On Tuesday April 21, almost two years to the day after construction began on the main span, crews carefully lifted and connected into place the final major steel floor beam. Each floor beam is about 140 feet long and 10 feet tall, weighs about 32 tons and is connected to other steel components known as edge girders with more than 200 bolts.
The construction of the main span got started on April 26, 2018, with the lifting of the first pier table on the east tower (click here to view the time-lapse video). Two years later, crews placed the final floor beam for the final segment of the main span. Assembling the main span over the Port’s Back Channel has been one of the most complex endeavors of the project, as deck sections had to be added equally on both sides of the towers (i.e., balanced-cantilever construction).
There are 117 total floor beams that support the main span 205 feet over the water. They are fastened to the edge girders to form a grid of structural steel onto which 598 16’x30’ pre-cast concrete panels are placed to form the road deck. Every 50 feet of the main span, crews have strung cable-stays from the edge girders up to each tower to bear the weight of all that steel and concrete.
Now that the final floor beam has been placed, the final few concrete panels in the middle and at the end bents (where the cable-supported main span connects to the column-supported approaches) will be placed to finish the forming of the road deck. Then, those panels will be “stitched” together with rebar and concrete. The process will be completed in May.
To read more about the final beam placement, see this story from the Press-Telegram.