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Ruby Tuesday – Walking The Steel. August 16, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Ruby Tuesday!.
Tags: , , ,

My job, highway and bridge layout, ranges from yawns, generally plentiful during the more mundane aspects of rural road surveys, to screams, which can come fast and furiously when in the throes of building a big, complicated bridge.

I’m presently wrestling with a monster, a disintegrating concrete span which looms in a great curve over an iron railroad bridge which in turn spans the concrete channel of the Hoosic river in its transit of the city of North Adams.  It’s a virtual Escher’s World of crumbling concrete pillars being “resurfaced” (yeah, and good luck with that! ) and redecked with new steel beams and a new concrete deck.

We’re at the point now of setting the beams on the east side (Stage II) and they are, you guessed it, RED:

The iron workers scurry about up there seemingly unphased;  I, on the other hand, move with a great deal of care and caution, much to their amusement:

That’s not me, but you get the idea – and it gets a good bit higher by the time it crosses the railroad tracks.

I’ll be spending the better part of the next few weeks walking the steel, with the spaces between the beams being gradually filled in with “pans” for the upcoming concrete pours.

For more Things Ruby, visit Mary over at Work of the Poet!


1. byrde - August 16, 2010

The engineer’s child in me (which is far too present, as I got a double helping with some reinforcement from other relations) is made quite happy with these pictures.

2. Carletta - August 16, 2010

The red certainly adds a brightness to an otherwise drab concrete pillar day. 🙂
Be careful up there.

3. Susan L - August 17, 2010

i’ve never seen red girders like that before and they really stand out … but i’m renowned for not keeping my eyes open.
My Ruby Redness

4. Spadoman - August 17, 2010

Great Ruby shots! And thanks for sharing a glimpse of what you do for work in your life.


5. Ralph - August 17, 2010

The structural steel is a bold and strong ruby. The construction is of quality, given the weight of the vehicles and the supervisor’s diligence. Around here in New haven, there is so much steel in red like this for the I-91 / I-95 / new I-95 bridge, it is amazing to see. And see it you will until 2014 as the traffic is moving so slowly around the construction…

6. susan - August 17, 2010

Excellent shots and I do know what you mean about being cautious with heights. Shortly after the Skydome was built in Toronto my father and I saw an I-Max film of the construction project. The roof part was particularly amazing because it’s 31 stories tall at the apex and we saw the workers going about their business quite casually. This video isn’t very clear but it gives a good idea of the process and still leaves me dizzy.

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