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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A WDRB News crew took a ride on the Spirit of Jefferson on Thursday to see exactly how construction crews are building the new Downtown Crossing.
It involves a team living and breathing bridge construction for the next three years.
Project manager Joel Halterman explains, "What we're looking at here is the foundation construction. The drilled shaft is nearly complete here, one more shaft out of four total."
Halterman explains the drilled shafts built inside one of the steel casings are locked into the limestone underwater in the Ohio. The rebar goes inside that, then the crew pours concrete. The steel casing acts as a form to hold the concrete in.
The casings hold up the tower supports. Five towers will be built on nine piers for the new downtown crossing, three of them in the water.
Templates have been laid in place for the other two floating towers peeking out of the water.
The foundation work happening now roots the entire bridge, the most important part of the project. From there comes concrete and then steel erection later next year.
It is more than a job for the 400-member Walsh Construction team. Ask, and they'll tell you they're making history, with one worker saying, "I explain that Grandpa is building a bridge that they're going to see their whole life."
The entire Ohio River Bridges Project cost $2.6 billion. It consists of a new bridge downtown and in the east end and a revamp for Spaghetti Junction.