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

Setting the final shark fin

January 28, 2005: erecting the last pair of shark fin edge girders

It all starts here on the west side of the bridge - the approach and on ramps

Once you get to the bridge, there is a rather large sign so that you will not get lost at night

Most of the erection cranes have been removed and the deck surface is waiting for the final latex-concrete surface. Going west, you enter under the west pylon (left) and exit from east pylon (right)

Meanwhile, here is the High Steel Structure team, Pat, George, Joe, Dick and Brian, sort of chilling out on the top of the west pylon after they finished the drilling and reaming. Pat Risser took these two photos.

And you can see from the photo (below) of the gap between east and west platforms, the south edge girder is being erected (look for the three perpendicular cantilever beams for supporting the bicycle floor panels). It seems that the HSS team made it to the top a couple of hours before I arrived and they were able to watch the placement of the south shark fin girder.

Several hours later, I showed up and watched PBC erecting the last shark-fin edge girder (north side)

The gap between edge girders will be filled with a splice girder that was drilled by High Steel Structures team on January 26. The team worked hard and apparently they had a treat at the end of their preparations.

To get it right required precision measurmenet and here you can see the extend that surveyers will go to find awkward places to hold the range pole

These guys are dressed for cold weather and splicing the edge girders. Note the blue color of the nuts - that is both an indication of temperature and identifies this as never-been-used-before.

Waiting for the floor girders - note the size scale relative to the workers bolting the splice plate (left). Looking along the west girder to the east (right).

The south gap patiently waiting for the floor girders, rolling out the safety nets and the Freysinnet will do their magic with the cables.

Feb 1, 2005: with floor girders in place

Feb 1, 2005: a sky (gap) walker

There was some concern about the nonuniformity of coloration on the pylons. So an experiment with sand blasting was started. Here you can see the before sand blasting (November 4, 2004) of the west pylon.

Here is the newly sand blasted west pylon (January 28, 2005). Note the more uniform coloration of the pylon face. Obviously, the experiment was a success.

A view showing the differences (compare the tops of the two pylons) in face appearance of the west and east pylons

I have met no one associated with the building of the new Cooper River Bridge that did not have a huge pride in their work, both individually and collectively. You will see flags placed at various points within the construction site - another demonstration of the collective pride of PBC, SCDOT and the contractors. Here, Marvin was untangling the flag (left), and earlier had insisted of taking a photo of me. My wife noted the ungloved hand - my camera trigger finger and I was too numb to put the glove back onto my hand (right) (the temp was about 5C with 20 mph winds).

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C. Frank Starmer