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ocklawaha river road trip


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#1 don212

don212
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Posted 26 January 2017 - 08:48 PM

drove down route of ocklawaha river in preparation for an extended boat trip. Ocklawaha was considered the most beautiful river in fl. until it was dammed in 60s as part of the aborted cross fl. barge canal. the dam flooded miles of cypress forest land. prior to flooding they infamously plowed down the trees with a massive custom tank like vehicle, which was supposed to permanently bury the trees, oh yeah trees float, so 50 years later i find the trees are still popping up and stacking up on shore. iwas shocked. I also saw a guy dipnetting in the dam spillway for large gizzard shad about a foot long, he had caught at least 20 bushel cartons full by himself and was going to use them for crab bait. never seen so many fish harvested by one man in freshwater. 



#2 mattknepley

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  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 27 January 2017 - 07:00 AM

I've crossed the barge canal and the Ocklawaha several times on 19. The latter is much prettier, though the bridges not quite so high as the canal's. Why is that bridge so high?
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#3 Doug_Dame

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 01:11 PM

The bridge is so high so that tall water-vessels ... actual ships ... could pass under. 

 

I used to live on the mid-eastern side of Florida, relatively near the Ocklawaha. And Lake Rodman, which is what's behind the dam of Don's story. Lake Rodman being much beloved by bass fisherman, and much despised by environmentalists as the most visible remaining reminder of the folly that was the Cross-Florida Barge Canal project. Whether or not to remove the dam and restore the Ocklawaha River remains a hot political issue that flares up into flames every few years. Been over that bridge many times on fish quests.

 

Environmentalists finally managed to get Nixon to stop the project in 1971, and it was officially permanently killed circa 1991. The concept was to create a navigable water route from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic, bypassing most of the Florida peninsula. At least, that was the public rationale. It was probably/arguably 80% a boondoogle to get a huge construction project going.

 

Then I moved to the west coast of Florida, and by coincidence am now three miles from the other end of the Barge Canal. At this end, the super-tall span was replaced by a 4-lane low bridge a few years ago. 

 

There are a couple of other "why is this darn thing SO high" bridges in the middle of the state that catch you by surprise, when you realize you're suddenly WAY above the tree line for no obvious reason, out of the middle of the boonies. The defunct Cross-Florida Barge Canal is the reason. 

 

You are now well-prepared, should

(a) you be a contestant on Jeopardy, and

(b) this comes up as a topic of the day.


Doug Dame

Floridian now in Cincinnati
 


#4 mattknepley

mattknepley
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  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 27 January 2017 - 04:40 PM

Jeepers, I wouldn't think the QEII would need that much clearance. And just how deep is said canal? What kind of draft were they envisioning needing to accommodate?

Other than that, I'm ready for Jeopardy. Bring it, Trebek!
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#5 Doug_Dame

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 05:16 PM

Well you've stumped me on the depth question. Hope that was a $10 question.

 

But on this end, when digging the bypass to the Gulf for the last 3 or 4 miles, they reportedly managed to punch a hole in the roof layer of the Floridian Aquifer and create a saltwater intrusion. Which they may or may not have been able to fix. 

 

Happily, in most places ... AFAIK ... they got more work done on building bridges than on gouging out existing natural waterways. 


Doug Dame

Floridian now in Cincinnati
 


#6 mattknepley

mattknepley
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  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 28 January 2017 - 02:59 PM

I have no doubt whatsoever that a project like this would punch at least one hole in the top of the aquifer.


Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#7 don212

don212
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Posted 28 January 2017 - 09:26 PM

12ft deep, 150 ft wide , 182 miles across fl,3 dams, at Inglis, Eureka, and Rodman,(completed).5 locks 75 ft. wide, 600 ft.long at Inglis, Eureka, and Rodman (completed), 2 other locks cancelled at Silver Springs, and Dunnellon, cancelled.  Bridges are 65 feet high. both east and west terminus canals completed, Ocklawaha valley and river inundated into a lake.luckily Rainbow and Silver rivers saved.





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