Top Bridge Project Moments: No. 5 ‘The Big Pour’

Over the next several weeks, we’ll count down the top five moments in the building of the Bridge Project. This week’s entry is the massive concrete pour for the east-tower pile cap that we dubbed, “The Big Pour.” That pile cap was the foundation for the first of the two 515-foot-tall towers for the new bridge.

On Sept. 25, 2015, dozens of workers converged on what is now the base of the east tower to perform a carefully orchestrated concrete pour that involved more than 320 trucks arriving onsite every 66 seconds to deliver more than 3,600 cubic yards of concrete into three separate pumps that the crew used to place the concrete. Deliveries had to be timed from two plants.

From about 8 p.m. on the 25th to 8 a.m. the following morning, the 3,600 cubic yards of concrete were poured in and around 2,240 square feet of rebar forms to create a nearly two-story-tall pile cap. That rebar structure was built over six weeks to serve as the pile’s reinforcing form and to connect 12 completed underground piles into a single unit for the base of the tower.

The video above offers a two-and-a-half-minute video recap of the event. A couple items to note: 1) at the 1:19 mark, the sun rises on the massive pour; and 2) shortly after that point, a couple dozen workers use hand tools to smooth the surface of the concrete, which took hours to perform by itself. In case you’re curious, workers were able to use large concrete vibrators to keep the concrete from hardening.

Given the sheer scope and number of workers involved, The Big Pour was one of the single, largest efforts that occurred during the eight years of construction on the Bridge Project.