Bay Bridge Crews Work on Compacting Huge Cable
High above the bay, on those orange catwalks that reach into the sky, ironworkers are making quick progress on the nearly mile-long cable that will eventually cradle the new Bay Bridge suspension span.
Within a week, they’ll finish compacting the 17,399 pencil-thick steel wires that have been dragged in bundles up and over the single-tower suspension bridge into one round cable with a diameter of about 31 inches. The cable will become about 8 inches thinner as it’s crunched into shape.
“This is another construction milestone,” said Bart Ney, Caltrans spokesman. “We’ve been able to stay on track to the most complicated part of the project - the load transfer. In fact, we’re ahead of schedule.”
Next, workers will place 114 steel bands around the main cable and, by the end of the summer, start hanging 200 smaller suspension cables that connect to the deck. As they install those cables, they’ll begin the critical work of shifting the load from the temporary trestle beneath the bridge deck to the main cable, adjusting the suspension cables to balance the load as they go.