Second piece of railroad bridge in place over Interstate 235
Hundreds of people thronged Sunday morning to get a peek at a two-million-pound bridge crawling its way down Interstate 235.
A group of boys tossed a football on a nearby patch of red dirt. A pair of girls took selfies with the metal behemoth as their backdrop. People wearing everything from dirty jeans to their Sunday best crammed into the bleachers where NW 50 sheared off overlooking the highway.
All came to get a glimpse of a rusty railroad trestle the height of a five-story building and the length of a football field.
"That's weathering steel. It is rust, but it's packed tight on there ... It's actually a protective coating that's on top of it," Trenton January, an Oklahoma Transportation Department construction engineer, said.
The first span of the bridge was put into place Saturday. Getting both spans moved to the right spot took six-to-eight hours each day. Both pieces were constructed on site before being hoisted in place.
Oklahoma City resident Nickoles White missed the action Saturday, but got there early Sunday morning. A delay led to the second piece of the bridge being moved after 10 a.m. rather than the projected 8 a.m. start time.
"It's just the modern marvel of it all ... You don't get to see this stuff every day, so why not come out here? It's a beautiful day. Better than being indoors," White said.
There wasn't a cloud in the sky and only the slightest breeze as visitors constantly came and went. Vehicles lined Sewell Avenue, just east of the site, for hundreds of feet on both sides of the road.
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Brandon Bull and his wife, Julie, brought their children, Jack and Lauren, to witness the event.
"It's a really neat Super Bowl of all the work these guys have done," Brandon Bull said. "They've been grinding it out, and now they get to showcase all their planning and efforts that it's taken to make it happen."
Bull works in concrete construction, and he wanted to get a glimpse of his fellow tradesmen's work.
"It's not every day the work you do gets glorified," he said.
The Bulls missed the movement of the bridge Saturday, so they came back for the second show.
They got there "when it started moving, Lauren Bull, 8, said.
Jack Bull, 5, wanted to "walk on the top."
"I'm not scared of heights," he said.
Leah North met up with the Bulls, her friends, at the site.
"It's really cool that the little yellow box makes the whole thing move," Leah, 10, said. The little yellow box is the controller that controls the trailer platform.
Officials recommend motorists use alternate travel routes Monday such as Interstate 35, Interstate 44, State Highway 74/Lake Hefner Parkway or Lincoln Boulevard.
Those who want to watch the project can visit the public viewing area on the east side of the NW 50 bridge abutment or watch live-streams online at i235live.com.