Tag: International Union of Operating Engineers

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.

An Assortment of Photos from the Ohio River Bridges Project

Photos from the Ohio River Bridges Project

Thank You from Speeddemon2 Photography – Year in Review 2014

Today I’d like to thank all of the folks who made 2014 another great year for Speeddemon2 Photography; I’m also going to share some of my favorite images from 2014.

People Working on The Ohio River Bridges Project

Monique Jones in her "office" on  the Front End Loader.
Monique Jones in her “office” on the Front End Loader.

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The opening image is a shot of Monique Jones in the cab of here Front End Loader while working on the Ohio River Bridges Project. “Moe”, as she is known by the crew members at the Kentucky Approach of the Ohio River Bridges Project, is seldom without her wonderful smile. She is on the go all day long moving everything from rock for the project to large containers of parts.I don’t think I’ve ever seen her when she wasn’t sitting up there in her “office” smiling.

Monique and Nan confer on the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Monique Jones and Nan Grant confer on the Ohio River Bridges Project.

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In this second image of Monique she is talking with another Operating Engineer, Nan Grant. Nan is the Oiler for one of the cranes stationed on the Kentucky Approach to the Downtown Span on the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Todd Blankenbaker, crane operator, on the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Todd Blankenship, crane operator in Section One of the Ohio River Bridges Pr0ject.

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The photo above is of Todd Blankenship one of the many Crane Operators on the Ohio River Bridges Project. It seems that nearly every photo I shoot of crane operators is from this vantage point. I think it is appropriate since their work has them looking high into the sky over the job.When guys like Todd have a load hanging from the crane they are constantly looking up to see the signals from the people they are working with. The job of a Crane Operator is one that carries immense responsibility; any mistake by them could cause a catastrophic situation if the load or the crane itself were to topple.

Slade Rock and Jimbo Clark tying rebar on the Ohio River Bridges Project.imbo Clark and Slade Rock tying rebar on the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Slade Rock and Jimbo Clark tying rebar on the Ohio River Bridges Project.

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In this photo Slade Rock and Jimbo Clark are working together to build a rebar structure for one of the many pier caps that support the roadway. In the background you can see a column with a concrete cap sitting on it. The structure Slade and Jimbo are working on will be lifted up and placed inside the concrete forms on another column to strengthen the concrete cap. Jimbo is a Journeyman Ironworker and is training Slade, who is an Apprentice Ironworker, how to layout and properly tie the rebar according to the blueprint specifications. As an Apprentice Slade will spend thousands of hours under the watchful eyes of experienced Journeymen like Jimbo learning the Ironworker’s Trade.

Jimbo Clark tying rebar for a new abutment on the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Jimbo Clark tying rebar for a new abutment on the Ohio River Bridges Project.

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I shot this photo of Jimbo Clark as he was tying the mat for the new roadway that will carry eastbound traffic onto I-71 North out of downtown Louisville. I liked the way the concrete abutment and the rebar for the barrier wall framed Jimbo in the shot. One other interesting thing about Jimbo is his love of photography. Almost all of the people on this job carry smartphones and snap photos of one another throughout the course of a day though few have as good an eye for composition as Jimbo. Jimbo shared several images on his phone with me one day and I was really astounded by the way he had framed his shots. When he told me he had been carrying a camera with him since his early days as an Ironworker I understood that he too was an avid photographer.

Ironworkers gather their tools to start the day on the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Ironworkers gather their tools to start the day on the Ohio River Bridges Project.

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One of the great pleasures of being a Heavy Highway and Bridges Construction photographer is getting to see the sunrise. Building our nation’s infrastructure is a demanding job that requires the women and men working there to face the elements each day. Many of them have commented to me about a beautiful sunset that they saw that morning especially if I get to their section later in the morning and fail to see what they saw. In this image I wanted to tell the story of how the day begins as the sun rises and the workers gather their tools and get their work assignment together.

Neil Childress grading along I-71 as part of the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Neil Childress grading along I-71 as part of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

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Whenever you see the Road Grader on the site you can be sure they are preparing the new road bed for the next phase of construction. The size and power of these massive machines is needed to move hundred of truckloads of gravel into place and leveled according to the plan specifications. On the Ohio River Bridges Project there in only one such grader working in Section One; it is operated by Neil Childress, another member of the Operating Engineers Union Local 181 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Progress on the Bridge Towers is Going Strong
Progress on the Bridge Towers is Going Strong

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In the image above you can see the beginnings of five of the six towers that will carry the Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project. Since this image was taken a couple of weeks ago the sixth tower has emerged from the river and is well along the way to climbing into the sky.

