2010 Milwaukee River Challenge

Three teams of the Womens' 4 row past Schlitz Park

Three teams of the Womens' 4 row past Schlitz Park

I went to watch the 2010 Milwaukee River Challenge this morning.

The Milwaukee River, looking North from the Cherry St. Bridge

The Milwaukee River, looking North from the Cherry St. Bridge

To the left is Schlitz Park.  In the distance, around the left-hand curve in the river is the last movable bridge on the Milwaukee, Pleasant St.  Humbolt Avenue used to have a bascule span and the trunnions are still visible in the understructure.  But it’s been many years (decades, probably) since the Milwaukee River has seen any craft tall enough to require greater than 120′ clearance under Humboldt Ave.

A 4-woman crew approaches the Cherry St. Bridge

A 4-woman crew approaches the Cherry St. Bridge

I’ll admit to knowing next to nothing about rowing, but I do know that it requires massive upper body strength and tons of endurance.

Probably the University of Michigan in the lower foreground

Probably the University of Michigan in the lower foreground

Looking south on the north side of the Cherry St. Bridge

Looking south on the north side of the Cherry St. Bridge

Two more teams

Two more teams

Cherry St. Bridge west control tower

Cherry St. Bridge west control tower

Cherry St. Bridge was built in 1940 and restored in 1990.  It is Bridge #13 on the Milwaukee Bridge Ops list.  It is a Milwaukee Bascule style bridge with on-site controls.  It is unstaffed and not remotely operated, so all openings must be scheduled in advance.  Historic Bridges of the U.S. page.

In the background is the Manpower Professional Services building, which also serves as Manpower’s corporate headquarters.

Schlitz Park, former home of Schlitz Brewing

Schlitz Park, former home of Schlitz Brewing

Another team

Another team

A University of Wisconsin team

A University of Wisconsin team

Folks gather in Schlitz Park to watch the race

Folks gather in Schlitz Park to watch the race

Now the teams are becoming pretty packed in

Now the teams are becoming pretty packed in

They're coming in bunches now

They're coming in bunches now

I'm running out of things to say about ladies rowing boats

I'm running out of things to say about ladies rowing boats

Two more teams

Two more teams

Looking east on Cherry St. toward downtown Milwaukee

Looking east on Cherry St. toward downtown Milwaukee

Sort of a nice shot of the northwest end of Downtown Milwaukee

Sort of a nice shot of the northwest end of Downtown Milwaukee

A UW-Milwaukee Womens' 4 team

A UW-Milwaukee Womens' 4 team

Go Panthers!

Go Panthers!

It rained heavily this morning so Schlitz Park is draining all the runoff into the river.

It rained heavily this morning so Schlitz Park is draining all the runoff into the river.

Two more UW-Madison teams

Two more UW-Madison teams

Hard-core athletes

Hard-core athletes

The finish line is the end of the navigable portion of the river, just past the furthest visible bridge

The finish line is the end of the navigable portion of the river, just past the furthest visible bridge

Looking toward the finish line under the Father Groppi Unity Bridge

Looking toward the finish line under the Father Groppi Unity Bridge

Historic Bridges of the U.S. entry for 16th St. Viaduct

The span is a double-leaf trunnion bascule, built in 1929 and refurbished in 1986.  It is high enough off the river that it never opens except for maintenance purposes.  The river is too shallow for any boat tall enough to require an opening.

The final stretch

The final stretch

Up close and personal

Up close and personal

Valley Power Plant

Valley Power Plant

Two coal-fired steam turbines provide power to the greater Milwaukee area.  The coal comes in on boats from Lake Michigan and is transfered to powered barges which bring the coal to the plant via the Burnham Canal.

A UW-Madison team in the lower foreground

A UW-Madison team in the lower foreground

The Lady Badgers

The Lady Badgers

Looking east along the Menomonee River

Looking east along the Menomonee River

Marquette Valley Field, Potawatomi Casino, and Miller Park in the distance

Marquette Valley Field, Potawatomi Casino, and Miller Park in the distance

The Marquette University campus

The Marquette University campus

Emmber Lane Bridge control tower

Emmber Lane Bridge control tower

The bridge across the Menomonee River was built in 2003, replacing an older bridge that had serious problems.  It’s a Milwaukee Bascule style and opens frequently for Coast Guard and Milwaukee DPW maintenance boats.

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