Workers making good progress on new bridge

Workers making good progress on new bridge This view at the construction site of the Newcastle-Vermillion Missouri River bridge is through one of the huge circular re-bar pieces that are put together by a special crew who tie each joint of the curved and linear pieces of re-bar with wire similar to baling wire. by Bill Willroth Sr. Construction on the Newcastle-Vermillion Missouri River bridge continues to move along on schedule.

The massive piers that are on dry land are now poured and completion work on the top horizontal supports is in progress.

The first four piers have two six foot diameter vertical posts and the river�s edge post, which is also poured, is a single, 10-foot diameter structure.

The next five piers, which will be constructed out in the river proper, will also be single 10-foot diameter structures, according to sources.

It takes five men spaced along the straight pieces to position the long, heavy bar in the building jig. When completed, these reinforcing structures are lifted by a crane, placed in a steel tube and filled with concrete, which completes the underground part of the support.

Without seeing the pieces as they go together, it�s hard to imagine the size of this total project, as some of these posts are over 90 feet into the ground.

The circular re-bar of the river�s edge pier is reportedly 80,000 pounds in weight and the tube required 259 yards of concrete to fill it to about the level of the water or a little higher.

The Jensen Construction crew is going about their job of building this bridge in a seemingly effortless manner, which suggests total competence, using huge cranes, bulldozers, mammoth drills and augers with 100-foot long shafts, big diesel engines and whatever is needed to complete the next phase.

Again, looking through the re-bar, one can see the grade of the first two completed bridge piers. Above the truck is the grade of the new road, which is nearing the height of the bridge piers.

Mountains of earth have been moved to establish the grade of this new highway on the South Dakota side of the river.

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