that I got a few weeks back, as you can tell from the leaves on the trees.

The Linda Reed was upbound at Huntington WV when it encountered an AEP boat. At or near a marina, the Linda Reed had to alter its course. This was how it looked from shore.

I don't know that I had seen a boat make that maneuver in that location before.