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Author Topic: Fords and Low Water Bridges  (Read 3894 times)

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Fords and Low Water Bridges
« on: June 07, 2018, 02:00:58 PM »

Looking around on Bridgehunter the other day, I had found a low water bridge right here in Union County. I had no idea we had any of these. Of course, there are more well known ones, like the Potomac Low Water Bridge.


https://goo.gl/maps/tYyQULDdYGr


Looking around the immediate vicinity on google maps, I found a few more:


https://goo.gl/maps/NRsPFN4D1My
https://goo.gl/maps/Xo6wTEdC81J2 (I'm surprised at the weight limit on this one)
https://goo.gl/maps/6YqwSrLzvPp


However, despite lots of searching on GSV/Google Maps, I have yet to come across a water ford, which leads me to believe they're pretty rare here in the US. Looking for some via simple google search, I found a ford/low water bridge design guide, which is an interesting look at.


http://www.ctre.iastate.edu/pubs/lwscguide.pdf
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abefroman329

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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2018, 02:26:56 PM »

Building one in the first place seems like tempting fate, but that's just me.
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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2018, 03:57:44 PM »

Very interesting! Thanks for the link to the Iowa manual.

I used to cross a vented ford in Arizona several times every year on 115th Avenue (now renamed as Avondale Boulevard) where it met the Gila River right by the Phoenix International Raceway (now called ISM Raceway). Back in the late 1970s, they had to cancel a scheduled IndyCar race because the river had flooded and the track was totally inaccessible. By the mid 1980s, the opening of a couple of bridges downstream from PIR had eliminated the problem of track access when the river was flowing, but it took until the late 1990s for a bridge to be built on 115th Avenue itself. It was always a strange feeling to cross that ford and look upstream and see the confluence of the Salt & Gila Rivers just a few feet away. Made one glad that AZ is so dry most of the time!
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Mapmikey

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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2018, 04:05:34 PM »

Some other discussion on this...

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=9552.0

I know Virginia has a few scattered around on signed secondary routes...
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2018, 04:09:45 PM »

Ran into a ford of a creek in Point Reyes National Seashore last year on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.  The water was way higher on the way in, I had to check to make sure it was shallow enough to cross through:

IMG_4487 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

In general in the western states at-grade fords are fairly common in very rural areas, especially in deserts with washes.  Panoche Road west of where I'm at in the Diablo Range has a particularly nasty at-grade ford which is pretty much impossible to cross in wet weather.

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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2018, 04:32:14 PM »

CA 138 east of the CA 18 junction near the Los Angeles-San Bernardino county line has an undulating section crossing gullies and the small ridges separating them; these effectively become fords during rainstorms (that area is prone to monsoon storms coming up from the Gulf of California).  During protracted storm periods the highway is often closed from CA 18 east to Phelan -- that stretch of road is "flash flood bait"!  There has been periodic talk of upgrading the route onto some sort of berm -- but projects on 138 -- particularly in San Bernardino County -- have been effectively put on hold until plans for the High Desert ("E-220") toll facility planned for several miles north are finalized. 
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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2018, 06:18:52 PM »

Additionally, hog trough bridges are also interesting. (Also found out of these via bridgehunter)


A quick google images search reveals how precarious these were. There were only ever a few of them to exist.




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Beltway

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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2018, 09:16:24 PM »

Replaced a low water bridge in 2014.  I drove across the old bridge a few times in the past, one time when the water was almost up to the roadway.

Warren County - Route 613 (Indian Hollow Road) Bridge
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/staunton/warren_county_-_route_613.asp

The project is located on Route 613 (Indian Hollow Road) in Warren County, from Route 628 to .30 mile north of Route 628, in the Bentonville area.  Currently there is a low-water bridge over the South Fork Shenandoah River and to the north there is a small bridge across an abandoned channel.  There are no existing bicycle or pedestrian accommodations on these two crossings.

A $4,412,447 construction contract was awarded to Kanawha Stone Company, Inc. of Nitro, West Virginia in spring 2013.
....

