SFBayBridge.jpgCrews have completed hoisting the fourth segment of the tower on the Bay Bridge’s new eastern span ahead of schedule, a Caltrans spokesman said today.

Workers started lifting the first piece of the segment on Monday and worked nonstop until 1:25 a.m. this morning, when the last legs were situated on top of the structure, according to Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney.

The tower now stands at 480 feet, just 45 feet away from reaching its final height, Ney said.

Originally, the installation was estimated to be completed later this afternoon, Ney said.

“Great effort on the part of our crews and surprisingly mild weather conditions expedited the process,” Ney said.

However, Ney said that strong winds did postpone the placement for a few hours on Monday.

“We just couldn’t lift the steel piece with those gusts,” Ney said. “Each leg of the segment weighs almost 500 tons and is more than 100 feet long. You don’t want that blowing around.”

Even with the short delay, crews were able to finish more quickly than expected.
“This is a huge milestone,” Ney said. “We hope to keep this momentum going until the entire project is completed in 2013.”

The fifth tower section, which will connect the four independent tower legs, is scheduled to be lifted into place at the end of March or beginning of April.

Kristen Peters, Bay City News

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