Grand Design The Largest And Most Modern Bridge In China With Modern Technology
Minced, your design. Hong. Kong means a new highway to China the, route has to cross its famous harbour the. Colossal, Stonecutters, bridge will be the world's longest cable-stayed. Bridge, with, a main span of over a half, a mile long, it's huge, towers, will be nearly 1,000. Feet high taller, than the Eiffel Tower. But. Hong Kong lies in both an earthquake, and typhoon. Zone there. Over a year behind schedule, and struggling, to catch up all, of a sudden, that play out come in and half of the hell out of you and this is you up. Well this crew of bridge builders, finish the massive, towers and piers, despite. Facing the worst that nature can throw at him. Stonecutters. Bridge is a monster, engineering, challenge. Work. Began on this bridge in 2004. But, was shut down almost immediately when, a deep earthquake, fault line was discovered, under the bridges foundation, they. Were behind schedule right, from the start for. This job, they'll need Australian. Concrete, maestro. Gary war. Very important after 27. Years living, in Hong Kong Gary. Ward has retired back in Australia for, Gary pouring, concrete isn't, just a living it's a way of life they got me in because they'd stop concreting, clearly, they. Wanted to get the concrete up and running again now, it's. A race to get the bridge built by the delivery, date in 2009. This. Summer the project, is entering a crucial, phase they. Have to finish the bridges main towers, and piers if they don't they won't be ready to put up the main span next year the 2009. Deadline, may become impossible. The. Strip of water leading to Hong Kong's Harbor is one of the world's busiest waterways. The. Bridge has to hang over 200, feet in the air to let the huge ships pass below, two. Gigantic, towers, will rise on the headlands, and the cables, will hang from them. Leading. Up to them will be a series, of huge reinforced. Concrete, piers to carry the road, they're, called Backes fans. To. Meet their tough schedule, they need to complete the back spans as soon as possible. They. Started, concreting, the back span piers in January, 2005. But then stopped, immediately, the concrete, looks streaky, and patchy, there. Were concerns about its color and consistency now. Gary. Ward has a big concrete pourer plan for today but there's an extreme, weather alert. Typhoon. Chanchu. Is heading straight for Hong Kong. The. Buddy thing like this one check, check. To. Stay on schedule. Gary depends, on Hardman. Simon Cassell's who's, running the heavy lifting, at Stonecutters, bridge. They, say he's a guy who gets the job done no. Matter what it takes, we've started life so, let's put a lot of pressure on us took. Us 42 days to from, handover to the first ball on the last one we're. Going to get this one at $14 simon, is installing, the massive, 80 ton platform, which gary and his team will use to pour the concrete to. Build up the main tower on the west side of the bay. With. The typhoon, breathing, down his neck he, has no time to lose. Meanwhile. Gary's. Getting his concrete, pour underway to, make his deadline he needs to finish and get out of there before the storm hits. It's not as if dark light lights up gonna be a while bye-bye. Anchorman. There oh hi. Once. The poor starts, they can't stop at, 225. Feet up there's no room for mistakes. Typhoon. Shan Chu is the first of the season and it's a big one 16. Mile an hour winds, have already devastated. The Philippines, and the storm is building up in the South China Seas. In, the wet season now all, of this up you can get play out tough inner can have the hell out of here anything, could go wrong, if. The typhoon shenshu, hits, before Gary and Simon have completed the latest phase of the project the. Pressure will mount to Africa. Heavy, lifting experts simon Cassell's, is, a man, on a mission. Taught. Here, he, has just 14, days to put in place the massive, 80 ton concrete. Casting, platform, so. That Gary Ward and his concreting, team can start building up the giant, West Tower. We've, started late so, let's put a lot of pressure on us, took. Us 42 days to from, handover, a power cut to, the first boar on the last one we're. Going to get this one in 14 days. The, casting, platform sits, on top of the pile cap it's, an 18,000.
