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Ruby Tuesday – Walking The Steel. August 16, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Ruby Tuesday!.
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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!

Beam Me Down, Scottie! October 11, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.
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It was a Big Day at The Job today, when we found out if the beams fit. If they didn’t, I would be pretty much toast.

Here, my Gaucho friend Isaiah rides one down in the rain:


The Bad News: This bridge was half-built when I came on board, and was a mess, with the abutments being slightly too close together for the size of the beams.

The Good News: I managed to tweak the shit outta the layout, scarfing a few extra millimeters from each of several unsuspecting design features and making them fit.

Just barely.

But hey, barely works for me!