Drilling for Piers

This barge, known as the “dance floor,” will be used to hold the drills that will create two of the bridge piers.

This barge, known as the “dance floor,” will be used to hold the drills that will create two of the bridge piers.

We’re just over a month into the construction phase of the River S Bridge replacement project and about to hit a milestone. This week, two of the bridge piers will be drilled from a barge in Lake River.

Last week, Ceccanti prepared the barge “dance floor” for the drill rig, which is scheduled to arrive this week. Meanwhile, subcontractor, CMC, continued assembly of the drilled shaft rebar cages.

In addition to the drill arrival next week, the crew will begin installation of Pier 2 by placing casing and continuing to tie rebar cages.

We’ve been talking about rebar for several weeks now, so we thought you might like some fun facts about this integral material:

  • Rebar is actually short for “reinforcing bar” as it adds tensile (stretching) strength to concrete, which tends to be stronger when compressed as opposed to being stretched.

  • The deformations (what might appear like ribs) on rebar are there to promote a better bond with concrete.

  • Carbon steel is the most common material for making rebar, though there are alternatives that are occasionally used - including bamboo!

  • Rebar has been used as a construction material since at least the 15th century.

  • 97% of domestic rebar is made from recycled metal, like cars, appliances, and hot water heaters.

  • And since our new bridge will span a set of railroad tracks, here’s one more fun fact: A company in Cincinnati makes rebar out of scrap railroad axels. Conveniently, the scrap doesn’t have to be melted, since it’s already shaped like a “billet” (a rounded metal bar).

Curious how rebar is made? Check out this video:

A rebar cage being constructed at the River S Bridge site.

A rebar cage being constructed at the River S Bridge site.