The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas on September 21, 1953 · Page 42
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The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas · Page 42

Baytown, Texas
Issue Date:
Monday, September 21, 1953
Page 42
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fAGE 10. SECTION A THE BAYTOWN down. JP—Tab* B had arrived from Orange on June 14, 1950, and was tied up next to Tube A. are placing forms and reinforcing on Tube A at the left as the second tube gets well tied THEN" THERE WERE THREE—Three tubes were lined up in work slip of Brown and Root Construction Co. on Spillman Island on July 21, 1950. Concrete lining is being placed and the floating plant is being equipped for sinking operations. Iff—Whilo workmen of Brown und Root were preparing the tubes, hydraulic fill operations were in progress. This view looking across tho channel shows relocation from west embank- mcnt as hydraulic fill is underway on Hie cast on 3Iarcli 8, 1950. J DOWN ANT> READY — Tube A looked like a he hive on AUR. 2, 1950, as workmen began placing » TeinforRinff steel, embedded beams and forms for t ho roadway pour. fMore Tunnel Lights lUsed During Da Efficient operation of tunnels for more lights in the daytime than are useoT at night. J This sounds contradictory, but |bie reason is perfectly sound and |iogical. •*• More lights are used during day- so that motorists entering tunnel won't be blinded after 3*avJng the bright sunlight • I. I'I Hill • "American-made Rubber Day" celebrated here June 26, 1943. SHEIXS The steel outer shells of the nine tubes in -the Baytown-La Porto Tunnel were constructed with 14- inch steel plate, stiffened with rings made of six-inih T-scctions welded to the inside. Tsibe Ends Sealed After launching, the nine tubes of the Baytown-La Porte Tunnel were loaded with reinforcing steel for ballast and both ends were sealed with welded steel bulkheads. This was done at the Orange plant of Consolidated Western Steel Co., a subsidiary of United States Steel. Ofy Traffic Circle May Heed Changing The deluge of traffic expected from the Baytown-La Porte Tunnel over Lee drive to the traffic circle at Texas, Decker and 1 Market will be closely followed by city officials. Experts in traffic study have said that some changes in the traffic circle may have to bo made if serious problems develop from tunnel traffic. Distance between portals of the Baytown-La Porte Tunnel is 3,009 feet Channel Tunnels Are Close Kin Pasadena, Baytown Projects Are Twins The kinship of the Pasadena and Baytown-La Porte Tunnels is closer than many people of East Harris county realize. The two projects were conceiv- ed'in 1945 as twins and the opening of the Pasadena tube coincided with the beginning of the Baytown-La Porte underwater crossing. Both events were recorded on May 27. 1950, as thousands of persons attended formal opening celebrations in Pasadena and Galena Park. The other event took place with practically no notice. That was at 5:40 a.m. May 27, 1950, when the tugboats pulled the first tube of the Baytown-L/aPorte Tunnel through the cut at Morgan's Point. ' A few hours later the huge 300- foot cylinder had been moored at a special dock 'built at Spillman's Island where each of the nine tunnel sections were readied for sinking into place. It was coincidental that both tunnels should grab a. share of the limelight on the same day, but not so surprising- after all. They were twin projects from the day back in 1945 that the final big push was started to build them. The Pasadena Tunnel is an all- Harris county project, and the Baytown-La Porte crossing is. part of State Highway 146. The Baytown Tunnel was financed in part with Harris county funds, though. Bond money totaling .52.9 million went into the second Houston Ship Channel crossing. Baytown had its say at the open- ware there for a brief concert. ing ceremonies for the Pasadena- Th 'e Rev - Milton s - Jordan pastor „ , ~ , _ , T,. v' of Grace Methodist church, gave Galena Park Tunnel. Director J. the invocatdon and then Mayor C. Burkett and members 'of the j; ^. Ward was on the speaker's Robert E. Lee high school band platform. You Could Go Through Baytown Tunnel In '51 You could walk dryshod from Baytown to La Porte on Aug. 29, 1951. That's when the last of the steel bulkheads