Saturday, January 17, 2015

Toledo Terminal Bridge

I ran across this video this evening. I operated this bridge in the mid 1970's for almost 4 years from 11pm to 7am. This is the first bridge on the river at the mouth of the river on Maumee Bay. This bridge was built in 1917 and is still powered by the original DC motor and turns on a bearing the size of Volkswagen. There is a an emergency electrical generator powered by a Bucyrus Erie diesel engine that is bigger than the room I m in now. Once a month, to the utter annoyance of everyone in North Toledo, I would have to fire up the engine to make sure it was running properly. When I did that, usually about 3am in the morning, you could hear it all the way to the Michigan/Ohio State line! I also had to change the signal light bulbs. The Coast Guard delighted in calling me at 4am in the freezing rain and fog to let me know when a light was out.  I worked up in the little house you see in the bridgeworks when the train gets to the middle of the bridge. The train is heading north from East Toledo to Point Place. Once I was stuck out there for 3 days when a blizzard hit. I would get off of work, go have breakfast and then go to school at The University of Toledo. Funny, though this video brought back many memories, I don't really remember ever sleeping during that period...I must have.
One day, I quit and moved to New York to become a punk rock musician. I didn't get very much sleep then, either.

1 comment:

Jono said...

You didn't need sleep. Sleep is a living death! Except for nap time.