Lagoon Pond bridge is 'pick' of the day
Construction workers from Pihl, Inc., with help from Mass Highway, State Police, and a truck driver from Georgia, installed a critical component of the new temporary Lagoon Pond Drawbridge Thursday morning.
Using a 300-ton crane, which arrived on the Island by barge, the work crews placed the gantry atop the structure. The wire and motor assembly, built in Alabama, will lift the drawbridge.
It took five days to drive the assembly to New Bedford. There, driver Bruce Arnold drove onto a Tisbury Towing Company barge, which was towed by a Tisbury Towing tug the rest of the way to the Island. After waiting for the tide to be just right, he drove the truck and its cargo off the barge. Ralph M. Packer Jr., owner of Tisbury Towing, said the bridge section was insured for $2.5 million for the sea voyage and the crane for $1.5 million.
The crane operator "picked" the 46-ton component off the truck, guided it through the air, and set in place on the gantry tower with a feather light touch, aligning it perfectly for four bolts to be sledge hammered into place.
"It's a big milestone for us," project manager Henrik Pederson said. "It's a complicated pick. It has to fit perfect. There's no room for error."
The final piece of the bridge deck, the span that will rise for boats to pass beneath, is already assembled and staged across the gap from the gantry tower. If all goes well, the final piece will be installed in about three weeks. Mr. Pihl says he hopes the bridge will be operating around Christmas time.