The Ohio River Bridge Emerges From the River

Placing a 240,000 pound form for the Ohio River Bridge.
Placing the 240,000 pound “tub” concrete form for the Ohio River Bridge. HDR Version

Click on the image to enlarge it in a new window.

Last Thursday a significant milestone was reached in the Ohio River Bridges Project. After months of preparation Walsh Construction placed the first “tub”, a concrete form weighing over 240,000 pounds, that will be used to construct the western portion of the waterline footing at Tower 5, the pier nearest the Indiana shoreline. With that accomplished the foundation work on the bridge broke the surface of the Ohio River for the first time.

The yellow tub is the form that will retain the wet concrete that will be poured to form a portion of the waterline footing. The tub, which is 61 feet long and 22 feet wide was lifted and placed over two 12 foot diameter permanent casings that have been placed in the river after drilling over 30 feet into the bedrock of the river. Once those casings were in place they were filled with a steel reinforcement structure and poured concrete. Those two drilled casings were then used to secure the tub form that will be poured full in a single continuous concrete pour later this month. This is a massive concrete pour that will require the installation of a cooling system to handle the heat generated by the concrete as it cures.

Watching the crane operator lift and move this massive structure was very exciting. The longer I work with the men and women from Walsh Construction the more I appreciate the amazing amount of coordination that is required between the people on the ground and the crane operator to safely handle incredibly large structures. The crane operator had to be able to smoothly and safely lift the tub from another barge in the river and then pivot 90 degrees without allowing the load the swing or sway as he moved it into position over the two pier casings. His skill and the planning that went into making this “critical lift” paid of as the form was lowered into it’s final position and secured to the piers. This was the first time something like this has been done and it went exactly as planned.

The image at the top of the post is a three frame bracket set at +2, 0 and -2 EV which was first merged in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and then finished in Aperture 3. I am also including the zero EV image, which I adjusted in Aperture 3, at the bottom of the post to show why I  use HDR techniques. Using HDR techniques enhances the final image and reveals details in a much broader range than is possible when simply using a single frame and trying to adjust it for the very broad lighting situations that working in the field with available light presents.

Placing a 240,000 pound form for the Ohio River Bridge. Single frame version.
Placing the 240,000 pound “tub” concrete form for the Ohio River Bridge. LDR version.

Click on the image to enlarge it in a new window.

13 thoughts on “The Ohio River Bridge Emerges From the River

  1. Great shot, you can see the difference between the two images right into the background the building on the left edge stand out from the sky.

  2. HDR can be a very rewarding medium. It has its detractors, but many swear by it. I’ve achieved hyper-real and even surreal results with it. Combine HDR and compositing techniques, and portraiture takes on a whole new dimension. Thanks for sharing this set. 🙂

    1. Thanks again John I agree with you about the way HDR opens up the details in the shadow areas of the substructure. As for my access to the project I am very fortunate that my previous work with the Big Four Restoration gave me the reputation as a reliable and safe construction photographer.

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