If you have driven over the Gerald Desmond Bridge in the last few weeks, you may have noticed that the two main towers look a little different. Following our December 5th celebration of topping out the towers, the formwork structures that were used to construct them in 20-foot segments have been removed.
The removal of the formwork has exposed 10 pairs of casings into which 10 cables will be placed as part of the cable-stayed construction of the new bridge. These 10 pairs of casings appear as black dots on both faces of the tower (pictured above), curving diagonally from the lowest pair to the highest.
In April, pier tables will be lifted onto the four falsework columns that are built around the base of each tower. These pier tables will construct the main span of the bridge in sections. As each one is built, a cable will run through the proper pair of casings to attach to the section in two places, holding it in place and enabling the tower to bear the load of its weight. In this regard, the cable and casings loosely resemble a pulley that doesn’t move.
If all goes according to plan, you should see the first cables put in place in late April or early May. Then, one of the most iconic aspects of the new bridge will begin to come into focus.