HDR Photos of Progress on the Ohio River Bridge North Tower

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North tower, R-5, base with Ironworkers climbing and tying rebar. Sunny, cloudless, day with 3 people visible on scaffolding.
Going Up

The Ironworkers and Carpenters have been very busy over the winter and the North Tower of the Downtown Span is progressing well. In this first image you can see the tower base as it stands today. The Ironworkers are tying the rebar for the next section and as soon as that is done the Carpenters will form that section for the next concrete pour.

I regret that I was under the weather for the first two months of this year and unable to get out to the Ohio River Bridges project very often. In looking back at the images from the end of 2013 I can see that there has been a great deal of progress. I’m back on the job now and will be posting on a regular basis as I did throughout the end of summer and into fall.

All of these images today are HDR images processed in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and Aperture 3. As is my standard practice I shot everything handheld in three frame bracket sets of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures. I applied 60% anti-ghosting during the merging of these three exposures and used the Balanced Preset as my starting point. After merging them and applying the preset I went back into the tone mapping settings and changed the Detail slider to Accentuated and the Drama slider to Deep. That is all I did in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 before returning the merged file to Aperture 3 where I adjusted the color channels, sharpening, contrast and applied a small vignette.

HDR photo of Four Ironworkers on North Tower landing supplies
Four Ironworkers on North Tower landing supplies. HDR image

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In this image the Ironworkers are working with the crane Operator to lift more materials onto the tower scaffolding. They have to communicate with the Crane Operator using hand signals and radios to safely manage material transfers. I am always amazed at the skill of these crane operators to place everything from a small bundle of steel reinforcing to massive concrete forms on the job with pinpoint accuracy.

HDR Photo of Carpenters Removing the concrete form from the eastern base of the North Tower #2
HDR Photo of Carpenters Removing the concrete form from the eastern base of the North Tower #2

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In this HDR image the concrete form is being removed from the angled surface of the eastern side of the eastern pier of the North Tower. The carpenters have unbolted it and rigged it for the crane Operator to lift it and transfer it to a waiting barge until it is needed again. Seeing the Carpenters alongside these forms gives scale to their size. Once again the Crane Operator and the Carpenters are working through radio and hand signals to safely move this massive piece of concrete form.

HDR Photo of Carpenters Removing the concrete form from the eastern base of the North Tower #1
HDR Photo of Carpenters Removing the concrete form from the eastern base of the North Tower #1

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For this HDR image I chose to shoot the removal of the concrete form in a vertical format to better capture the cranes and the upward momentum that the project exudes as it progresses.

HDR photo of the North Tower Bases and Cranes
HDR photo of the North Tower Bases and Cranes

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This HDR image shows both bases for the North Towers of the Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span. The progress that is being made really comes out in this HDR photo. The concrete forms have been removed from the base of the western side of the towers and scaffolding is surrounding the transition point as the base morphs into it final cylindrical shape which will be approximately 150 feet in the air when it is completed.

HDR Photo of The North Tower Base Cooling Manifold Lift
HDR Photo of The North Tower Base Cooling Manifold Being Lifted Into Place

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This HDR image shows a cooling manifold being lifted into place. It is used to distribute cooling water through the concrete as it cures. When concrete cures there is a lot of heat inside it; this is due to the catalytic reaction of the materials that are used to make concrete. Without cooling this reaction would cause the concrete to overheat and lose it’s strength. The cooling process goes on until sensors built into the structure provide the information to show that it is safe to stop cooling the concrete and allow it to finish curing.

I’m really glad to get back to shooting the Ohio River Bridges Project and posting my work again. I hope that small hiccup at the beginning of the year won’t be repeated and I can complete my project of documenting the Ohio River Bridges Project and the men and women who are doing it.

11 thoughts on “HDR Photos of Progress on the Ohio River Bridge North Tower

    1. Thanks Ellen I’m glad to be getting back into the swing of things. I’ve been working on a few other aspects of my blog and some projects that I needed to sort out. I hope to get my momentum back and start posting again on a regular basis.

    1. Thanks Peter, Yes all is well and should remain so. I and my wife caught a nasty bug at the beginning of the year and it took us both nearly two months to recover from it. Nature has a way of attempting to lay us low; it’s amazing to me how mankind survived before antibiotics came along. Sadly the overuse of them has resulted in more resistant bacteria that are harder to fight off.

      I too found the blue sky to be a good background. Photographing the project with so many cranes poking up into an empty sky is a challenge but that day the sky was bright and clear so I tried to capitalize on it’s appearance. I had also cleaned my sensor that day so I wasn’t fighting sensor dust either. 😉

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