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Last Drive Of The Season?

Here in Pa, fall is in full swing and winter is upon us. Yesterday, my wife and I awoke to light rain, grey skies, and 55 degrees. After some breakfast and coffee, the skies cleared, and the rain stopped. We checked the oil in Ol Blue, and headed about an hour south of Pittsburgh into Greene County, PA. Our destination was a historic metal truss on TR 597, that spans Ten Mile Creek. Of the ten or so of these historic trusses that I saw this summer, this one was my absolute favorite. This truss was erected in 1878. Yes, I said 1878. This truss is a pin-connected double intersection Pratt Whipple truss. The bridge was erected by the Massillon Iron Bridge Company of Massillon, OH. The bridge has a clear span of 163 feet, sits on cut stone abutments, and has a timber road deck.


(This pic was taken on my initial visit for work)

This thing must have blown peoples minds in 1878. It blew my mind the first time I saw it. It's hard to believe it's still standing 135 years later. The original floor beams would have been wrought iron. The original floor beams were replaced in the 1990's with modern steel beams. Other than the floorbeams, the bridge is completely original and considered of "Exceptional" historic significance by PENNDOT.


You might be asking yourself what the hell is this bridge doing in the middle of nowhere. Well, the short answer is, I have no idea. I'm guessing farmers in the area petitioned the county to build it. It is not wide enough, and doesn't have the capacity to carry coal trucks or equipment that was prevelant in the area in the late 1800's.


(Sorry, couldn't resist the grainy pic)



At the east end of the bridge is a railroad underpass. I'm guessing the railroad was in place when the bridge was built. It is an active CSX line carrying coal from nearby mines. The underpass was obviously not built in 1878.


(messing with HD settings on camera)



After an hour long visit, we headed west on PA 21 to the town of Waynesburg, PA. We stopped at the Airport Restaurant for lunch. Let me tell you, if you ever find yourself in Waynesburg, stop here and eat. It's a tiny little place that takes up half a building at the Greene County airport. The serve great home-cooked fresh meals, and the people serving you are as nice as can be. I do not have any pictures of the place, I was way too full to even lift the camera after noshing on a giant cheeseburger.

I'll finish this post off with some random pics from the drive. I was playing around with the settings on my camera in most of them.

Until next time,










I'm An Engineer

In my first post I mentioned that I'm an engineer. To be exact, I'm a structural engineer. I graduated from the University of Louisville with a masters of structural engineering. I moved to Columbus Ohio shortly after graduation and began working at an engineering firm designing buildings. A few years later I moved to Pittsburgh PA for an oportunity at a transportation engineering firm. I work in the bridge group where I design bridges.

Here are a few pictures of the first bridge I took from begining to end. It's a 106' simple span, plate girder structure. The interesting thing about it, is the integral abutments. Integral abutments allow the expansion joints that are usually at the begining of the bridge to be moved to the begining of the approach slabs. This helps keep the bridge in service longer since there won't be any water or salt leaking through the joints casusing damage to the beams and bearings.


The underside of the superstructure



Ol Blue standing proud


Here is a picture of a bridge over the Allegheney River in Foxburg PA. My company designed it, and construction was finished just as I started with the company. This bridge replaced a double decker truss bridge. The upper deck was for trains, the lower deck was for vehicular traffic.


This summer my company was tasked with surveying and writing reports on western PA's historic metal truss bridges. This was a lot of fun since it got me out of the office, and I got to see some great old metal truss bridges. Most of the historic trusses I saw were all built before 1920. The truss that follows, is refered to as a "pony truss". This particular bridge was built in 1920 by the Farris Bridge Company of Pittsburgh PA. This bridge replaced a metal structure that was built in the 1880's. The area was home to blast furnaces as early as the 1830's, where early steel shapes were produced. This bridge is near the town of Parker, in Armstrong County PA. The setting of the bridge was one of my favorites. The creek is as clear as a bell, and is apparently a great trout fishing creek.







Disclaimer: I'm an engineer not a writer.

That being said, I thought I'd start one of these fancy blogs. The direction I'll take this will be one of pictures and randomness, not so much how-to. There are plenty of great blogs with how to's, and the search function on this website works great once you learn to use it.

On to the intro:

I picked this car up about a year ago. I bought it from a real nice guy about an hour east of me. He had it posted here in the cars for sale section. I contacted him, and about a week later we were doing paperwork. The PO took great care of the car. He did some upgrades, and had maintenace items replaced. Much to my pleasure, the PO had Paul Wegweiser work on the car. Once I found that little nugget of info, it was a no brainer to buy the car.

This is how the car looked when I picked it up. Just a nice clean example of a 1975 2002. It came with a webber 32/36, Recaros, and a 320 sport steering wheel. It was clear from the beginning that a suspension overhaul was needed in the near future.


This is how the car sits today.


I had the car up on jackstands for a better part of the spring. Here is a list of what was accomplished in that time frame.


ST springs front and rear

Bilstien HD's

ST 22mm up front, ST 19mm in back

New control arms

Polyurethane bushings everywhere

Front spacers are in neighbors pool

One dot pads in the rear

Non-adjustable camber plates


Volvo big brake kit in front

Stainless lines

New shoes and cylinders in rear


ATS model 72504 in 15x7

Yokohama S-Drives in 195/50/15


New motor mounts


Shifter re-build

320 transmission mount

New guibo


A/C stuff in neighbors pool

Long console installed

Nardi wood wheel


3rd brake light from Daniel Stern


Ol Blue is running great thanks to some people I have to recognize. First of all, my #1 wife. She has fully embraced the 2002 culture. She's allowed me to spend countless nights in the garage tinkering. Paul Wegweiser. I'm lucky to have Paul in close proximity to me. Whenever I've needed a hand, Paul has been there for me and Ol Blue. Dave Bentz. Dave reached out to me on this very website. In short order, our families have become great friends, and we've shared many 02 adventures together.


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