Blue Bridge-Builder Down

If you were driving along Ocean Boulevard last Wednesday morning, you may have seen the blue movable scaffolding system (MSS) that helped construct the two approaches on the east side of the channel being lowered. The 3.1-million-pound bridge-builder completed its portion of the eastbound decline a couple of months ago and – with its lowering – the massive machine’s more than two year tour of duty has come to an end.

The blue MSS differed from its orange counterpart on the west side of the project in that it was assembled to help build curved approaches. The approaches on the west side are straight. As a result, the blue MSS was a little wider than the orange one and could tilt side-to-side to accommodate the curved angle of the roadway. That building at an angle made using the blue MSS a little more complex to ensure the proper continuity of the approaches.

In all, the blue MSS helped build eight spans on the westbound incline and seven spans on the eastbound decline, totaling fifteen spans and over 3,000 feet of combined roadway.

What’s next for the blue MSS? Finding a new home for the huge machine would require another bridge construction project with the exact same parameters and approach spans as this one, and no two bridges are the same. So, the huge machine will be scrapped. Know that it served its purpose very well, saving the contractor building the new bridge many millions of dollars in construction costs as well as an untold amount of time by accelerating the building of the approach spans.