They weigh in at 67 tons each. And there are 865 more to place.
Monday marked a significant milestone in the downtown portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project with the placement of five concrete beams that form the foundation of the new exit from Interstate 65 onto 10th Street in Jeffersonville.
The “bulb tee” beams — each 118 feet, 6 inches long and 54 inches tall — “represent the first bridge concrete beams to be set on the project” connecting downtown Louisville to Jeffersonville, said Max Rowland, a project manager for Walsh Construction, the contractor for the downtown portion of the project.
Over the next three years, a total of 870 beams will be put into place on the downtown crossing, which will run parallel to the existing Kennedy Bridge and include six northbound lanes on I-65.
“These five are just a very small percentage of all the ones that have to be set for the project,” Rowland said.
Monday’s work, near Sixth and Broadway streets, is the beginning stage of the ramp project, with the next phase being the placement of metal deck forms that span each of the beams and will support the wet concrete that will be poured sometime next spring, according to Rowland.
The massive beams were delivered to the site Monday morning via a police escort due to their over-size and over-weight dimensions which required special permitting.
Despite the recent snowy and wet weather, Rowland said the overall project is still on schedule with an anticipated 2016 completion date.