Concrete forms for bridge columns along Main Street.
Concrete forms for bridge columns along Main Street.

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I liked this shot because it shows the concrete forms for square bridge columns along Main Street and the silhouette of the worker in the background.

Crane Flying Column Form Into Place
Crane Flying Column Form Into Place at Slugger Field

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This image from above the construction near Slugger Field show a square concrete form being “flown” into place along Main Street. It will be lowered over the rebar structure and then stabilized and filled with concrete to form another bridge column.

Slugger Field Progress
Slugger Field Progress

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This view of the area by Slugger Field shows the progress being made on the current phase of Section One. On the right side you can see the cap for carrying the girders for the new roadway. On the left can be seen another cap that has been formed and will soon have concrete poured inside to make another pad for the girders that will carry the road. In the background the first completed section of southbound I-65 is clearly visible as it passes by Slugger Field.

Carpenters Installing Safety Rail
Carpenters Installing a Safety Rail on a Concrete Form

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In the image above two Carpenters are working together to build a catwalk and safety rail around a concrete form for a bridge cap. Safety is paramount on the job and shows the commitment of the workers to preventing injury to anyone on the job.

Carpenters assist a Surveyor while building a safety rail around the top of a concrete form.
Carpenters assist a Surveyor while building a safety rail around the top of a concrete form.

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While building these concrete forms it is important that the Surveyors measure and verify that everthing is within the design specifications. In this image a Surveyor is being helped to get on top of the concrete form to take measurements.

Steel Girders for the I-71 section of Spaghetti Junction march east.
Steel Girders for the I-71 section of Spaghetti Junction march east.

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This image shows the steel girders that will carry the roadway from I-65 onto I-71 when the project is completed.

Shadow pattern of cross bracing and steel girders making an "N" on the earth.
Shadow pattern of cross bracing and steel girders making an “N” on the earth.

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I couldn’t resist taking this shot of the shadows formed by the steel girders and cross braces that placed cast initials on the ground. I took it as a sign that I am where I should be at this time and that my desire to document the Ohio River Bridges Project is the right choice for me.

 

The Crane Crew of Donny and Ray

HDR portrait of the crane crew of Donny Cooper and Ray Mansfield on the Ohio River Bridges Project in Louisville Ky during September 2014.

Gallery of Images from the Tower Crane Erection on Pier Five

This Gallery of images shows the men and materials that went into constructing the tower crane on pier five of the downtown span of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Frank Lobody Repairing A Drill Shaft at the Ohio River Bridges Project

Frank Lobody, Mechanic, International Union of Operating Engineers repairing a drill shaft for the BG-40 Drilling Machine. #1
Frank Lobody, Mechanic, International Union of Operating Engineers repairing a drill shaft for the BG-40 Drilling Machine at the Ohio River Bridges Project in Louisville, Kentucky May 2014

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Today’s images are of Frank Lobody, a mechanic for Walsh Construction, who travels from job site to job site throughout the US to handle heavy equipment repairs. Frank is a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150 in Porter, Indiana. When I met Frank he was repairing a drill shaft for the BG-40 Drilling Machine being used in Louisville to drill into the bedrock for the bridge piers on the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Frank Lobody, Mechanic, International Union of Operating Engineers repairing a drill shaft for the BG-40 Drilling Machine. #2
Frank Lobody, Mechanic, International Union of Operating Engineers welding on a drill shaft for the BG-40 Drilling Machine. 

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The bedrock on the Ohio River Bridges Project is very hard and sometimes the drill shaft breaks under the load of trying to drill over 30 feet into it. Once the bridge pier casings are placed through the soil down to the bedrock it is necessary to drill a socket 30 feet into rock to anchor the piers. On the Kentucky side of the river that means drilling almost 150 feet from the surface to the bottom of the socket.

Frank Lobody, Mechanic, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, Porter, Indiana
Frank Lobody, Mechanic, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, Porter, Indiana

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All three of these HDR images were processed from a three frame bracket set of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures using NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and Aperture 3 software.