Archive for February, 2010

Waco, Texas

Waco, Texas, is home to many places of significant historical importance. For starters there’s the Dr Pepper Museum. And then there’s. . . well. . . Okay, so there isn’t much. But there is a bridge! Karen discovered it in the guidebook.

The Waco Suspension Bridge, the first bridge across the Brazos River, opened on January 7, 1870. At 475 feet, it was the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world. The steel and cables came from New York’s John A. Roebling, designer of the Brooklyn Bridge. (Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge began four days before the Waco Suspension Bridge opened.)

Some say the Waco bridge was the model or inspiration for the Brooklyn Bridge, but I just don’t see it.

Brooklyn Bridge with fireboat John J. Harvey, photo by Karen

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Please visit my friend Adam’s blog, Messing About in Sailboats, where he will be serializing a guest post from me about my experience in the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race.

Here I am at the re-start of the race in Qingdao four years ago:

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Movable bridges are made to move so that big things can pass underneath. In most cases those things can be made taller and taller, and they’ll still be able to go through open bridges (just so long as they don’t get too wide, which has happened with boats trying to transit the Panama Canal).

A link in the recent WaterWire (the e-newsletter of the Waterfront Alliance) led to a story about raising the Bayonne Bridge. Basically, the 151-foot clearance is too low for the new giant cargo ships to fit through on the way to Port Newark and Port Elizabeth. The clearance needs to be 215 feet. If something isn’t done soon, the ports will suffer. (If the bridge is changed, will tugster need to change the photo at the top of his blog?)

Last April, Karen and I took a walking tour of Bayonne organized by the Municipal Art Society of New York. Part of the tour was a walk over the Bayonne Bridge to Staten Island. Here are some of my photos from that tour:

Looking down through the Bayonne Bridge to the Kill van Kull

Bayonne Bridge up close

Staten Island approach to the Bayonne Bridge

Award for most beautiful steel bridge, 1931

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