Author Topic: Montana Bridge location help needed  (Read 1291 times)

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nkalanaga

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Montana Bridge location help needed
« on: January 01, 2014, 12:51:45 AM »
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This picture was taken from the Montana DOT's Highway Project webcam system.  This camera has been showing a bridge construction project in Whitefish, but today has a new image.  The index page doesn't show anything for it.  Does anyone recognize the bridge?


http://imageshack.com/a/img34/3875/5z2s.jpg

It looks like a former Milwaukee Road bridge, judgimg by the concrete approach spans.  As they didn't bother removing the catenary supports after the end of electrification, it probably isn't on the former main line west of Harlowton.  And the bridge doesn't appear to be usable, as the sag in the middle looks to be real, not an illusion. 

Any ideas?  The old Harlowton-Great Falls branch, maybe?  Were there any major bridges east of Harlowton?
N Kalanaga
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wcfn100

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 01:19:15 AM »
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judith river trestle


https://goo.gl/maps/W0X4D


Here's the problem.




Jason

nkalanaga

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 01:49:12 AM »
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OUCH!  Thank you!  The closest I've been to there is coming up State 3 to State 200, then west to Great Falls on 200.  According to Google there aren't any highways near there, so I wonder why the DOT has a project camera aimed at it?  Maybe the state is going to fix it?
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peteski

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2014, 02:00:34 AM »
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Hey, that looks like they used the equivalent of the 9 3/4" N scale sectional curved tracks!
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Scottl

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2014, 07:58:27 AM »
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I'm glad they used flex track when they built it!

aikorob

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2014, 08:56:04 AM »
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Any idea what caused that?

Scottl

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2014, 09:29:44 AM »
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Judging by where it is deformed and some distortion in the longitudinal view, it looks like one of the bents next to the stream has shifted, perhaps due to stream erosion or a slump of the bank.

C855B

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2014, 11:18:43 AM »
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Is this a current view? I can't find it on Montana DOT's site, or, rather, the one that looks to be in the area doesn't have this view in the tour. You have a link?

Part of my job was to manage these DOT cameras (other states). This one is clearly on a trailer in the retracted position, and this angle makes zero sense because it's not anywhere close to a road, much less a state road.

EDIT: Anyway, if this is right, then I will postulate that the camera is there to monitor a demolition project. There are, or were, several other similar trestles on this line. One I found was removed so long ago you can't even find evidence of the footings in the sat view. Judging from Jason's pic, they are likely concerned with collapse and deemed it a hazard in need of remediation.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 11:23:28 AM by C855B »
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wazzou

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2014, 01:36:00 PM »
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Any idea what caused that?


Unstable ground and Spring flooding that shifted some footings a few years ago. 
It's a former Milwaukee Road bridge on their Northern Montana branch lines, most recently operated by the Central Montana RR, mostly for dinner trains.
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nkalanaga

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2014, 02:16:51 PM »
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Mike:  You won't find it on their website.  I had the Whitefish Bridge project image bookmarked, and yesterday this showed up instead.  When I checked the "Projects" page, there's no project listed using this camera address.  They reuse the addresses, but apparently haven't added the project to the index page.

http://montanadotwebcams.com/static/s6latest.jpg

The index page:
http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/weather/rwis_list.shtml

Incidentally, they changed the angle, and now it shows a closer view of the damage, but misses the approach spans.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 02:19:01 PM by nkalanaga »
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C855B

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2014, 02:48:29 PM »
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OK, then they moved the camera from the Whitefish project and left the internal link alone. Portable cameras usually keep the same internal references, the "s6latest.jpg" link in this case, probably denoting "Portable Camera #S6". Looking at the snow accumulation, they may be concerned that snow/ice loading might push it over, there is no "project" per se, they just want to keep an eye on it in case it collapses.

IOW, pure coincidence you kept the now-non-public image link. These kind of hidden images are all over DOT sites like this, and I'll freely admit that I'm the perpetrator of many such "Easter eggs", mostly since it's a lot of trouble to change the supporting configurations through the entire operations system. That's a fairly new HD vidcam, by the way. Great resolution.
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C855B

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2014, 03:17:30 PM »
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FWIW, and speaking about these unintentional rail-interest DOT cameras, I started a project a while back to gather links to such pictures. I abandoned it after running into multiple DOTs (including some former clients) who contracted with a 3rd-party provider for their public web images, this particular 3rd-party provider working real hard to prevent linking to content other than through their web page. They were real SOBs to work with on the client side, so I was not surprised that they locked-down everything as much as they did on the public side.

Anyway, that insider rant aside, here is the link to my page with a few such active DOT "snapshots": http://www.everywherewest.com/Accidental_Railcams.html. Bear in mind I do not have auto-refresh on this page, and that some of the images, particular Nebraska, only update every 10 or 15 minutes.
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nkalanaga

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2014, 12:39:44 AM »
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One can also go to Montana's RWIS sites, on the same index page, and look for the Two Medicine Bridge.  There are multiple cameras there, but the actual bridge cam includes the BNSF (GN) mainline in the background.  When I looked at it today there was a string of autoracks in view.

Their Bozeman project cam looks like it includes the MRL mainline, but so far I haven't seen a train.  I only look once a day most days, so that isn't surprising.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 12:41:25 AM by nkalanaga »
N Kalanaga
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nkalanaga

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2014, 01:54:10 AM »
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I found a PDF of the agenda from the March 28 meeting of one of Montana's transportation agencies.  No information, but one item was a "rehabilitation project" for this trestle.  So, hopefully, they're going to FIX it, not tear it down.

Mike:  All of their project cameras are that good, unlike the road condition cameras.
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C855B

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Re: Montana Bridge location help needed
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2014, 03:47:40 AM »
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Interesting. You can certainly tell who has the pull in budgeting. Those environmentally-hardened hi-res cams ain't cheap, and neither is the bandwidth to get the images back to the server.

Good catch on the rehab project. I more or less assumed the line was doomed as I scanned the sat view up and down the line, and found a trestle "just gone", footings and all. Hmm.
...mike

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We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross