Drove under the current falsework over the weekend, twice actually. There were about 12 steel beams across the road. And they were all grouped tightly together, not spread out. At first I thought that they just put them up and were going to separate them later. Second time through (me not driving) I realized that the large grouping was right by the large section that will span the entire road between the supports on each side. No doubt the added weight requires the extra steel. Other areas will require less support since they will "only" be bearing the weight of the actual guideway, not the full crossing beam.
The forms are just about finished. An inside view of the main form looks like "The Jolly Green Giant's birchbark canoe" or maybe a modern day version of Noah's Ark. If you see animals lined up two by two on the west side of Arcadia, it's time to start worrying.
Just saw the authority released a statement that the first, and largest, concrete pour of the bridge was successful. Here is what was poured earlier this week:
And here is an aerial shot prior to the pour:
Anybody know if they are going to extract all the inside wood forms after they pour the deck over them? I believe if they wanted to do this, they would have to go inside and do the work from there, since all the wood forms will be completely enclosed.
The main part of the IBS is almost done--just a few more nights of freeway closure to remove the remaining "falsework" supports. There are some final elements to add, but the bridge should be ready for turnover to the main track construction contractor in December. One can imagine an archaeologist in the far future, uncovering the IBS, and saying, "Those folks really knew how to build things!"
Noticed on Monday that they have started the "basket" construction on the South basket. There are now two rows of the nine in place. Shouldn't take long to get the rest up. There is a Metro update video showing the manufacturing here:
I wasn't aware that the baskets included a surface that includes reflective material. They will also have decorative lighting so both baskets will be lit up at night. Once the landscaping and lighting is in place, it should be one spectacular addition to the system. Even before the trains start running
Gold Line Bridge Project Completion Ceremony scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 at 10 AM. The last few elements are being built, and the official "handover" will be at Newcastle Park in Arcadia (scene of the groundbreaking in 2010). Quoting from the announcement (received at the GLFE board meeting last night): "HONORING THE DESIGNERS AND BUILDERS Please plan to join the Construction Authority at this ceremony, as we honor the men and women who helped design and build the Gold Line Bridge and enjoy a unique opportunity to view the bridge in a way that will not be possible in the future."
I may try and make it, depending on the time of the event. My weekends tend to fill up pretty quickly.
When driving by over the weekend, I saw the freeway signs up that they were planning over night full closures for I believe Tuesday through Friday. Talk about working right up to the deadline The pouring of the sidings along the bridge seems to have been put off to the end. They did get the Northern side that isn't above the freeway done by the time I drove by Saturday morning. I was hoping to see the bridge lit up, but I guess the lights aren't installed yet.
The completion ceremony is scheduled to start at 10 AM on Dec. 15. Entrance is at Newcastle Park, 101 W. Colorado Blvd, Arcadia. (just west of the former Santa Fe bridge abutments). Parking at the park is reported limited to handicapped and VIPs, so it's recommended that attendees arrive early for street parking in the area. The Metro 487 bus runs on Santa Anita Ave., and the Metro 78 and the Foothill 187 stop at Santa Anita and Huntington. For after-program eats, there's an In-N-Out Burger nearby.
The IBS completion ceremony is now "in the books", and the bridge is ready for rails and trolley wire. There was much speechifying by various local officials and awards to the construction crew, the artist who designed the bridge, and even to the Highway Patrol for managing the freeway closure necessary for the project. The weather was pleasant, if a bit chilly and a good turnout of spectators (including several railway history enthusiasts) had a chance to walk on the bridge--in a few years, trains will be speeding through the same space at 50 or 55 mph.
We can just about close the book on the bridge--at last night's GLFE board meeting, it was reported that just a few administrative "loose ends" need to be completed. One memorable statistic is that the job required 95,000 worker-hours, and there were NO reportable accidents. Well done!