Bridge Project construction reached a major milestone Monday as the last and longest of the 80 cable pipes was raised, running from the tower top to the end of the back span. Cable pipes are the long white sheaths that enclose the cable strands that form the cable stay.
Each tower has 40 cable stays that connect to the road deck, 20 of them on each side. All of the cable stays have varying lengths, ranging from 235 to 573 feet. Each stay is made up of 45 to 109 strands depending on where it is located, and each strand is the approximate width of an adult pinkie finger. If all the strands were laid end-to-end, they would add up to 1.7 million feet in length, which is the approximate distance between the new bridge and Las Vegas.
The time-lapse video above captures the multi-hour process. This particular cable stay was approximately 540 feet in length, which interestingly is longer than the towers are high. Early in the video, the cable pipe is swung out into the air above the eastside end bent, then the tower crane lifts the other end of the pipe high into the air to attach it to the tower. Then the lower portion is swung back and placed down on the road deck. During the course of the day, it is gradually lifted into place as the first cable strand is run through it and attached at both ends (i.e., the tower and main span).
For more on this milestone, here is a story on the Press-Telegram website.