Building the Ravenel Bridge

After all the photos I took, I've tried to arrange them in some order based on various topics I found interesting.

And a reminder from T.S. Eliot (East Coker from the Four Quartets)

Old men ought to be explorers
Here and there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion

March 22, 2005: West Pylon

Final injection of cable terminations

It all starts at the top - heating 55 gallon drums of wax to about 120 C and requiring 24 hours of heating. Its a rather big job requiring 32 drums per tower (West and East) or 1760 gallons of wax for the top anchorages of one tower. Here you can see the heating coils that have been working overtime since yesterday in order to convert solid wax into liquid wax.

Left is a view of cold wax while on the right is hot wax, ready for pumping

Here is the pump for passing the wax to the cable-stay stations below. The delivery hose is 155 feet long and imagine what happens when there is an internal block. Makes keeping coronary arteries clean seem pretty simple. But for homework, think about how to finish each day - primarily flushing the delivery tube so that when it cools, there is no wax inside to create an obstacle.

Here the bundle of strands is capped. The copper pipe at the top allows displaced air from inside the cap to escape. The lower snap-on connection is for attaching the wax delivery pipe. Crescencio is patiently waiting for the wax to start flowing. Prior to injecting the wax, the stuffing box for each anchorage is closed in order to prevent any leakage into the stay pipe.

and so we wait while approximately 100 L (depending on the number of strands in the cable) of wax is delivered.

When all is finished, the air pipe and injection point are removed and capped.

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C. Frank Starmer