Now that the weekend has passed and the football is over for another year or so (for me, anyway, as I only pay attention to major tournaments), I thought I’d share some of the work that was done last week on the MX3D bridge, and what’s planned for this coming week.
The major work done on Friday was to raise the bridge (allowing access to the current foundations) and to start the job of lowering it. Sometimes you have to go up to go down.
I was impressed by the fact the bridge could be raised – one end at a time, of course – by a couple of hand winches. (Apologies for mangling the correct name for these – I’m very much a software guy, remember.) The bridge weighs about 6 tons, so this probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who actually knows anything about engineering.
The workers’ job was to reduce the height of the foundation to address the issue with the gap between the bridge and the bank.
From my side I was mainly there to help get the servers plugged in and connected, so that the team back in Toronto can access them and start to collect data. One of the jobs that needed doing was to feed the cable conduits – containing power and data cables that connect the bridge to the server room – beneath the curb of the road. Max (from the MX3D team) and I decided to “divide and conquer”, in that I would dig away at the streets of Amsterdam while he cycled to a shop to get some plugs to terminate the cables.
You never quite know what this bridge project is going to throw at you: I didn’t necessarily expect that 30 minutes before I had to head to the airport I’d be trying to dig a hole beneath a curb-stone, but then it definitely didn’t come as a surprise. And I certainly now feel as though I got my hands properly dirty on this project, and didn’t just stay focused on my fairly narrow role.
After quite a bit of digging – and some coordinated pushing and pulling – we managed to get both the conduits through.
A bricklayer will come to tidy things up, of course.
I’m hoping the the bridge will be fully connected early this week. There’s still work ongoing related to finishing the physical bridge: one end should be finished and lowered today – with the swirls attached – while the other end should be done tomorrow. On Wednesday some work will be needed to finish up the street and get everything presentable before it can be opened to the public.
I’ll be heading back across to the bridge on Wednesday night, to help with any final issues there may be relating to the bridge’s connectivity and data collection. I’m really looking forward to seeing the completed bridge in all its glory, and then seeing what can be understood from the data it generates. Exciting times!