I-80 Bridge is under repair again!

Surprise for me.  On my daily commute.  The I-80 bridge over the Mississippi is back down to one lane in each direction, repairs for the next month!!

Nuke plant has fish hatchery

Just up the river from us in Cordova IL is the Quad Cities nuclear plant, owned 75% by Exelon and 25% by Midamerican Energy.  We boat past it all the time.  And there are always fisherman out there.  Part of it is that the cooling water is directly discharged to the river and the water temp is just a bit higher there.   As built, the cooling water was to be placed in a moat around the plant, but that did not work.  So they were allowed to discharge to the river and as compensation the old moat was turned into a fish hatchery.  And a very successful one at that.  Here is the story.


Homegrown Sweetcorn

It is that time of year and I think this year’s crop is one of the best.

Houses on Stilts

We have noted that the most flooding occurs just downstream from the dam.   The further downstream one is from the dam, the less the flooding, at least in that pool.   So the worst place to be is just downstream from the dam.

Our pool 14 is about 30 miles long.  The upstream dam is 30 miles north, north of Clinton, Iowa.   That is lock and dam 13.  Lock and dam 14 is just south of Leclaire Iowa.   Our cottage is about 1/2 mile upstream from lock and dam 14.

When it floods, it is not as bad at our cottage as it upstream in pool 14.  Clinton is pretty well levied so the next spot where it comes out is just south of Clinton north of Albany, Illinois.

(There is some thought that levees in cities actually serve as a funnel to send the water downstream and make the flooding worse downstream.)

So the houses on the shore north of Albany, Illinois are up on stilts.  Here are some shots I took from the boat.

Grain Unloading and Loading on Barges

I took some pictures from the river of the grain unloading and loading terminals on pool 14:

Silly me, that’s a tug with loaded barges.  At first, they seem to be intimidating to new recreational boaters.  But after awhile you learn they are very predictable, unlike all those other recreational boaters, particularly those trying to take their speed boats as fast as they can go.

I-80 Bridge Summit

A meeting in Leclaire last night to plan for this year’s bridge closure.  I already know that one antique store is closing, perhaps a victim of bridge closures.



And a tv news story:


Incentives to finish the I-80 bridge early

Civil Constructors won the contract to repair the bridge.  This is just repair, they recently built a whole bridge over the Rock River and finished it a year early.  But is it a good idea to rush?


Gitmo prisoners to Thomson IL

There has been a lot of news lately about the possibility of closing Gitmo and moving prisoners to an unused state prison about 40 miles north of here.  It is located just north of Thomson IL and is a testament to IL politics.  High security prison, never fully opened.  The jail is already high security;  it would be sold to the feds and beefed up even more.  It could bring over 2000 jobs to the area.  The closest bridges over the river are the two in Clinton IA.   I have read a lot in the national press that makes us sound like a sad bunch of local yocals… sad little town.  That is just not true.



Heron on the dock

Here is our old buddy from Canal Shore Drive, taken last week:



Barges are still running:


The River between Princeton and Leclaire Iowa

Taken from our friends Martha and Kris’ yard:



I wonder why that section on the Illinois side is cleared of trees and brush and planted with grass.  No crops planted either which is how we usually fill up vacant rural land in Illinois and Iowa.