Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Visit With Norman Rockwell, Winslow Homer, the Wyeths and Pearl

© Stuart Pearl 2012 - Click on Image to Enlarge

Where else can you enjoy the works of Norman Rockwell, Winslow Homer, the Wyeths and at least one semi-obscure Cleveland photographer?  These can be found at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio.
And if you come to the opening of the 76th National Midyear Exhibition on June 24, you can also see approximately 100 new works from contemporary American artists across the country.  I was very fortunate this year to have been accepted with my ArcelorMittal Cleveland photo (above).  Over 1000 pieces are juried each year for this show and only a handful of photos are accepted. 

Florida painter Gregory Strachov was the Juror for this year's competition.  Two dimensional works in all media are featured in the 2012 exhibit.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ribs of the Ramp

© Stuart Pearl 2012 - Click on Image for Slideshow

I call these "deck ribs" even though that's not an engineering term. But these 25 ton beams represent the first structural steel to be installed on the Westbound Inner Belt bridge.  They will provide the underlying support for the concrete and steel roadbed that will be built above.

5/25/12 - Looking East towards Progressive Field the Fire Museum can be seen at left near the interesection of Carnegie and Ontario.  The single pier just to the left supports the beams that will form the roadbed of the Ontario St. on ramp.  It is lower at this point since it will be bringing merging traffic up to the level of the I-90 bridge deck.  The wider pier at the right will form the actual roadbed of the interstate.

4/6/12 - Shortly after the structural steel was delivered it was positioned near pier 13.  The lower support leg on the right will be part of the Ontario St. on ramp.

5/25/12 - Looking across the Flats valley and you can see how construction is progressing.  Pier #11 (left) rises near Canal Road and still "wears" it's concrete form holding the top cap.  Piers 10 - 5 march off to the east bank of the Cuyahoga.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Rebar Moonscape

© Stuart Pearl 2012 - Click on Image for Slideshow
It looked like a rebar strewn moonscape. Progressive field spanned the horizon like a rising Earth. But there were no astronauts here - just carpenters and ironworkers on the site of Bridge Pier 14 near Carnegie and Ontario streets. 

4/6/12 - Construction was now focusing on the area of Pier 14 near the RTA Train underpass.  Earth was being regraded in preparation for the new Ontario street on ramp.  Soon the first structural steel would span the new piers as part of the new freeway entrance.

The super "H" piles had been driven to bedrock weeks ago. Now their concrete legs were rising to become the eastern most end of Innerbelt bridge one. 
Work near Progressive field is particularly challenging. Unlike the relatively flat and hard packed  spaces near W. 3rd St., auto and RTA Rail traffic create a more congested work zone near teh ballpark.  The soil texture also differs.  It is more "fluid" and requires the installation of sheet pile walls to stabilize the embankments.
Ironworkers assemble much of the rebar on the ground and then have it lifted onto the concrete forms. A lot of it still has to be bent and tied in place though.

4/6/12 - The new Ontario St. on ramp will begin at this point.  Structural steel "I" beams will ruse up a new earth embankment, across the wall (now under construction) and be anchored to the concrete legs of Pier 14.

Considerable grading of the area was necessary in preparation for the new roadbed.

3/27/12 - Pier 14 under construction

A Welder preparing for delivery of the first structural steel.

Bridge construction now stretches from E. 9th across the Flats Valley to Tremont's West side. 
5/1/12 - Even on a foggy afternoon Piers 5-9 can be seen rising up from the Flats Valley between the current Innerbelt span and the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge.

5/1/12 - The two legs of Pier 10 rise just east of W. 9th St.  The two beams at the center will provide support for the large concrete forms of the top cap.

Pier 13

5/1/12 - Pier 11 is located adjacent to Canal Rd and is about midway down the slope to W.3rd St.  The legs of this pier are spread wider than the others and concrete will have to be poured in two separate activities.  Because of its wider "stance" it is necessary to build a temporary center support to hold the top cap.

This is the inside of what will be the top cap for Pier 11.  It is sprayed with a non-stick chemical to make it easier to remove once the concrete has cured.
4/6/12 - Piers 14 and 13 near the RTA overpass has already received its first shipment of "structural steel." These beams will provide support for the roadbed.

The first five structural supports arrived the morning of April 3 from High Steel in Lancaster, PA.  Each beam is so huge that only one can be loaded per truck. They are 8' high, 127' long and weigh 25 tons each.

4/6/12 - Cross braces are also trucked to the site.  Six are initially bolted between each pair of girders prior to being lifted onto the piers. 

This allows the cranes to lift two beams at a time without risk of the structural steel deflecting (bending) during the raising process. Each brace weights approximately one ton and a total of eight are bolted between each pair of beams.

I call these "red ice tongs" but only because of their mechanical motion.  The ironworkers use them to lift and position the structural steel.  A lever mechanism causes them to tightly close on the beams when raised from the center, hence their ice tong motion. 

The large yellow rods are used to spread the tongs for optimum weight distribution and control when gripping the beams. Without them the 25 ton beams could dangerously swing as they are lifted.

The structural steel beams have now been placed in much of what will become the new Westbound on ramp. Further earth grading will prepare the bottom of the ramp for it's connection to Ontario St.

4/5/12 - Looking west towards Pier 13 from under the current Inner Belt bridge

5/3/12 - The metal forms on Pier 14 have been taken down revealing the completed concrete top cap.  Within a few weeks structual steel will be mounted on this pier to form the base for the west bound traffic deck of bridge one.  To the right of this pier the new Ontario St. on ramp rises up to meet it.

Ironworkers and carpenters assemble the complex pattern of rebar and lumber at the end of the "steel" portion of the ramp.  Once the form has been completed, concrete will be poured as part of the ramp embankment for the structural steel beams.

Self portrait on Pier 13