Friday, January 24, 2014

Chambers Creek Bridge 14: "The Real Skinny!"

I recently received an "anonymous" comment on my Bridge 14 article, stating "Apparently this bridge's days of up and down are over. I understand that the BNSF railroad has locked it in the closed position and is in the process of making changes that will make this permanent." (sic)

I asked for the "source" of this information, but received no reply. "Anon" comments remind me of my Late Dad's Admonition: "Do not trust a person who will not make eye contact with you."

Since Chambers Creek is a navigable waterway, as I  detailed in my original post on Bridge 14, it would require an act of Congress to change the status, allowing Burlington Northern Santa Fe to "lock" the bridge in the down position, thereby inhibiting vessel traffic.
It took me less than five minutes to find out the "real skinny" of this event. From the Federal Register,

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Chambers Creek Railway Bridge across Chambers Creek, mile 0.0, at Steilacoom, WA. The deviation is necessary to allow BNSF to perform maintenance and upgrade items to this vertical lift bridge in support of Positive Train Control requirements per the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008. This will require locking the bridge in the closed position and locking out the power to the drive system while the work is conducted. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed position for 45 days during the maintenance and upgrade work. 

Federal Law dictates that the bridge must return to its normal opening/closing protocols on February 19, 2014.

It is very important that folk post material on the Internet that is true, accurate, factual.  I've been writing this Blog for many years, investing thousands of hours in research.  A major problem I have encountered is the posting of inaccurate material, which is repeated like the "Rumor Game," amongst Blogs, Forums and Groups.

•  Once again, my sincere thanks to Dave Honan, allowing me to feature his nifty shots of Bridge 14; closed allowing rail traffic, open allowing vessel traffic.

•  Thanks for the story "heads-up" by "anonymous."

•  And finally a "heads-up" for duffers: Chambers Bay Golf Course, along the banks of Chambers Creek, abutting the BNSF main line, will be the venue for the US Open, June 18, 2015.

2 Comments - Click here:

Steve Boyko said...

What?! Not everything you hear on the Internet is true? How can this be? ;)

Great research as usual, Robert.

Posting non-anonymously...

kim said...

This bridge is the site today of an Amtrak derailment. Four cars went off the track just south of the bridge at around 2:30 this afternoon.

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