The bridge has landed. As of approximately 9:30am this morning the bridge made its final descent onto the abutments.
The bridge is now sitting with a rubber pad and steel plate under each girder at both ends of the bridge.
What a momentous occasion to witness. That last 5 inches felt like a very long distance after the marathon of work that went into getting this 900 ton bridge lowered approximately 17 feet into place.
The second image is a detail shot showing the rubber pad and the steel plate under each girder. The bridge is designed to be a floating bridge. It is allowed to flex and move and the rubber pad facilitates this movement and protects the abutment. The steel plate protects the rubber pad and is shaped like a wedge to accommodate the curvature of each girder and allow them to sit flat.
A huge congratulations to the crew for all their hard work. This is a big milestone today.
The next step is to remove all of the temporary work on the bridge and abutments. Forms will be put in to be able to pour the last bits of the abutment that had to wait until the bridge was in place before they could be completed.
On top of the bridge the wood forms continue to be assembled. Once the wood forms are completed on the surface of the bridge the steel workers will come in to build the rebar cages for the concrete.
Yesterday, the trip down Nacimiento was even more perilous than usual. I was just so glad Rock Knocker was driving. First were a string of 4 Super 10 trucks, fully loaded, without a guide vehicle; then there were two tractor trailer rigs, we had to back way up because they couldn’t make the corner without using the whole frigging road; then there was a regular 10 yard followed by the propane delivery in his regular rig. It was quite the experience. Of course, coming home we had to be on the look out for the return of these same vehicles. The first were the 4 Super 10 trucks, they were early and we were still in the flats along the river. We stopped and talked to the propane guy, and even HE is worried about that little bridge (time for me to call again, since I never got the report on the last inspection). After that, we were about 1/2 way up to the summit and Rock Knocker yelled, “There they are.” I hadn’t seen them, but he had – the tractor trailer rigs without a lead car. Rock Knocker had to back up, down hill, with me completely on the edge – and as afraid of heights as I am, that was no fun a’tall.
At least we don’t have a Harvey or an Irma or the floods in Bangladesh and the wildfires of Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and No Cal, right? I think Mother Nature is fed up with us all over the world, not just here in Big Sur. If this is any precursor of the winter ahead, we are in deep doodoo.