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

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lifting the bridge

The bowstring arch bridge was lifted into place this morning to the delight of about a dozen onlookers. Below a worker is attaching the bridge to the crane. The metal thingy above the bridge was used so the bridge could be attached in four places, giving it stability during the lift.
After the bridge was attached, there was a long wait, and then suddenly it was time for the lift.
The bridge was carefully lowered onto metal footings and then a long process of adjustment too place.
 Most of the people watching were on the north side, so I went to watch from that angle, thinking that they might have figured out the better viewing point.
Finally they seemed to be satisfied with how the bridge was fitting.
They loosened the straps and the bridge was on its own. Further work needs to be done to get it anchored, and then the I-beams will be put into place. You can see the step on which the I-beams will rest in the picture above.
The planking has arrived--it is four-by-fours. I am not sure when it will be installed.

I discovered in talking to people who were watching the bridge that this is the third location for this bridge. Laird's Landing is not where the bridge was initially installed, but I got conflicting stories about where it was originally. It was installed on a road, but when the road was changed or a new bridge was built, this bridge became surplus and was bought by the Laird family and installed north of Laird's Landing. That is why a bridge that looked far too big for foot traffic ended up at that location.

I also learned that there was a fair amount of damage that had to be repaired before the bridge came back to Rensselaer. That makes sense--it is a very old bridge that has been out in the elements for a very long time.

Below is a picture of the bridge looking upriver. It will not look like this very long. After the deck and the railings are added, it will look considerably different.
I am trying to upload a video that I will add if I can get it onto YouTube successfully.

Update: The bridge and park improvements are funded by a Transportation Enhancement grant of roughly a million dollars from the federal government that is administered by the Indiana State Department of Transportation.

The first I-beam was placed early this afternoon.
 This should be the video:



Update 2: The beam did not stay, but was removed. Late this afternoon the painters were back doing more touch up.

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