Ton 26. Foot thick concrete, slab that will form the foundation of, the west tower, as. The concrete dries the, platform, climbs on the hydraulic, jacks all the way to the top. When, typhoon Shan, Chu finally, hits mainland, China it. Displaces, a million, people. Hong, Kong avoids, its full force but, gale force winds, still batter the bridge construction, site. The. Cranes are grounded, and work is stopped, another. Frustrating, delay. Shan. Chiu is the first of the typhoon season and the forecast, says it won't be the last. The. Storm has left Simon, even further behind schedule. He. Needs to seize every, chance to make up for lost time. We're. Going to lift this the other Divac we've had some rain so, we're a couple days behind but I hope we can get that up we're gonna work tomorrow your weapon seven days a week I have a ton kite o'clock every night, so. You can't do much more. When. Stonecutters, bridge is finished it will be Hong Kong's most prominent, landmark it's. Too immense towers will dominate, the skyline for, centuries to come, the. Towers, will be nearly 1,000. Feet high higher, than the Eiffel Tower their, upper sections, will be 400 foot, stainless, steel spires. The. Spires will house the anchor boxes, from. These gigantic. Brackets, the bridge cables will radiate down to the road spans far below. Here, in guangdong mainland. China they're building the spires and the all-important, anchor boxes for stone cutters. They're. Making good progress with the spires but, they're having trouble with the anchor boxes. Until. These are ready the bridge can't go forward. Works. Inspector, Don Walton, is worried about the delays he's seen. There. Almost a year behind already. I've. Been coming here on and off now, for, nearly 20. Months but. Unfortunately. Every time I come there's a delay or was a problem, and it's, just never ended it keeps going and going and going unfortunately. It's. Gonna be a long job difficult. Very stressful. If. The steel sections, from the factory are delayed then work on the main bridge could stop down until 2008. An. Unimaginable. Holdup. Hong. Kong needs to connect with booming, mainland, China so. They're building one of the world's biggest Road bridges across the harbour the. Stonecutters. Crew is battling extreme weather, and earthquake, fault lines and they're, way behind schedule. A more. Immediate concern, is the delay in building the concrete, back span piers which will support the bridges main road deck. On Pier, one concrete, king Gary, Ward is hoping, to lay two days worth of concrete, in one, day. It's, not just a matter of time and money Gary, has to get it 100%, right, he's. Worried about the color and finish of the concrete. Vibrating. The concrete, during the pour is the best way of preventing, bubbling, as it dries to make sure it stays compact, while it says, the. Break in the weather seems, to be holding but. Can they pour 120. Cubic meters, of concrete in, just one day. To. Keep his team on target, Gary needs two cranes each working, flat out a, spot. Of local knowledge and some well-chosen, words of, Cantonese, can, make all the difference.
The, Project, director, here is engineer, Nayeem Hussain one, of the world's leading bridge builders. Naeem. Is unhappy, with the color and finish on the back span cross beam what has happened is that they have over, vibrated, the concrete. The. Cydonia, and then the all the fines have come true to the surface and that's, what is called the grey color, it's. Not the first time it's happened but Nayeem wants to make sure it's the last, this. Is the the. First large pour we have done on a cross beam and as. You can see on the surface has gone very dark, now we don't want the concrete the whole idea to have even, colored light colored concrete and. What you're seeing over here are, the layers, between the different concrete's, and, that's not very good they. Can do much better we know they can do better. Concrete. Supremo, Gary Ward swings, by later to, check out what the fuss is all about, it. Could be a lot of noise over a minor problem. Without. A fair amount of rain during that period a. Lot of winds we've had these company, loons go past. The. Noise up here we. Had to have all the people down it was just screaming through here that, was that we had pelting rain and. Of course the color now is. Even, is changing very very rapidly okay, this is a bit of a a repair. Work will then just. Put. A very very, less, than a mil smear. Along that which, matches that colour it's a blended color to suit that we've, had constant, grief, and. Our colour during. This whole project. It's. Very difficult to sit back and and. B-town you know and not want. To kill someone. Gary, shrugged off nine Hussein's, criticism, he's, doing what he loves best pouring. Concrete