Photos here including one of the old bridge --
http://easternvault.net/prestressed-precast-concrete-project/warren-county-route-613-indian-hollow-road-bridge/
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seicer

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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2018, 09:23:25 PM »

I've driven across a few in West Virginia. One was near Moundsville and the secondary route just simply ended at the water. The water wasn't terribly swift or high and it was fairly simple (with some planning) to get through the ford with no problem. The secondary route began again on the other side.

The scariest ford was in Vermont. The water appeared shallow but was deeper than I thought. I drive a Subaru Outback, so when the water lapped up to the hood, I floored the Subie and pushed through, making it out to the other end with no problem.
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HTM Duke

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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2018, 06:37:02 PM »

One that I had driven multiple times, on SR-624/Morgan Ford Rd over the Shenandoah River, was replaced last January.  Probably Virginia's busiest low water bridge while still extant, since it provided a good way to cut over to US-340/522 north from I-66 exit 13 (via Dismal Hollow Rd), without having to drive through Front Royal.

Other low water bridges in Virginia that I believe still exists:
  • SR-622/Minebank Rd, Cedar Creek, north of Strasburg.
  • SR-610/Bucks Mill Rd, Passage Creek, east of Strasburg.  I've also driven over this one multiple times, and still sometimes think about how this was once VA-55's original routing.
  • SR-635/Bowman Mill Rd, Cedar Creek, just outside Strasburg.
  • SR-720/Crooked Run Rd, Crooked Run, near Bayse
  • SR-667/Lupton Rd, Shenandoah River North Fork, northeast of Woodstock
  • SR-609/Hollingsworth Rd, same as above, also same as above
As for fords in Virginia, I've stumbled across a few
  • SR-758/George Walton Rd, North River, near Mount Solon.  I haven't actually driven down this road, but I have seen the warnings about lack of turnaround space posted at both intersections on either side of the North River, which prompted me to check out satellite images of the area.
  • SR-642/Lindsay Ln, Robertson River, Criglersville.  Found this one by accident while trying to find a secondary road connection from US-33 to VA-231.
  • SR-624/Peach Orchard Ln/Little River Rd, Black Branch/Bull Run, north of Haymarket.  I can't say if this is an active ford anymore, but at one point, traffic at the formerly signalized intersection of US-15 and US-50 intersection (Gilbert's Corner) was so bad, drivers on northbound US-15 were actually fording the creek to cut over to points east.  The Washington Post even did a write-up about this.
Edit: Corrected info on one crossing, added another.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2018, 08:23:53 PM by HTM Duke »
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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2018, 07:07:27 PM »

HI 450 and HI 460 on Molokai island each have a ford, so the western and eastern ends of the island are cut off from the rest of the island after heavy rains. 

Here's a photo of the one on HI 450 (part of the ford on the left, warning sign on the right):

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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2018, 07:48:13 PM »

HI 450 and HI 460 on Molokai island each have a ford, so the western and eastern ends of the island are cut off from the rest of the island after heavy rains. 

Here's a photo of the one on HI 450 (part of the ford on the left, warning sign on the right):

I find it so utterly bizarre to go through with paving a road like that, but not bothering to raise the grade enough so the road doesn't flood.
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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2018, 10:08:22 PM »

Quote from: index
Looking around the immediate vicinity on google maps, I found a few more:

https://goo.gl/maps/NRsPFN4D1My

This one isn't a low-water crossing...it just happens to be a single lane bridge.

Quote from: seicer
The scariest ford was in Vermont. The water appeared shallow but was deeper than I thought. I drive a Subaru Outback, so when the water lapped up to the hood, I floored the Subie and pushed through, making it out to the other end with no problem.

Where was this?  I wasn't aware we had any fords...at least not on the Class 2 or 3 town highways.  And certainly not on the state highway system.
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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2018, 11:44:58 PM »

Quote from: index
Looking around the immediate vicinity on google maps, I found a few more:

https://goo.gl/maps/NRsPFN4D1My

This one isn't a low-water crossing...it just happens to be a single lane bridge.



