Saturday, October 29, 2011

Big milestone for the new Bay Bridge

This week, a major milestone in the construction of the new Bay Bridge: the last section of deck for the suspension segment is now in place. I like this article in the Contra Costa Times because it does a good job of explaining what's going on, and has some nice pictures of the Left Coast Lifter in action. As the CCTimes article notes:
The deck piece installed Friday is key.

"It's the place where the cable actually comes in and locks into the bridge," Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said.

"It's self-anchored. That means the cable doesn't go into the ground, but into this piece. There's a big hole in the deck where will the cable will go down and anchor into this section."

Unlike the Golden Gate Bridge, where cables were strung before the deck was installed, the new Bay Bridge suspension span requires that the deck be installed before the cable. Temporary supports hold up the deck until the cable is tensioned.

I guess that means that the Lifter is likely to move on now ... is there another bridge somewhere on the planet awaiting its services? Check out this great picture of the Lifter setting that massive piece of roadway into the final slot just as easy as pie!

Here's a pretty computer-generated video showing what it will (soon) look like.

Next step: string the cables! I believe that starts in earnest after Thanksgiving. It should be something to see; if you look carefully at the various pictures, you can see the catwalks that the crew will walk during cable installation.

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