Tag Archives: transportation

Jennings Bridge, Alapaha River 2022-01-05

Ken Sulak, retired from USGS, sent this update on the Alapaha River bridge site 0.8 miles downstream from Sullivan Launch, or 0.64 miles downstream from the CR 150 bridge. Plus a likely old ferry site, and maybe a previous location of Sullivan Launch.

[Jennings Bridge, Alapaha River, c. 1989]
Jennings Bridge, Alapaha River, c. 1989 –Florida Memory

This is the site of the ‘Jennings Bridge’, a steel through-truss bridge, apparently built around 1902-1903. Some online bridge websites state that this is the oldest steel/iron highway bridge in Florida. But, that is doubtful—if the construction date I have is correct. For example, the ‘Adams Bridge’ aka ‘Steel Bridge’ in White Springs was built in 1891, and the original 2-span bowstring style bridge, the ‘Lee Bridge’ over the Withlacoochee (right where the current CR-141 bridge is located) may have been built in the late 1880s. I would like to explore the riverbank and look at what remains of the bridge supports. If there are cutoff Lally columns, then the Jennings Bridge was probably indeed built around 1902-1903. But if the supports are old limerock concrete or brick, then it would have been built before 1898.

[Jennings Bridge in WWALS ARWT map]
Jennings Bridge in the WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT) map.

Anyway, I was just writing to note the name of the Jennings Bridge—you might want to add that to your interactive map. Hinton’s 1976 History of Hamilton County calls it by that name, as well as Florida Memory. Some folks say it collapsed in the late 1970s, one article says 1981, Florida Memory Archive has several photos of the falling-apart, but still-standing bridge dated 1989.

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No Build: FDOT toll road heading north towards the Suwannee Basin 2022-01-13

Floridians, please go to the Florida Department of Transportation’s Northern Turnpike Extension web page and tell FDOT we don’t need any more toll roads. Here’s where you can say No Build:
https://floridasturnpike.com/turnpike-projects/featured-projects/northern-turnpike-extension/

Doesn’t matter that No Build isn’t listed as an option. Tell them anyway.

[Routes with No Build sign]
Routes with No Build sign

Please also ask your state legislative delegation to stop this boondogle.

This new push for an unnecessary toll road is ignoring previous county and city resolutions against it. So ask them to pass another one, or a new one if they didn’t before. Here’s a draft resulution by the No Roads to Ruin coalition (Suwannee Riverkeeper is a member of NRTR).

Dunnellon already passed a resolution on Monday, December 21, 2021. Continue reading

Northern Turnpike Extension Kick-Off meetings 2021-12-07

SB 100 didn’t stop one of the M-CORES projects: a toll road up US 19 across the Suwannee River to Jefferson County connecting to Thomasville, Georgia.

Starting tonight are three meetings about the current incarnation, which aims to run from FL 19 at Wildwood through the horse country of Marion County past Dunnellon into Levy County past Chiefland, stopping (for now) just short of the Suwannee River. That’s already a sizeable swath of the springs heartland of Florida.

But don’t expect it to stop there: SB 100 authorized it to go “to a logical and appropriate terminus as determined by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)”

So please attend online or by telephone or in person. Otherwise, they’ll say nobody objected.

[Map and Meetings]
Map and Meetings

Tuesday Dec 7, 2021, 5:30-7:30 pm, FDOT Public Kickoff Meeting Continue reading

Videos: Wells Road remains open, Folsom Bridge Landing on the Little River 2021-10-12

Good news: the Lowndes County Commission yesterday unanimously denied the request to close Wells Road. This means the road stays open, and with it access to Folsom Bridge Landing on the Little River, and to the Mary Turner Lynching Site memorial.

[Folsom Bridge Landing 2021-05-18]
Folsom Bridge Landing 2021-05-18

Here are videos courtesy of Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE). Continue reading

Don’t close Folsom Bridge Landing, Little River, Wells Road –WWALS to Lowndes County, GA 2021-10-12

Update 2021-10-13: Videos: Wells Road remains open, Folsom Bridge Landing on the Little River 2021-10-12.

October 12, 2021

To: Chairman Bill Slaughter
Commissioner Joyce Evans
Commissioner Scottie Orenstein
Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker
Commissioner Demarcus Marshall
Commissioner Clay Griner

Cc: Chad McLeod, Director of Engineering Services
Belinda C. Lovern, County Clerk

Re: Please don’t close Folsom Bridge Landing on the Little River at Wells Road

[Wells Road closed, Folsom Bridge Landing, Mary Turner Lynching Site memorial]
Wells Road closed, Folsom Bridge Landing, Mary Turner Lynching Site memorial

Dear Chairman, Commissioners, and Director,

Related to your agenda for this evening:

6.a. Abandonment of a portion of Salem Church Road (CR #68) and Wells Road (CR # 68 & CR #69)

According to the description and map in the board packet, the intent is to close Wells Road completely. That would also close access to Folsom Bridge Landing, which turns off of Wells Road. That is one of only two public access points on the Little River in Lowndes County. Please do not close it. Continue reading

Roads next to Mud Swamp, which drains to Alapahoochee, Alapaha Rivers @ LCC 2021-08-24

The Lowndes County Commission started the process of taking over two flooded private roads, they adopted a fire department millage rate for all real and personal property in the unincorporated parts of the county, and they discussed how that millage was to aid population growth in the unincorporated areas, apparently including building closer to and perhaps in wetlands that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had recently decided were not Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). All these actions at their August 24, 2021, Regular Session, at least taken together, would seem to support sprawl.

