Trends Fall 2014 - Page 16

TALL orders igh above the ground on northeastern Wisconsin’s first “flyover” ramps, construction engineer Cory Thomson of Ayres Associates has a workplace and view few others get to experience. Part of Thomson’s job at the interchange of US Highway 41 and State Highway 29, where he’s worked since 2011, was inspecting placement of electrical conduit inside the ramps’ tub girders, some of which sit as high as 75 feet off the ground. Tub girders are the long U-shaped pieces placed on the ramps’ piers. The girders sit between the piers and the road surface. Electrical wiring inside the tub girders supplies power to lights needed for routine inspections inside the steel girders. The interchange’s flyover ramps opened to traffic in late June. Flyover ramps, typically found at major highway interchanges, are structures that cross over other roads and allow drivers to exit onto connecting roadways without the need to slow down or stop. Scaffolding and safety harnesses were used to gain access to the tub girders. Thomson said his electrical inspections involved “reading the plans and making sure things are put in the right location” as well as checking the size and color of the wires used. “We just make sure that everything is put in correctly,” he said. – Tom Paquin Inspection services on the new Brown County flyover ramps included work inside the white tub girders. 16│ TRENDS