for. 30, tough years he's been concrete, in Hong Kong, he's also tried to retire three times but Gary just can't seem to stop working, eight minutes dyeing a bit of beef in them I'm. Not myself and living. Here for 27, years. That's difficult to run away from the speed of the place. While, Gary's grappling, with the concrete on the back Spanish on the other side of the bay Simon's, pushing to get the platform on the main tower in place it must be ready for Gary's concreting, team. If, he can't position, this first section correctly, he'll never make his 14-day deadline to the first concrete boy. The. Balance of the platform, looks good but, it's over 90, feet wide and, has to fit to an accuracy of just, a couple of centimeters. Back. This way hey. Whoa check check. Please. Take. It out. It. Looks like Simon is heading, for a crisis. It's, oli coming down thali the. Platform, doesn't seem to fit unless. Simon can come up with a solution, his optimistic. Schedule, will go out the window okay. Let's get the to chide box on he right he. Tries using chain blocks to force the platform, into place. On. Your side pull it back out. His, problem, is growing. He. May need to reconsider, his plans. It. Isn't working. Tight. Box time here. Simon. Can't get this platform into place, it could be disaster, for the schedule. Simon. Cassell is having major difficulties. Back on the Stonecutters. Bridge. He's. Managed, to get one side of the platform that fit so his team begins to bolted into place. He. Realizes the other side isn't in the right position. If. He can't ship the platform, he won't be able to bolt it down. Simon. Can't understand, why it's not fitting properly then. He spots the reason. Ember. Is needed to take the weight of the platform as it's wedged into place. But. This piece should have been removed. Simon. Now has to release the trapped beam. Into. Another frustrating, problem. One, first then, we release the chain block here leave a block we, get the welder to reweld this bracket here. Until. The welding is done they won't know if the platform section, fits and if, they can make the tight two-week deadline. Gary's. Getting worried, that the weather won't hold long enough for him to complete the back span for today. That's, a piss you off but you haven't got enough doctor when. You seek together do it in a certain time and, then all of a sudden something. Comes up lots. Of a crane or, anything. Can go wrong we're, nowhere in the wet season now but. All of a sudden areas play out come in and can have a vanilla bean and then that puts you back another duffel bag so. Any, window, you've got to pour concrete you get stuck into it and get it fitted get, it shove it up before there's a problem. Meanwhile. Simon's. Use the chain block in the newly welded bracket to release the chunk of timber and maneuver, the huge platform, into position, that's fine that's perfect.
Grandmother. Be happy to see it. Your, grandchildren, will say it I. Fourteen, days, my. Son took us 40 ten. So. That's all right. Simon. Now makes good progress if. He can get the next section of the casting platform in place today he'll be back on schedule. Okay, timba. Put. It on the bracket on the bracket. Julie. Hey. Mama you're. Gonna have to stand up on top okay. Even. More it's, looking, good but suddenly, there's a last-minute, glitch. To. Pieces of the platform, won't slot together. Where's. My pipe where's. The pipe it's. Time for the chain blocks and tackle, along. With some brute force Aussie. Style. So. Go. Sick, it laughs my more to go, then. We're out of here today. Now. Have a small drink. The winds picking up and another, storm, may be heading, their way the. Rain and the driving winds make the concrete floor dangerous, in progress, is slow we. Need to get this knocked over before the rains out of the way, I'm. One of the silly ones I'll play outside all day and all night. There's, a long way from going, home they're. Reaching the most difficult, part of the poor working. Their way up the sloping, wings. Get. Cranky, but, it's. Gonna gotta, wear that, the. Weather's decided, to make their lives as miserable as possible it's, getting worse and the pace is slow it could take all night to concrete, the top of the back span pier as. Evening. Draws in Gary faces, yet another, problem well it got that. The. Concrete. Down in the bottom where it's going now to level it out if, they can't see there's, a real risk of the concrete flowing, out of control. Stonecutters. Bridge in Hong Kong will, be one of the world's outstanding, bridges. But, it's also one of the most challenging to, build. Typhoons. And earthquakes fault, lines have put them well behind schedule. They. Need to finish the concrete back span piers before, they can bridge the harbour but they've run into trouble.