[Mud Swamp Road and Swamp Edge Drive adopted by Lowndes County, GA]
Mud Swamp Road and Swamp Edge Drive adopted by Lowndes County, GA, in the lower left corner of this map, between two arms of Mud Swamp Creek, in the WWALS map of all public landings in the Suwannee River Basin.

Better would be to build only close in to existing services, instead of sprawling farther out, where no taxes will ever pay enough for sending school buses, Sheriff, and Fire. See this report the County commissioned: The Local Government Fiscal Impacts of Land Use in Lowndes County: Revenue and Expenditure Streams by Land Use Category, Jeffrey H. Dorfman, Ph.D., Dorfman Consulting, December 2007. As Dr. Dorfman summarized in a different presentation,

Local governments must ensure balanced growth, as
sprawling residential growth is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin*
* Or at least big tax increases.

Continue reading

Clean eleven sites: Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha Rivers 2021-06-17

Update 2021-06-23: Health Advisory, Withlacoochee River, bad at GA-FL line after rains 2021-06-22.

All clear up and down the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers, for Thursday, June 17, 2021. Happy swimming, boating, and fishing!

Rains are predicted for this weekend, so of course conditions could change rapidly, but that’s what we know now.

[Chart, Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha Rivers, Swim Guide

Thanks to WWALS testers, we have results from eleven locations on three rivers.

  • Valerie Folsom (Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 in Atkinson County, GA),
  • Elizabeth Brunner (GA 122: Little River @ Folsom Bridge Landing, Withlacoochee River @ Hagan Bridge Landing, Alapaha River @ Lakeland Boat Ramp
  • Bobby McKenzie (Little River @ Troupville Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River @ US 41 and GA 133)
  • Michael and Jacob Bachrach (Withlacoochee River @ Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps)
  • Gus Cleary (Withlacoochee River @ Cleary Bluff, below Allen Ramp, almost to the Suwannee River)

And of course thanks to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for organizing and to WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman for training and supplying the testers. Continue reading

A month late, yet identical to the last one: Strom LNG Semi-Annual Report to DoE FE 2021-05-03

Update 2021-06-16: Port Tampa Bay has no agreement with Strom LNG, and wants none 2021-06-15

Why, Strom, were you a month late filing a report, with only the dates changed from the previous one?

[Late Report, Crystal River to Tampa, Cruise ship]
Late Report, Crystal River to Tampa, Cruise ship

Strom has been promising to export via Port of Tampa since at least October 2018, and this filed-in-May semi-annual report for April 2021 to the Department of Energy (DoE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) still says: “Strom has reached a tentative agreement with the Port of Tampa in Tampa Florida, for long-term leases for shipping of LNG.”

Tomorrow morning, the Port Tampa Bay Board meets, 9:30-11:30 AM, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, both in person at Cruise Terminal 3, and via zoom. You can sign up to make a public comment, if you’re rather not have Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) tankers loading next to cruise ships, or LNG trucking down public highways past hospitals, schools, and businesses to get there.

Still in this late April Strom report, added last time for October 2020, is this: “Additionally, Strom, Inc. is actively in early stage negotiations with a third-party entity regarding a reverse-merger and anticipate filing a report upon completion.”

There’s still no information about who those backers are. Maybe you’d like to ask the Port Tampa Bay Board about that. Continue reading

Right to Clean Water, and four more Florida ballot initiatives 2021-05-20

Update 2021-12-19: WWALS will hold a webinar about Rights to Clean Water, Air, Land, and a healthy environment at 7PM, March 10, 2022. Stay tuned for details.

Update 2021-12-18: A new Florida Right to Clean Water statewide petition will be available February 2, 2022, with the aim of getting the amendment on the November 2024 ballot.

Water as a human right will be on the Florida statewide ballot this fall, if enough Floridians sign the petition.

Plus wetlands protection, iconic species protection including the manatee, a ban on new or expanded toll roads, and a ban on captive wildlife hunting. As the website FL5.ORG says: Keep Florida Alive, Sign all 5.

For each petition, that’s 222,898 signatures to get judicial and financial review, and 891,589 to get it on the ballot.

It’s doable: there are more than 21 million Floridians.

[Sign all 5: Right to Clean Water, Ban new toll roads, and more]
Sign all 5: Right to Clean Water, Ban new toll roads, and more

FLORIDA RIGHT TO CLEAN WATER

This one is the key for the work of Suwannee Riverkeeper. It would make it a lot easier to stop pipelines, mines, and Nestlé and other water withdrawal boondoogles.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT FULL TEXT Continue reading

Sen. Ossoff tries new Valdosta public transit; answers questions about Okefenokee Swamp –Valdosta Daily Times 2021-05-09

Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff’s positive answer to Suwannee Riverkeeper’s question about the Okefenokee Swamp was covered by the local newspaper of record.

[VDT, Ossoff, Warnock]
VDT, Ossoff, Warnock

You can use the Waterkeeper Alliance Action Alert to send a message to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) asking it to reject the permit applications for that site; such messages will be forwarded to Georgia elected officials, including U.S. Senators Ossoff and Warnock.
https://wwals.net/?p=55092

Bryce Ethridge, Valdosta Daily Times, 6 May 2021, Ossoff: Millions for S.Ga. schools,

During Ossoff’s visit, Suwannee Riverkeeper John Quarterman asked about the proposed heavy mineral sands mine near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

This refuge is the largest east of the Mississippi and carries a hefty amount of wildlife biodiversity. The mine could potentially impact the refuge’s native species, basin hydrology and overall integrity.

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