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Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Construction: Steel As Far As the Eye Can See

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From City of Dallas Trinity River Corridor Project

July heralded the arrival of the first shipment of steel for the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge from Cimolai in Italy. The prefabricated pieces rolled into town from the Houston Port weighing up to 100,000 pounds. The second shipment of steel arrived in Houston on August 6.

The steel fabricator, the Cimolai Group, originated in 1947 and the company is one of Italy’s top fabricators and erectors of steel structures for bridges, buildings, shelter for aircraft, and electricity towers. This company plays an active role in field erection and welders are in town from Italy preparing the steel and working to erect the center arch pylon.

The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is a cable stayed bridge and not a true suspension bridge in construction terms. When it is complete, it will be the new bridge for vehicles crossing the Trinity River from west to east replacing the Continental Avenue Bridge. As an historic structure owned by the City of Dallas, the Continental Avenue Bridge will remain in place and preliminary designs are underway to convert it into a new pedestrian destination for walking and special events.

The bridges conveying traffic today throughout the North Texas Region are built of prefabricated concrete. This signature bridge will be built of steel. The steel components include.

  • 58 cables attached to the center of the deck from the Arch Pylon
  • One 400 foot Arch Pylon comprised of 25 segments
  • Type C Floor Beam 1 at the Arch Pylon
  • Type B Floor Beam 116 pieces
  • Type B Floor Beam Strut 116 pieces
  • Support Bracket 2 pieces
  • Central Box Girder 30 segments
  • Exterior Box Girder 2 at 60 segments each

Visit and select the Webcam to view the action.

Daily Trucking Drivers Display Nerves of Steel

If you call Jack, Joe or Sigourney on any given day of the week between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., you will hear about some fantastic loads they are transporting across the United States. These drivers have nerves of steel and a great deal of patience as they drop extra-long trailers down to four inches above the ground to clear high line wires, traffic lights, bridges, and trees. Daily Express, Inc. based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania specializes in overweight, oversized and unusual cargo.

The trucks and trailers have a higher number of axles, longer trailers with the option to hook on extra trailers, superb hydraulics to adjust cargo to various heights, and they travel with more than one escort vehicle to “trail blaze” and act as “rear guard”. The expertise and care these truckers provide for the cargo is also evident in the way they respect the roads and landscape through which they travel, as well as the concern they show for drivers sharing the road with them.

They often slow down or stop traffic, however, it is all part of the job. Joe McCaffery and his wife scouted the initial route from Houston for the first shipment of steel to troubleshoot any areas and focus on the permitted route. The route was mapped by the shipper and approved by TxDOT and the City of Dallas. Depending on the size of the steel being transported, the trip from Houston could take four days.

Joe McCaffery and Jack Berghorst are both veteran drivers and truck owners under contract to Daily Express, and they are Pennsylvania natives. The only woman driver in the group, Sigourney Ananova, is originally from Leningrad in Russia. As a company driver for Daily Express, her work takes her throughout the nation and helped to erase any hint of accent.

“People don’t usually take time to care about us and the service we provide,” said Sigourney Ananova. “This project is different. It has been a pleasure working on it for a number of reasons and one of them is because everything is well prepared and the setup is terrific. Williams Bros., Cimolai and TxDOT provide experienced teams of workers to unload and manage the huge pieces of steel we are bringing to the City,” said Ananova.

Daily Express has transported Thomas the Train, mining equipment and the massive mirror that was shipped to Hawaii for installation into the world’s largest telescope. If it’s wide, tall or heavy they are the team to truck it and sometimes more than people are interested in their work. White Crested Curacaos are known to fly along side their trucks in South Texas, and in Dallas, they were greeted by the serenade of Mockingbirds near the floodplain for each steel delivery. It is a fitting Texas welcome!

Categories: Featured, Transportation
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