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Howdy everyone. It’s been weeks since I last posted about my ongoing project to chronicle the progress of the Ohio River Bridges Project here in Louisville. I’ve been quite busy with several other aspects of my personal project of photographing the bridge building process and the men and women who are building it. When I began this project I had no idea how truly monumental and time consuming it would be.
The last bridge/construction project I worked on was much smaller and didn’t fully prepare me for the scope of a major civil engineering project such as the Ohio River Bridges Project. When I photographed the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge and the men who did it I was working with a crew that numbered less than thirty people. In contrast the Ohio River Bridges Project involves not only the main span across the Ohio River but also a complete realignment and reconstruction of the area known as Spaghetti Junction. A project of this magnitude requires hundreds of people to accomplish and really expands my personal involvement. In Spaghetti Junction there are over fifty bridges and overpasses that will be needed to connect the new bridge to the Interstates that converge in Louisville. While the downtown span will carry northbound I-65 it must also join I-64 and I-71in Spaghetti Junction.
I have had to learn how to pace myself and how to best record the progress being made. In addition to the photography challenges I face there is the need to catalog, process and organize the thousands of photographs that I have already taken. Over this past winter I discovered that I needed to greatly expand my storage equipment to accommodate the massive amount of images I am recording. I had to upgrade several hard drives and take control of the photos or face utter chaos as the project grew. I thrive on challenges and this project has been the largest challenge I have faced as a professional photographer.
I lost the first two months of 2014 to personal health issues that prevented me from getting out to the job site as much as I wanted. I also had to contend with the extreme weather that gripped Louisville and slowed the construction. That is all past me now and I’m back to shooting regularly. I have upgraded my storage media and improved my workflow to allow me to capture the images I need to tell the story.
This week I was able to get out on the river and survey the progress that has been made getting the piers drilled and in place. The northern tower is progressing well and the tower crane is being assembled on it. The two towers that make up the northern tower are already taking shape and it was possible for me to climb up the western one and get the image that begins this post. In the weeks to come I will be climbing higher on these towers to shoot the Ironworkers and Carpenters as they build them.