Enjoy a view of transportation past on Utah State History’s website.
A new slide show available through the Utah State History website shows images in black and white — but the photos are still colorful. Men working on a bridge with no safety gear, steam powered equipment and construction of a road in front of the newly-built Utah State Capitol all attest to Utah’s fascinating transportation past. The slide show is a cooperative effort between UDOT and the Utah Division of History.
The images were chosen from over 40,000 historic photographs available online. Lynn Bernhard, Maintenance Methods Engineer for UDOT looked at the photos, reviewed the captions.
It only took Lynn a few minutes to spot features that a non-engineer (like yours-truly) might not see. For instance, Lynn knew that the asphalt being placed in front of the Utah State Capitol is hot mix because “you have to roll it right away,” and the equipment used to move a bridge girder is called a stiff-leg derrick.
Aldrich noticed that the old machines looks quite different that what’s used to build roads and bridges today. “The images used in the slideshow are very interesting, the equipment they had available for their use was very primitive. Its amazing that they were able to get the job done with such limited resources.”
But get the job done they did, while trying to reduce inconvenience to motorists. A caption on a photo of workers placing asphalt in Ogden Canyon (above) reads in part “traffic open during construction.” Today, UDOT places a high priority on reducing delay caused by construction projects.