“What’d you do at work today?” “Oh, we guided 21-ton beams into place as they were lowered from the sky”

WNLP photos by Bob Wellinski

The “dogbone” reconfiguration of the U.S. 20/Ind. 2 intersection continues east of LaPorte. Hopes are that the new design will reduce the number of accidents and near-accidents for which that crossing was infamous.

Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, marked a big day as eight beams were set for the new bridge. The precision work is fascinating to watch, so photo expert Bob went out to chronicle the Rieth-Riley construction experts at work. (Can you imagine having the job of standing there as one of those 21-ton beams is delicately lowered by a crane, then guiding it into place? Amazing.)

Adam Parkhouse of INDOT’s LaPorte office says the work is expected to wrap up in November.
And here’s a cool time-lapse video Adam posted of the beam setting on the INDOT Northwest Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest/videos/717830218666755/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

Cranes hoist the first of eight beams for the newly constructed Ind. 2 and U.S. 20 bridge. Each beam weighs approximately 21 tons. Photo looking east on U.S. 20.

Cranes hoist the first beam.

A worker on the ground signals to the crew setting the beam.

Rieth-Riley crews set the first beam.

A different view of the beam coming down.

The second beam is set.

The final beam comes in.

A worker drills out a hole.

This angle gives you a good idea of just how big the beams are.

Precision is key,

Communication and teamwork are also key.

A worker welds one of the newly set beams.

The 8th of 8 beams is set into place.

The last beam is guided into place.

A worker checks elevation.

Looking west toward LaPorte from atop the new bridge.

All the beams are set.

Traffic flowing east on Ind. 2 as westbound traffic is held while a beam is placed. The old Ind. 2 exit can no longer be seen.

Indiana State Police holds eastbound traffic as a beam is placed.

6 Responses to ““What’d you do at work today?” “Oh, we guided 21-ton beams into place as they were lowered from the sky””

  1. Fotog

    Aug 29. 2019

    Great stuff Bob… I’m glad you took the time to cover this as it is history in the making!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Rick Henderson

    Aug 29. 2019

    Great pictures, Bob! You get to be in some pretty cool places! You did a wonderful job documenting the setting of the beams

    Reply to this comment
  3. Bernie Filip

    Aug 30. 2019

    That is really cool pictures you took. Thank you for sharing them.

    Reply to this comment
  4. NP Fan

    Aug 30. 2019

    May they will paint this bridge Blue and Gold for NP colors or even put murals on the underneath side as that would brighten them up – That would be really awesome.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Gamersmmom

    Aug 30. 2019

    If I have to look at the blazing orange on the downtown bridge in LaPorte, then the should do something blue and gold for NP.

    Reply to this comment

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