Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Swinging with Old Man River

I work on an island in the Mississippi River. I have my choice of two bridges; one takes me the long way, the other is less long. The less long takes me across "the Government Bridge."  It is a double deck swing bridge that allows barges to pass through the locks. It is quite a fascinating piece of engineering; it allows trains on the upper level and cars on the lower level and the whole thing pivots 360 degrees. The driving and walk way are steel grate allowing you to see Old Man River roll along beneath you.
This is the Government Bridge in the open position.  I find it facinating that this bridge can support cars and trains while pivoting on a central axis.  The red is the deck of a barge moving through the lock.

This is all good until the less long way becomes the long way when a barge comes along as it did twice today while I was trying to get to work and when I was on my way home. Unfortunately the 30 minute delay meant that I didn't beat the electrical storm and sideways rain. Sometimes I win, most of the time I don't. The rain meant that I had to put the iPod away which meant that I had to listen to an annoying ping sound that has been plaguing me for a while. This caused me to throw the Ogre on the stand and pull the wheel. I think the bearings are shot.

Maybe getting caught in the rain prevented future catastrophe. Who knows. I captured a small bit of video of the swing bridge close. It is a regular occurance and I always find it amazing.

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