Connecting Main Span to Approaches

Driving by the Bridge Project, you may notice that the main span is now connected to approach structures on both sides. The video above shows the placement of one of the final edge girders on the south side of the main span to the end bent (i.e., top of the approach) on the east side. This hulking piece of structural steel weighs thousands of pounds, and the bolt plate (i.e., the square piece with the holes) on both ends has to match perfectly. It’s precision work to carefully lower the girder into the correct position.

Since this video was taken about a month ago, construction crews have placed the remaining floor beams and girders to fully connect the structural steel elements on both sides. This means that – with a safety harness and life line – you could walk across the beams from the approach to the main span on both sides.

Yesterday, the cable stay pipes (i.e., white sheaths) that will encase the cable strands that connect the final segment of the main span on the west tower were installed. These final cable stay pipes can reach lengths of 572 feet, which is longer than the actual towers are high (515 feet). If you’re curious about how long 572 feet is, and want a close-up of one of the white sheaths, watch this 2-minute video.

The next steps will be installing the cable strands in these final cable stay pipes, followed by placing the remaining 16’x30’ concrete panels that will comprise the road deck.