We launched the Bi-Polar Express into the Monongahela River at the Carousel Marina near the small town of Bunola. Our goal is to enjoy the three rivers around Pittsburgh before heading down the Ohio to Cincinnati.
On Wednesday we headed up the Monongahela river to lock four. Lock four is closed for repairs.
We saw a lot of old abandoned structures along the river bank, indicators of "the rust belt." It was perplexing to figure out what some of it was.
This is lock four, just north of where the I-70 bridge crosses the Monongahela. These repairs have stopped all barge traffic for several weeks.
A working tug. "What the...."
A working tug.
A West Penn Power plant.
Multiple cranes include clam shell cranes for unloading coal, sand, etc. from barges onto trucks or hoppers.
Friday. Leaving the Carousel Marina and heading north (downriver) to Pittsburgh.
A heavy duty crane loading rolled steel from the barge onto a semi flatbed.
Leaving lock 3 on the Monongahela. These locks are much larger than what we are accustomed to (i.e., 110 feet wide instead of 40 feet). Instead of holding on to vertical cables, we hand a long line to the attendant who hooks the center of it above. We hold each end from the bow and stern and let out the line as we descend.
Here is one way to load coal into a barge.
Here is one way to unload a coal barge. This large, movable belt of scoopers is three scoopers wide.
US Steel plant.
Dry dock for constructing new barges.
Loading pipes for fracking wells.
Loading pipes onto a truck bed. Fracking has revitalized the economy in Western Pennsylvania.
He yelled, "Did you build it?". "Yes.". "Did you build yours?". "Yes."
The BPE at dock at the Landing at Station Square, Pittsburgh. The second night we stayed here, Elaine and I were startled from our sleep by a bump. The boat shown here behind us was returning to dock and his anchor bowsprit bumped my bicycle hard enough to bend the back wheel rim, rendering the bike unusable.
Station Square at night.
The downtown skyline from the Monongahela side of the point. The large fountain at the round pool is closed for major repair work.
Sunday afternoon the weather was perfect for boating. We loaded passengers from this small public dock at a south side park. This is the first time the boat was asked to carry nine adults and two young children. Yup, we did have enough life vests for all. The BPE handled it well, and took swells better than ever.