Regretfully, my site has yet again been neglected. I have a mind boggling number of photos and videos taken since my last update, just have to find the time to do so. In the meantime, the above photo shows that 2015 has been another heavy ice year so far in the stretches of the upper Ohio River. I have numerous photos and a few videos too of area boats fighting the ice over the past few weeks, so stay tuned.
Also, with heavy rain falling now and the threat of a rising river, I have fixed the broken links to the Corps river conditions report and have also added in a few others that may be helpful in coming days.
With the W.P. Snyder Jr. returning to her home at the Ohio River Museum in Marietta, Ohio tomorrow, I figured she would be northbound through the area sometime today. I was told that the J.S. Lewis would have her in tow and hoped to catch them somewhere underway prior to the arrival to Marietta. I took chase this evening and ended up finally finding them making the turn at Hockingport, Ohio.
I hope to be in Marietta in the morning taking some additional photos, so stay tuned for more.
The Milton-Madison Bridge main span slide was completed yesterday. Would’ve been interesting to watch, but there probably wasn’t much to see unless you put it into time lapse format:
For those that are unfamiliar with the project, Walsh Construction decided to erect the new bridge on land, then raise it up in sections onto temporary piers built right beside the existing piers. Traffic was diverted to the new bridge while the existing bridge was demolished and the permanent piers rehabbed. Yesterday the new bridge was slid onto the permanent piers. At a length of 2,428 feet long, this is now the longest bridge span in North America to be slid laterally into place.
I went under this bridge last year on my way back home from Louisville on a boat trip last May. The old bridge is on the left and the new one on the right. I believe the old bridge span was just a few months shy of demolition at this point.
The former Richard Neale (renamed Kathleen Margaret by Walsh) has been working hard at this bridge site throughout the project. She can be quickly spotted in the time lapse above and some of the other time lapses of this project.
A few recently renamed boats have been running around the area, but it seems that they have orders to come through when I’m in bed. I guess I just got lucky.
Amherst Madison renamed the Escatawpa to George W. Jones III last October according to documentation, and I was recently able to grab a few shots after dark as they were handing off a barge to me.
In January, Marathon Petroleum purchased both the A.B. York and Ty Dolese from Florida Marine. The A.B. York has been renamed Canton. Luckily she has made a few trips up this way, but has yet to be painted up in the Marathon paint scheme.
The Ty Dolese has been renamed Galveston Bay, but she has yet to make it up this way for me to photograph.
Building tow for the Capt. Tommy Parrish last Sunday evening. Got a quick couple of inches of snow through the night, but luckily it had all melted away by the next afternoon.
The final stop on my ice scouting road trip was Kiedaisch Point Park near Hannibal, OH. There is no easy way to get there especially with snow covered roads, but the view of the valley below was worth the trip.
The Steven J. Mason was making the approach up into Hannibal lock when I passed through on my way to the park, and was up out of the lock shortly after I arrived.
The last shot was taken looking upriver with the now shuttered Ormet aluminum smelter to the left in the photo.
Wanted to share a few more photos of the ice taken back in January. Jeffrey Raike northbound coming past our fleet on January 26th.
On January 30th, I hit the road headed upriver to capture whatever I could in the ice. Had a perfect photo op at Newport, OH with the Mary Ellen Jones held up waiting on the Tennessee Hunter and D.A. Grimm to come through southbound.
Headed across the river into St. Marys, WV to capture the Mary Ellen Jones after getting back underway.
So what has been the biggest story so far this year on the Ohio River?
Probably the ice, and lots of it.
The multiple nights of sub-zero temperatures in January created a completely frozen river. Traffic kept moving as much as possible.
I took chase of the Steven M. Bryan on January 29th. Ice was packed in hard from Old Lock 18 to the Parkersburg bridges. Ended up taking him 2 hours to go 2 miles from our fleet to Old Lock 18. Not an easy shove.
He started making a little better time past the Parkersburg bridges. Ice wasn’t packed in as hard and there was actually a path still present from the last few boats through the area.
I took a few videos too. The Capt. Kirby DuPuis arrived during my shift on a Sunday night to pick up a loaded barge. Had to place it on his stern and move over a barge from his head to make them into a block of four. Ice was thick from shore to shore and not flowing. We found and made the best clear spot of water that we could, but there was still ice everywhere. Making up the box to box coupling between the two barges was most difficult as crews had to push out all the ice that I couldn’t get out with the boat:
Our boats running around in the ice at our fleet:
Just glad that all the river ice is now gone and warmer weather is knocking on our door.
Yeah…I know what you are saying. This is different.
It was over a year ago when I migrated my site over to a new server. Things didn’t transfer as they should have, and I truthfully didn’t have the time to mess with it. Started from scratch yesterday at 3 PM, screwed up and ended up deleting my first few WordPress installs. Hopefully I’m now on one I’ll stick with.
As for this site, I really don’t know the direction I’ll take. I can say it won’t be strictly boat photos anymore like it originally was. I have titled it “River Ramblings” for now as it will most likely become a mixture of some boat pics, news items, videos, random things that aggravate or keep me up at night, etc. I’ll try to keep it PG-13 and tied in with the river in some way.
To get the ball rolling, here’s the first new photo being shared on wvtowboats.com in 2+ years, maybe more. Yours truly at the sticks downbound above Marietta, OH with 3 loads and 10 empties in tow.