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Showing posts from September, 2018

The Capital Region's Whipple Bridges

Squire Whipple is considered "the father of the iron truss bridge".  The civil-engineer's design for bowstring truss wrought and cast iron bridges revolutionized bridge building in the mid-19th century.  His 1847 book, "A Work on Bridge Building", is considered the "...first significant theoretical formula to calculate stresses in the articulated truss.' (1)

Most of Whipple's bridges were found along the Erie Canal as his bridge design replaced many older wooden structures.  Over time, Whipple's bridges could be found in single or multiple spans throughout Northeast and Midwest.

Four of Whipple's bowstring truss designs can be found in the Albany area of New York State.  The first was built and designed by Mr. Whipple and can be found off of Riverview Road in Vischer's Ferry.   The bridge was constructed in 1869 and crossed the enlarged Erie Canal at Sparkers.  Like many of the bridges built by Whipple or others using his design, …

History of the Big Oak Flat Road (Yosemite National Park)

This week I hiked much of what was the original alignment of the Big Oak Flat Road which is located to the north of the modern roadway.  Unlike the original alignment of the Wawona Road the Old Big Oak Flat Road is surprisingly intact.


The complete history of the Big Oak Flat Road including the original alignment can be found on a 2002 report from the U.S. Department of Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road.

U.S. Department of the Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road

The Big Oak Flat Road began construction east from the mining community of Big Oak Flat in towards Yosemite Valley in 1869.  The Big Oak Flat Road was constructed by the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company which had secured the franchise rights for a toll road to the Yosemite Grant (the designation prior to Yosemite National Park).  By the summer of 1871 the Big Oak Flat Road reached the northern cliffs above Yosemite Valley which is when the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company ran out of funding.  After the…