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Eastern Railroad Discussion > PPU lift bridge in East Peoria out-of-commission


Date: 01/08/19 15:51
PPU lift bridge in East Peoria out-of-commission
Author: SR_Krause

Well, this ought to make for an interesting saga.... Clipped from the Peoria Journal Star today.
____________________________________________________________PEORIA — A towboat collided with an Illinois River railroad bridge Monday night, shearing off the top of the vessel’s pilothouse, the U.S. Coast Guard said.The vertical-lift bridge — locally known as the PPU Bridge, connecting rail freight service between Peoria and East Peoria — is routinely raised and lowered for passing towboats and other watercraft. Upon impact Monday night, the towboat’s pilot was pelted with debris but escaped serious injury, said Lt. Daniel Wilkinson of the Coast Guard detachment in East Peoria.“He was very lucky,” Wilkinson said.Wilkinson declined to specify the names of the pilot or the towboat company.“We’re in the preliminary stages of the investigation,” Wilkinson said. “We don’t even know the cause yet.”Monday night, the towboat was pulling two barges downriver, Wilkinson said. He declined to specify the number of crew members on the towboat.About 8;20 p.m., the towboat approached what is commonly known as the PPU (Peoria and Pekin Union Railway) Bridge. Near the foot of the bridge, a bridge-tending building carries a logo for the Tazewell & Peoria Railroad, owned by Connecticut-based railroad-holding company Genesee & Wyoming Inc. Michael Williams, spokesperson for Genesee & Wyoming, said Tazewell & Peoria operates the rail line but leases the bridge, which is owned by multiple entities. He referred to the bridge as the “Illinois River Drawbridge.”Wilkinson said that as a matter of course, a vessel approaching the vertical-lift bridge radios the bridge-tender. The bridge is lifted and lowered depending on multiple factors — including river traffic, railway traffic and water level — as determined by the bridge-tender, Wilkinson said.Wilkinson declined to discuss preliminary details from the investigation. But the towboat collided with the bridge, tearing off the top of the pilothouse, he said. The structure splintered atop the pilot, known in Coast Guard parlance as the towboat master. “He was still up there when they experienced the collision,” Wilkinson said. “He had no serious injuries, just some minor scrapes and bruises.”Wilkinson did not have a timetable for the completion of the investigation. Depending on its results, the Coast Guard could pursue multiple avenues of law enforcement, he said.Williams, the railroad spokesman, declined to discuss the collision in detail. However, he said Tazewell & Peoria Railroad “has taken the rail line out of service while the extent of damage to the bridge is determined. Safety is our first priority, and we are working with the relevant authorities to investigate what transpired in the incident.”PHIL LUCIANO can be reached at pluciano@pjstar.com, facebook.com/philluciano and (309) 686-3155. Follow him on Twitter.com/LucianoPhil.

Steve Krause
Chillicothe, IL



Date: 01/08/19 15:55
Re: PPU lift bridge in East Peoria out-of-commission
Author: ShortlinesUSA

Sounds dramatic, but I suspect after an inspection of just a few hours, the bridge will be cleared for return to service.  
 



Date: 01/08/19 17:05
Re: PPU lift bridge in East Peoria out-of-commission
Author: ShortlinesUSA

I should add, this would have been a great spot for a "jack off" boat...one where the wheelhouse can be raised and lowered.  But I suspect by the time the captain saw the imminent collision, he already had a convertible towboat for his company's fleet.  There likely would not have been time for a jack off.
 



Date: 01/08/19 18:34
Re: PPU lift bridge in East Peoria out-of-commission
Author: MEKoch

The bridge was back in operation in a few hours after inspection, but the boat suffered major damage...........



Date: 01/08/19 20:56
Re: PPU lift bridge in East Peoria out-of-commission
Author: sixaxlecentury

In all my years on the water, I have never heard the term "Jack Off" used for any kind of boat.

Heard from some industry guys the operator started closing the bridge to soon. Cleared the entire wheelhouse clean off.



Date: 01/09/19 04:52
Re: PPU lift bridge in East Peoria out-of-commission
Author: smudgepot

sixaxlecentury Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In all my years on the water, I have never heard
> the term "Jack Off" used for any kind of boat.
>
> Heard from some industry guys the operator started
> closing the bridge to soon. Cleared the entire
> wheelhouse clean off.

I wondered if that was the case, or if the bridge was not fully raised. How many trains does the railroad operate over that bridge? Are bridge operators employed by the railroad or another entity?



Date: 01/09/19 06:39
Re: PPU lift bridge in East Peoria out-of-commission
Author: ShortlinesUSA

This was from an oldhead captain on the Tenn-Tom.  Might have just been his term.  

sixaxlecentury Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In all my years on the water, I have never heard
> the term "Jack Off" used for any kind of boat.
 



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