This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Setting a bridge

Today was the big day for the Talbert Bridge. The main span was lifted onto its concrete piers. The lift started at about 11:00.
The method was not what I expected. The crane lifted the span over the south-bank pier and used that to support the span. Then the operator gradually moved it out over the river.
When it was almost to the other side, the crane on the north side hooked to the bridge and held it.
With the crane on the north and the pier on the south supporting the bridge, a worker went out onto the span and unhooked the main crane, and then re-attached the hooks so that the crane would be able to shove it the rest of the way.
Of course the workers helped with the shoving. (It is actually quite remarkable how a single person can move things that are suspended.)
On the north bank another worker was checking to make sure that the span would be placed in exactly the right spot.
The workers on the south found the right spot for their side.
With the main span in place, workers could walk on it. The bridge has a bit of bounce--you could see it as the workers walked on it. That will make it a lot more fun for kids to cross. Will the runners like the sensation?
With the main span in place, it was time for the approaches. The crane on the north bank quickly set the approach from Weston Cemetery, though the fine-tuning took a while.
Right now there are no boards in the approach, so sensible people will stay off. I do not know if that will include me.
When it is finished, the bridge will have side rails to keep people from falling off and helping those of us with fear of heights.
As I left at noon, this is what the bridge looked like. The crane on the north was getting ready to leave, but they had not started lifting the south approach into place.


Anonymous said...

That is truly a beautiful site. Let us know when it is finished and can be used by walkers and runners and bikers.

Anonymous said...

These pictures of the setting of the walking bridge are great. A picture is worth a 1000 words and yours are worth much more. Thanks for sharing.

Carole said...

The bridge in its present form is stunningly simplistic. It is a vital link of the north and south communities along the westerly side of the city. Thank you Park Department!!