Category: Construction Photography

Ironworker’s Topping Out Ceremony

 

These two photos show the Ironworker’s Topping Out Ceremony that joined the north and south sections of the downtown span of the Ohio River Bridges Project. On Oct 19, 2015 the raising gang were getting ready to lift final segment into place on the Ohio River Bridges Project.

The tradition among Ironworkers is to place an evergreen tree on the last section of a project to symbolize the safe completion of the structural steel. They do it to mark another job that everyone survived. Ironworking is a dangerous occupation and the possibility of loss of life is always there. Fortunately the men and women on this job were able to complete their work without any injuries or anyone losing their life.

They also sign the last piece of steel before placing it. On this day I was also asked to sign the segment because I had been with them all the way trough the job of erecting the bridge steel.  From setting the first side girder exactly 364 days before this on on October 18, 2015 until this final segment was in place they worked safely and quickly to make this milestone.

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Raising gang on Oct 19, 2015 getting ready to lift final segment into place on the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Raising gang on Oct 19, 2015 getting ready to lift final segment into place on the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Raising gang on Oct 19, 2015 getting ready to lift final segment into place on the Ohio River Bridges Project. #2
Raising gang on Oct 19, 2015 getting ready to lift final segment into place on the Ohio River Bridges Project. #2

2015 Ohio River Bridges Project Commemorative Print

2015 Commemorative Print Now On Sale
2015 Commemorative Print 

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Today I am releasing my 2015 Ohio River Bridges Project Commemorative Print of the nearly completed  downtown span in time for you to get it before Christmas. It is available in two sizes 13.25″ X 10.5″ size is $100 and the “20 X 16” size is $230. the finished ready to hang print is on .040″ Aluminum with mounting black attached.

The men and women building the Ohio River Bridges Project downtown span are nearly finished and in just a few days the first vehicular traffic will be allowed on the new bridge. On Saturday December 5, the public will be given the opportunity to walk out on the bridge and see the result of two and a half years of construction.

Being able to be a part of this project is one of the most rewarding things I have done in my photographic career. The decision to photograph the construction is also the most ambitious single project I have undertaken in over forty years as a photographer.

I have seen the bridge emerge from the river as the towers were constructed, then seeing the first steel girders installed, seeing the cable stays as they were installed to suspend the bridge across the Ohio River and just last week being there as the final pavement was laid in place.

I have witnessed first hand the dedication and pride that every tradesperson brought to the job. There were many long days where they worked from sunup until late in the night to make sure that the job was done correctly and on time. Along the way I have made many new friends in all the trades that it takes to accomplish something of this scale.

As the embedded photographer it has been an honor to be a part of this incredible addition to the Louisville infrastructure. As the project winds down I will miss many of these men and women who will now move on to other jobs as the “Build America”.

All orders received before December 12, 2015 will be ready for local delivery before Christmas. Shipping is available for orders from outside the Louisville area.

 

Forms and Lines

Often when I’m looking for something to shoot on a construction site I encounter wonderful Forms and Lines. Sometimes they are simple cylinders or sharp edged rectangles that in and of themselves are great subjects. At other times I am fortunate to find a dynamic composition that juxtaposes forms and catches my attention, such as this scene, which contains curves, lines, vertical and horizontal movement and to top it off a shadow that combines with the bridge above to sweep the viewer’s eye along to the left of the frame.

Girder and Bridge Columns
Girder and Bridge Columns

 

On Top of the Tower Four Crane with Marcus Jones

A few shots from my last trip up on the Tower Four crane. The crane is down now and Marcus has retired to Arizona. It sure was fun to be up there with him and to get a chance to see the world from his vantage point.

The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup #2
The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup #2
Inside the tower crane cab with Marcus "BigIron" Jones.
Inside the tower crane cab with Marcus “BigIron” Jones.

 

Looking south over the Kentucky approach to the Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Looking south over the Kentucky approach to the Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

 

Looking north from inside the tower crane mast on pier four.
Looking north from inside the tower crane mast on pier four.

 

 

Looking northwest from inside the tower crane mast on pier four.
Looking northwest from inside the tower crane mast on pier four.

 

Marcus "BigIron" Jone Operating Engineer on tower four tower crane deck looking east upriver on the Ohio River.
Marcus “BigIron” Jone Operating Engineer on tower four tower crane deck looking east upriver on the Ohio River.

 

Looking east from the motor deck on the tower crane on pier four.
Looking east from the motor deck on the tower crane on pier four.

 

Looking over the top of the tower crane on pier four at the Louisville skyline.
Looking over the top of the tower crane on pier four at the Louisville skyline.

 

Marcus Jones taking my picture on top of the tower crane.
Marcus Jones taking my picture on top of the tower crane.

 

Looking down the boom of the tower crane.
Looking down the boom of the tower crane.
The Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project nears completion of structural steel and cable stay operations.

The Downtown Span Approaches Completion

The work on the Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span is moving so fast it is becoming more and more difficult to shoot, edit and post the photos I’m getting now. With Ironworkers, Raising Gangs and Cable Stay Gangs, working feverishly to complete their tasks it is hectic to say the least.

The Ohio River Bridges Downtown Span August 24-29, 2015

The Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project. HDR Version
The Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project. HDR Version

Last week the Ohio River Bridges Downtown Span grew another 180 feet in length. The cable stays on Tower Five were completed and the scaffolding to the top of the towers was removed. One of the cranes being used to build the bridge structure blew an engine but that didn’t keep the structural gang from completing the building of another 45 feet of bridge.

The photos in this post are both three frame HDR mergers and single frame images. In all cases the image was first adjusted for sharpness and color saturation in Adobe Camera Raw followed by a trip into Photoshop CS5 for lens correction when needed. I also used Topaz Clarity to bring out the texture and contrast which I applied to a separate layer; in several cases the opacity of the Topaz Clarity layer was reduced to between 25 -75%.

Eric Faulkner Operating Engineer

Eric Faulkner in the forklift on the bridge.
Eric Faulkner, Operating Engineer, in the forklift on the bridge.

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Toady’s image is of Eric Faulkner an Operating Engineer on the Ohio River Bridges Project. Downtown Span. I chose this image because I like the composition and the way Eric can be seen in the cab of the forklift while in the background the louisville skyline is seen through the window. The narrow slot where Eric can be seen and the fact that it takes a second to see him in there are both elements that draw me to this photo.

Eric is one of those people who are often overlooked when observing a construction job like this. Because he is inside a machine such as this forklift he becomes simply another part of the scene. His expertise with all manner of heavy equipment makes him an invaluable part of the day to day tasks that must be accomplished in order for the work to progress in a timely manner. Not only is Eric responsible for operating this forklift he also has the task of operating the two job cranes located on top of the bridge towers on Pier Three. He often has to climb the 300 feet of scaffolding several times a day to get to the top of one of the towers to lift material for the people working on the cable stay gang. Imagine climbing 30 stories to get to the top of one of the towers to run the jib crane then having to climb back down and then climb up the other tower just to operate that jib crane for a few minutes. Along with that role he may need to also climb into the forklift and move material around the bridge deck between times he is on top of the towers.