Growing up in southeastern Michigan, you can’t wait to get through the winter months to be able to tolerate the spring and then ultimately enjoy the summer. Once summer starts, you can’t wait to get through the construction season. Road construction projects were everywhere. I recently visited the metro Detroit area after being away for 15 years and that seemed to be the only thing that hasn’t changed. Road construction projects were everywhere and they lasted all summer long.
I’ve lived in California now for just over a decade. Road construction here can take seemingly forever. It doesn’t matter if it’s December or if it’s July. You drive by some of the highway projects that are causing gridlock and ask yourself, “Shouldn’t they be done with this thing by now?”
I offer this perspective as a motorist because I ran across some video of a bridge replacement project on the Popular Science website. According to the website, the Virginia Department of Transportation took down a 61-year old bridge and replaced it with a new span. The job was started and completed in a single weekend.
The concrete pieces were all pre-cast and pre-fit before bringing them out to the site for installation. The abutments were upgraded before-hand. And a massive crane capable of lifting 550 tons was brought in.
It didn’t take the entire summer to finish the job. There aren’t going to be months of debilitating traffic. It took only 54 hours to replace the 87-foot span.
Check out the time-lapse video from dailymotion.com.