between ends of the nine Baytown-La Porte Tunnel tubes had been cut out and the tunnel opened from one end to the other. Brown and Root workmen at that time were nearing the end of their phase of the mammoth construction project The first phase contract was given Brown and Root for S4.S million to cfredge the slip, fabricate the. stee 1 . tubes and place them in the trench, pour in the concrete, seal and build the 22-foot roadway inside the tunnel. The second contract providing for all finishing, electrical and ventilation installation and erection of a building to house all the necessary machinery was awarded Farnsworth and Chambers for $3,7 7S4.224. . . . The third part of the project, the access road's to the Baytown-La Porte Tunnel, was done by the F and C Engineering Co., a. wholly-owned subsidiary of Farnsworth and Chambers, for $258,682. F and Cs part of the work included Spur 201 connecting the tunnel with West Main, Highway 146 skirting the south end of Baytown, a two-level traffic exchange and a bridge over Goose Creek- all on the north, Baytown, side. The south access road included a three-level traffic exchange about a mile from the south portal of the tunnel on Spillman Island. Gravel Foundation While the nine tubes of the Baytown-La Porte Tunnel were being fabricated and lined, a trench was dredged across the Houston Ship Channel to a line three feet lower than the final grade of the bottom of the tunnel. A three-foot foundation of fine gravel was then placed on the bottom of this trench to the proper grade. Two Wars Delay Tunnel On Channel The Baytown-La Porte Tunnel, a dream of East Harris citizens since 1919, has been interrupted by two wars. The outbreak of World War n in 1941 put an end to "Pelly City Attorney Shannon Morris's plans for the City of Pelly to issue revenue bonds to finance a tunnel between Pelly and Morgan's Point. The city had even gone so far as to contract with an engineering firm before the plans fell through. Then in 1950 the Korean War broke out and the lack of structural steel had a grea: deal to do with delaying completion of the dream. Street Repair Need Stopped Access Road Money needed for repair of West Main between South and West Baytown kept the Durain Ferry road from becoming an access road to Spur 201 leading to the Baytcwn-La Porte Tunnel. Members of the Baytown City Council decided that it woulcf be better to spend any money that might become available from the traffic improvement fund on repair of West Main ?athe.r than spend it on the Durain Ferry road. The ferry road, one of the oldest in this area, was very run down and enough money would have had to be appropriated to drain the street in addition to paving it Four Main Let On Channel Four main contracts of nine hu<rg ™ ™* fr dredging of the trench channel bottom, towing g ™* the s«tton B and filling . the completed tunnel. 8 n ov * Contract number two V ? M- the r bu ' ldln ? °« mechanical and electrical ment and 1 the fourth ind,, ing, finishing and clean-im tions, * LONG The longest _... water motor car western hemisphe* foot Brooklyn - ^ ucry -. leading between Manhattan Brooklyn in New York. T "* opened May 27, 1950 "* The congestion of 'the PS«J ' Tunnel when it w as fl^** was blamed on inadequate i ches. The approaches w improved with a traffic either end of the tube. J±^Hfr£™.f^.^ m a «» o Saddles Hold Tubes Each of the nine tu Baytown-La Porte Tun: flat steel saddles whicl. UMin| it in a horizontal position. Sjj the nine tubes are 300 f e # 1, and three center sections J containing a break in alignB» at points of change of ;m>d« . 252 feet long. '' The City of La Porte IS INDEED PROUD TO SHARE THE SPOTLIGHT TODAY WITH ITS SISTER CITY OF BAYTOWN The opening of the tunnel marks a new day in the growth of our city. Our peoples 1 will has been done. We face the future with supreme! faith in our ability] to make La Porte the garden spot of j the Bayshore Area. THE "WELCOME MAT" IS OUT... FOR THE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ATTENDING] THE OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONIES OF THE] TUNNEL WE ARE EXTREMELY PROUD TO BE YOUR HOST*! ON THIS OCCASION AND JOIN THE CITY OF BAYTOWN IN MAKING THIS THE FIRST STEP FOR| GREATER MUTUAL PROSPERITY. M. D. BURG1N ROBERT WHITE LOUIS R. RIGBY

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