Oops... Leave it to me to not pay attention to that.
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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2018, 10:07:53 AM »

There are a few low water bridges in Manistee County:
Six Mile Bridge Rd over Little Manistee River (Google Maps has the road system completely messed up north of the river: https://www.google.com/maps/@44.1850792,-86.1668399,619m/data=!3m1!1e3)
The aptly-named Low Bridge Rd over Pine River (This road may have been M-55 prior to the Cooley Bridge opening downstream; Google satellite images shows the road being flooded: https://www.google.com/maps/@44.2176462,-85.9027827,271m/data=!3m1!1e3)
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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2018, 01:33:11 PM »

Old Gulph Rd at Mill Creek Rd in Lower Merion Twp PA (suburban Philly) has a ford:

https://goo.gl/maps/DVCmArsi8XH2

I thought there was another one in Lower Merion but can't remember where.
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seicer

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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2018, 01:35:13 PM »

Quote from: index
Looking around the immediate vicinity on google maps, I found a few more:

https://goo.gl/maps/NRsPFN4D1My

This one isn't a low-water crossing...it just happens to be a single lane bridge.

Quote from: seicer
The scariest ford was in Vermont. The water appeared shallow but was deeper than I thought. I drive a Subaru Outback, so when the water lapped up to the hood, I floored the Subie and pushed through, making it out to the other end with no problem.

Where was this?  I wasn't aware we had any fords...at least not on the Class 2 or 3 town highways.  And certainly not on the state highway system.


I need to find it. I think it was a town road - its next to a covered bridge. I haven't edited all of those photos from two years ago. :(
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Beltway

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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2018, 03:21:11 PM »

Old Gulph Rd at Mill Creek Rd in Lower Merion Twp PA (suburban Philly) has a ford:
https://goo.gl/maps/DVCmArsi8XH2

I'm surprised that I never heard about that when I lived near Villanova back in the 1970s.

Did it exist back then?
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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2018, 03:32:28 PM »

Old Gulph Rd at Mill Creek Rd in Lower Merion Twp PA (suburban Philly) has a ford:
https://goo.gl/maps/DVCmArsi8XH2

I'm surprised that I never heard about that when I lived near Villanova back in the 1970s.

Did it exist back then?

I don't know...I was aware of it in the late 80's.  Those aren't state roads...they are twp roads. 
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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2018, 05:32:17 PM »

Old Gulph Rd at Mill Creek Rd in Lower Merion Twp PA (suburban Philly) has a ford:

https://goo.gl/maps/DVCmArsi8XH2

I thought there was another one in Lower Merion but can't remember where.
Found it: https://goo.gl/maps/yzC4M6atMh22
Righters Mill Rd just north of Mill Creek Rd
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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2018, 09:32:49 PM »

Fillmore Glen State Park in Moravia, NY has a parking lot only accessible by driving through Enfield Creek.

I think another NYS Park has this setup, but I can't remember which. Stony Brook, maybe?
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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2018, 10:51:11 PM »

Only have a photo of one; it being this particularly low one off Power House Rd. near Great Cacapon, WV, pictured in 2013:

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cl94

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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2018, 11:00:44 PM »

Fillmore Glen State Park in Moravia, NY has a parking lot only accessible by driving through Enfield Creek.

I think another NYS Park has this setup, but I can't remember which. Stony Brook, maybe?

Treman in Ithaca and Newfield Towns.
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Beltway

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Re: Fords and Low Water Bridges
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2018, 11:28:27 PM »

Old Gulph Rd at Mill Creek Rd in Lower Merion Twp PA (suburban Philly) has a ford:
https://goo.gl/maps/DVCmArsi8XH2
I thought there was another one in Lower Merion but can't remember where.
Found it: https://goo.gl/maps/yzC4M6atMh22
Righters Mill Rd just north of Mill Creek Rd

I wonder if those two exist "just for the novelty of it".  Lower Merion Township and all that.  Concrete pavement under the ford.  Same creek, Mill Creek on both.  Looks like those streams may never be more than a few inches deep in any case.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 11:31:56 PM by Beltway »
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