Photography: Government Bridge at Rock Island

I’ve crossed this bridge many times on walks and runs with our dog, by bicycle, and by car. It is located just a mile from our house in Rock Island. I took this shot on a cloudy day at about noon in mid-December. The day was so gloomy that the color image may have just as well been a black and white, which is what I present for the first image.

You will see that I did some post-shooting processing to create the subsequent images. I’m using rudimentary editing tools. My primary program is Windows Live Photo Gallery, which I use to organize, display, and resize my photos. I also use Canon Utilities Zoom Browser EX, which was free with the purchase of my point and shoot camera four years ago. It offers the ability to perform tone curve adjustments, which allow me to do the bizarre color shifting seen on the last image.

As for the subject matter, the Government Bridge, or Arsenal Bridge, spans the Mississippi River connecting Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa. It is located near upper Mississippi mile 483, adjacent to Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 15. The current structure, the fourth in a succession at this location, includes a swing section to accommodate traffic navigating the locks. The double tracks of rail above the road level are an unusual feature for a bridge.

The first bridge, constructed in the 1850s and located around 1,500 feet (460 m) upstream of the present, was the first railroad bridge to span the Mississippi River and played prominent roles in the ramp up to the American Civil War and construction of the first transcontinental railroad.

The relocation was driven by the federal government, which owned the island and wished to redevelop it into an arsenal. . . . The federal government jointly used this bridge for access with the railroad, giving rise to the current name—Government Bridge.
The current Government Bridge, designed by Ralph Modjeski and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company, was built in 1896 (Wikipedia).

Government Bridge Black and white

Government Bridge
Black and white

Government Bridge Etching

Government Bridge

Government Bridge Blues

Government Bridge

Government Bridge Lime and fuchsia

Government Bridge
Lime and fuchsia


One thought on “Photography: Government Bridge at Rock Island

  1. I like the historical nature of this post in addition to the cool variations on the photograph. My favorite is the color as it reminds me of the gelatin prints grain and transparency.

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