Crews begin placing long steel strands for Ohio River Bridges pr - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Crews begin placing long steel strands for Ohio River Bridges project

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A progress report on Ohio River Bridge construction was released Friday, and crews began placing the long steel strands that will attach the towers to the bridge deck.

Jesse Hume's new favorite place for lunch is in her car with her husband, because they like the view of the water.

"We like to be down here by the river," Hume said.

Not just to see the sun-kissed Ohio, but to see how the landscape is changing above it.

"It's amazing," Hume said. "It really is."

Friday, the Jeffersonville couple got something new to watch, as Walsh Construction started placing the long steel strands that will attach the towers to the bridge deck.

They literally put the cable in the cable stay bridge. It's what holds up everything.

"It's going to take a lot of strand for this particular project," said Max Rowland of Walsh Construction. "It's, like, 266 miles, which is enough strand to go form Louisville to Chicago."

The strand is not as complex as you might think. It's just wire, coated in grease and wrapped in plastic. It's all encased in larger piping, sealed and weather protected.

"It's the third element that makes this bridge up," said Andy Barber a project manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. "And these long steel strands provide the cable stay bridge its dramatic look."

An animation provides an idea of what the finished product will look like: 88 cables suspending the new road for drivers to cross between Louisville and Jeffersonville. 

Much of the work now is happening some 200 feet in the air -- and it's the job of David Schwandner -- a cable stay superintendent -- to make every cable get to the right place.

"Doing the bridges...you get done with something like this, you can look back and really feel proud of it," Schwandner said.

And while David looks back, the Humes look forward to a few more lunch dates on the river.

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