In Florida, Two Giant Trinity River Bridge Arches Are Coming To Life | KERA News

In Florida, Two Giant Trinity River Bridge Arches Are Coming To Life

Jan 3, 2014

Two giant arches that will eventually tower over the Trinity River are being built in Florida.

The arches are part of the new Margaret McDermott Bridge.

Tampa Steel Erecting Co. is in charge of the $40 million project. Vice President Jeffrey Ames tells The Tampa Tribune that all 80 of the company's current employees are working on the project.

The white arches will soar over new bicycle and pedestrian walkways that will run along each side of the Interstate 30 bridge. The bridge is part of an $800 million bridges overhaul in Dallas.

Tampa Steel has built bridges nationwide and the Spaceship Earth dome at Disney's Epcot. The arches were designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

“Moving the arches to Dallas will require at least 78 separate truck trips — or one long haul for each of the 39 separate sections, multiplied by two,” the Tribune reports.

The Dallas Morning News reports the sections will be trucked to Dallas in August.

    The Tribune reports:

The company is building twin steel arches that will rise 286 feet over the pedestrian-bike walkways, holding them up with cables in a suspension system.

All told, the arches and pedestrian walkway will run about one-fifth of a mile.

That means a massive amount of steel.

For each of the twin arches, welders are fashioning together 39 separate sections made of half-inch or three-quarter-inch steel plates. Each arch section is 40 to 60 feet long and about 15 feet wide.

Using a superstrength drill, they drill holes in the steel plates so workers can bolt together the plates. Final assembly will be done in Dallas, of course, since it would be tough to store and transport an 1,125-foot pedestrian walkway and accompanying arches.

The final step in Tampa will be applying a fresh coat of white paint to give the arches a nice gleam.

This report includes material from the Associated Press.