Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Honorable James L. Oberstar on the Rouge River

So on Sunday, I saw that the Honorable James L. Oberstar was going to be delivering taconite to the AK Steel Plant in Dearborn.  I'm discovering that I like catching ships as they come up the Rouge River.  It makes for a unique setting and I think I will be happier once the Fort Street Bridge is cleared for pedestrian traffic.
 The steamship Ste Clair was launched by the Toledo Shipbuilding Company in 1910.  She would end up delivering passengers to Bob-Lo Island from Detroit for 81 years until the demise of the park in 1993.  She was declared a US National Historic Landmark in 1992.  She has laid fallow in that time and there are still decisions on her fate.  I'm hoping that some group is willing to restore her but that is looking more and more unlikely.  After spending some time at the Nicholson Dock, she was moved to this spot last year.
 The Dix Avenue Bridge is a highway truss bascule bridge.  With the replacement of the Fort Street Bridge, this is the last of this type of bridge in Michigan (although the Jefferson Avenue Bridge is similar but I suspect that will be demolished and replaced).  The bridge's designer was Hugh Young who was from Chicago which is why it is similar to the bridges in Chicago.
 Another angle of the Ste. Claire.
 The Dix Avenue Bridge was built in 1927 and renovated in 1989.  At that time the railings and deck were replaced but the Bridge retains much of its Chicago character.
 For the past few years, this bridge has been seeing heavier use than normal.  The Fort Street bridge was closed and the Jefferson Avenue bridge was damaged in the collision, this meant that the Dix was the only surface street bridge crossing the Rouge.  There are places where it is showing those signs of wear.  I suspect it is on the maintenance list.
 I really like the looks of this bridge and I hope they do a proper restoration.
 It wasn't too long before the Oberstar passed the Fort Street Bridge and appeared.  She was carrying taconite from the docks in Marquette to the AK Steel Plant in Dearborn.  She will probably make this run several times in the season.
 I never realized that I could get a headshot here but I suppose it makes sense since the ship has to turn towards the Bridge.
 I really do like the classic lakers of Interlake.  They are generally of a pretty nice design and it seems like Interlake takes pretty good care of them.  They don't seem to have the rust issues of other companies.
 I kind of like the sloped back look of her pilothouse.  It almost reminds me of the Sykes.
 She passes the Ste. Claire.
 And approaches the Bridge.  It seems like they had the Bridge open way before she arrived though but I guess given recent history, that's not a huge surprise.
 And she starts to pass the bridge.
 A shot of the rear of her pilothouse.
 Her hatch crane.
 I think they start removing the hatch covers as they pass Belle Isle.
 The front of her self unloader.
 I think this is one of the other parts of the mill.  Part of this may be famous because of the mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
 A shot of her stack.  On the top are the scrubbers that help her emit cleaner air.
 She starts to make the turn for the dock.
 I kind of like the setting.
 A cloud of seagulls following her as she leaves a wake of dead fish as well.
 A stern shot.
 One of the switcher engines for the mill.
 One more shot of her against the steel mill.
And I pretty much leave where I started.  I kind of liked the reflections in the water.

No comments: