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.