Under Harbor Bridge Summer 2018Under The Harbor Bridge. A quick road trip to my hometown July 2018 there was a few things I wanted to do. No touristy crap. Just sort of unfinished business. One of them was look closely at superstructure of Harbor bridge. I don't follow a lot of Corpus Christi politics and what not up here in Houston. But a local told me that the powers that be pissed away a lot of money refurbishing the structure a few years ago. Millions of tax dollars.
I have mixed feelings on that as I restore old American Motors (AMC) cars. Some have been rotted to ground but brought back to life only to win Best in Class when showing. On other hand...when I buy a old car, I like to walk around it like a dog fixing to have a nap. Over period of days I figure out best course of bringing it back to life, if at all, or parting it out. It is a unique piece of automotive history, but how much would it cost to restore, rotisserie or just bondo and stage one paint and what worth when done in any configuration. Same with Harbor Bridge. I was a little short of astonished to see rust painted over. This structure weighs 250+ tons I was once told years ago. Don't know if that is true or not, but probably weight more with our Rambler wagon going over it.
I hope those of you who like this bridge as much as I do, go sometime and park under it. Simply listen to the music of cars and trucks, people...passing above you way up there, it is really nice. Almost a rhythm. Like the Corpus Christi Cathedral where I went to school in 1960s, it simply looked higher then. Maybe I am taller vertically now. At least should be. But I could pick out all the bolts, pigeons, up there now. Never used to do that. The old bridge was a Wisconsin Iron & Bridge project about when I was born, late 1950s.
But time, hurricanes and especially salt have sort of taken its toll. So with somewhat trusty Nikon camera that the battery falls out of at inopportune times, I wanted to take some photos of pieces of bridge most people would not bother to look at. Because I might not get chance to come down again and by time I would it could be gone.
Photo #1 under the bridge near the Ortiz little place on south side looking upwards.
Photo #2 another shot different angle, the sound from cars and trucks way about is neat, go try it.
Photo #3 these big "X" as supposed to give bridge a little tiny bit of sway. But they are crumbling and imagine cost to replace and fabricate them now. I don't know if the old Wisconsin Iron & Bridge company still in business, and not like they have spares in their Batbelt Batman. Rust preventive paint does not fix problem.
Photo #4 One of the anchors of bridge. There is some rust rain drain here, and if this is anything like old 1960s cars I restore, this is like mice. Where you see one, there are probably more, so a educated guess here is that behind the steel and rivets and pivot, something else lurking. But for how long? I would have liked to inspect this a little closer, but wife said 'dammit, don't climb the fence!'
Photo #5 another portion of base, shows ERI, do not know what that meant. Coats of paint, lots of coats of paint, cover this area too. The big bolt at bottom of photo, this is as big as my hand, for some reason I thought they were much larger.
Photo #6, photo taken from Ortiz place western side of bridge, 97 degrees temp. Heat makes the metal expand, but anyone who didn't sleep thru W. B Ray science lass like I did knows that. This photo is like a ex wife, looks good from 200 feet. And the old bridge STILL (to me) looked great from every angle except when I started poking around.