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?

http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/barb-ickes/article_5cf0e81e-dc94-11de-b11d-001cc4c002e0.html

MetLife blimp arrives for John Deere Classic

The Metlife blimp got here a couple of days early and it was such a beautiful day, the pilots must have said, “I will see enough golf, let’s head for the river.”  I took this shot from our boat late Sunday afternoon.

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Check out the John Deere Classic, I bet the blimp will be there.

http://www.johndeereclassic.com/index.php

Millenium Park Chicago

I made a visit to Chicago for work and was high up in the old Prudential Building (used to be the first skyscraper in town), and now just a creaky building.  But I got some good pictures of the park, the skyline, Soldiers Field.  We could even see down to the Indiana shore.

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The Adler Planetarium out on the end of the peninsula and the Shedd Aquarium, and the boat harbor.

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Field Natural History Museum, Soldier Field and McCormick Place, plus Buckingham Fountain.

Well, it is about 170 miles east of pool 14, but does Lake Michigan count.

More information on the I-80 Mississippi River Bridge

Check out some more information:

http://www.johnweeks.com/river_mississippi/pagesB/umissB04.html

Note the bridges just north and south had lower ratings:

http://www.bigrivermagazine.com/bridges.html

It really is a boring bland bridge.  I have driven over it, and driven a boat under it.  I think that something grander could have been constructed.

I-80 Bridge over Mississippi Closed to Illinois

So you think you can get from Iowa to Illinois just by driving over the Interstate 80 bridge??  Wrong.

The west-east route has been closed for a couple of weeks.  No date certain to reopen.  There is one lane open on the east-west route.

Inspectors are quite cautious about bridges over the Mississippi River these days.

Unfortunatley, the detours are bridges about 15 miles away, one south (well actually west, but that is another story) in Bettendorf, and the other north in Clinton.

I have encountered lost souls at the Casey’s gas station in Princeton Iowa, looking quite out of place and just trying to get back to Chicago.

The closing has increased my morning commute by a half hour.  We Quad Citians are muttering that if we wanted to be tied up in traffic like that we would live in Chicago!

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I would normally get on the I-80 bridge here, but I passed it here and went on down to the I-74 bridge in Bettendorf.

http://www.thetruckersreport.com/truckingindustryforum/truckers-weather-and-road-conditions/79356-i-80-eb-iowa-bridge-closed.html

http://www.qctimes.com/news/local/article_7f381872-3f49-11de-bc42-001cc4c002e0.html

Princeton Wildlife Refuge

This morning we traveled about three miles north and found the unmarked (at least in terms of entrance roads) Princeton Wildlife Refuge.  It is managed by Iowa DNR and consists of Mississippi River backwaters.  There are some powered gates to control water levels.  I will share some pictures with you.

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These are muskrat huts or lodges.

Here is a wikipedia link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muskrat

These can be nasty animals.  A year and a half ago, one of these muskrats, probably a nursing female, hung onto the nose of our old mixed breed 90 pound dog.  Between the dog and me beating the muskrat with a stick, the muskrat died.  I am sure the dog did most of it.  But my dog needed about 40 stitches on her nose, it was quite a mess.

Illinois Rest Stop at I-80 Mississippi River

This is a nice spot, but it can only be accessed from the east bound lanes.

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Mississippi River Runs East and West

This morning I visited the Illinois side of the River and took pictures  at their I-80 rest stop. The river takes a turn in the Quad Cities and runs east and west with Iowa being north of the river.  Just upstream of the I-80 bridge the river takes its turn to the west.  Or to look at it another way, coming from downstream, it turns north.  The cities of Le Claire Iowa and Port Byron Illinois are just upstream of the turn.

So here are some pictures:

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The land in the lower part of the picture is Illinois, as is the land at the top of the picture.  This is where it turns north.  Port Byron is the little town at the top.

And here is the I-80 bridge as viewed from the Illinois side:

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Bund, Pudong, Shanghai

I successfully did the taxi thing and met my co workers for dinner.  Great dinner.

pudong side shanghai

pudong side shanghai

 

Day View

Day View

The sky is not that clear.

Kim conquers the leaves

Now doesn’t this look better?

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Here are the tools of relocation:

Craftsman chipper shredder vacuum

Craftsman chipper shredder vacuum

It has two forward speeds, no reverse, which can be a definite disadvantage, since it then requires tugging it back.   Kim said better than raking or blowing.  A wing nut fell off each side of the handle during operation, and the hose had a tear.  But even intact, I don’t think the hose worked well. 
The dogs were intrigued:
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