Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Downtown and the Baring Cross Bridge

After work last night I went out to try to find someplace to take a few pictures. I thought about heading out to the Big Dam Bridge, and then the Junction Bridge. Instead I finally ended up standing out next to yet another old bridge - the Baring Cross Bridge. Of the three old rail bridges crossing the Arkansas River at Little Rock, the Baring Cross is the only bridge that is actually still being used by trains (the other two - the Junction and the Rock Island, are either a pedestrian bridge or about to be converted to a pedestrian bridge).
At the very left end of the bridge, you can see the dome of the Arkansas State Capitol poking out from the trees.

The weather people have said that is going to storm every day this week, but last night a bit of sunset peaked out from the clouds. From where I was standing, I couldn't really get a good view of the sunset. But this is what I got, looking through the beams of the Baring Cross Bridge.

And a wider view, looking towards the west along the riverbank towards the bridge.

I originally went to this spot to get a shot of the Little Rock skyline. Not too far from the Baring Cross Bridge is an odd spot along the river, where some concrete pillars jut out into the water. I have no clue what these are here for, and there aren't any other similar concrete thingys like this along the riverfront. It could have been an old foundation for old electric lines across the river. My guess (probably wrong), is that this might have been a support for the first Baring Cross Bridge. According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, the original Baring Cross Bridge was opened in 1873, but was washed away during the great flood of 1927. The current Baring Cross Bridge was opened in 1929, and is operated by Union Pacific. It is still one of the busiest rail spans in the country.

So anyways, this is the view just downstream from the Baring Cross Bridge, looking across the river towards downtown Little Rock.

And one more view of downtown with the forgotten pieces of concrete stranded in the murky waters of the Arkansas River. The orange light on the concrete is from a nearby streetlight, which made it hard to frame the shot without it including my shadow.

And finally, a shot of the skyline without any concrete foreground clutter:

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