200. Feet above ground in the midst of a tropical storm the, lights have fused and the concrete, may be running out of time. The, concrete, pour has reached its most critical stage. Concrete. King Gary Ward and his team we're, working their way up the steep 30-degree, slope of the wings and, suddenly the, power went out. Palace. Got them we're. Obliged to use the fairly fairly. Sophisticated, safety. Equipment because everything's in the weapon all the time it's, protected, against any shop so if anything gets wet but all the guys having, anything that you shut the power down so. It's. Very sensitively, safety. Is paramount but, it's frustrating, to lose power at a key moment. Without. Light they have no idea what's going on if. They lose control of the concrete now they'll. Have a huge problem the. Main problem is nav of the people time theme hunkering. Down at the bottom where it's going and how to level it out, for. Gary and his team it's a tense moment. The. Electricians, are on the job they have to switch the power to another circuit, there's. Enough light up top but the workers down below are in the dark. Finally. The emergency, lighting kicks in and it's. Not a moment too soon I. Brought. The lights are back up and running again we're already right a light with the country. We. Gotta flee pop tiger before the right. In the claustrophobic. Interior, of the VAX vampyre the concrete, is flowing back down the 30 degree slope. Potentially. It could ruin the whole pour and cost. Thousands, of dollars in wasted, concrete, and labor. Work, is ground to a halt but. Can they dig their way out of trouble this. Is, where the level-headed Australian. Gary ward comes into his own dealing. With problems, even under high pressure. But, it all goes wrong it's, an absolute panic everyone just stop the only way to stop it is just, to stop all the movement in the area no vibrators, no nothing wait. For it to stop moving and. Then, you can pick it up and shove it back up. It, looks like they may have the concrete back under control. But they still face the back-breaking job, of hauling tons of wet concrete up the slope it just came down. Fatal, down there were buckets and. Trails and chapels and gardeners work javelin in the pocket and then carry it all the way they got the pump again oh yeah. They. Can take out. They've, already been at it for over 12, hours but. For Gary's gang there's no early end. Dr., lett and over the team tonight. Now they keep them together there's everyone. Still smiling so, no. One sinister on the bills on the ground anything. The brain niala only good trainer motor. At, midnight, after nearly, 16, hours on the job Gary, and his team finally, complete the big pour. The following day the, weather's changed for the better. To. Give thanks for the break in the weather and to in short continues, thoughts, turn to the gods a religious. Blessing, a bye sign is the answer. Almost. Everyone, on the site joins in praying, for progress, on the project before the next storm. Bundles. Of fake dollars or torch but with every hour of delay tens, of thousands, of real dollars go up in smoke.
Gary. May not believe in the gods but, he appreciates, the local customs, and the, need for good manners. He. Stays until the end of the bison ceremony. His. Reward is to enjoy a ritual, beloved of builders worldwide, the, bacon, sandwich, Hong Kong style. Yeah. Cool, I don't have to worry about my finger to marry. Simon Cassell's, is taking advantage of the sunshine. He's. Been told about the concrete teams huge effort last night and he knows that Gary soon going to be pushing to start pouring concrete on, the west side of the bridge. Simon's. Already, got the platform for the main west tower in place now, he has to take down the massive steel trusses from the east side back span and piers these, trusses support, the working platforms. Used by Garry and his team. Simon. Will then transfer, them from the east to the west side he, needs to move quickly, Garry has to get to work as soon as possible. But. Lowering the trusses is a delicate, operation as Simon, knows only too well I can't. Go inside. If, all goes well and Simon manages to ship the trusses quickly, he'll, be rewarded, with some quality time with his family. I had, a break, plan my son turned 21. A week, ago and, I had a ticket back, to Australia, but I had to cancel it so now I've bought the ticket and I've told him I'm not changed that spinning. More, you. Got a gap is never gonna be a good time to take all that I on a building site, the. Huge metal trusses, some, of them weighing a hundred tons have, to be carefully, lowered onto strand, jacks hydraulic. Lifting gear. Take. That swing out of their place, get. This thing out of the channel. On. A side. Simon. Aims to get the first and biggest trust lower to the ground by the end of tomorrow, but. It's been stuck here for the last six months and won't budge, it's. All proving more difficult than Simon expected. His, team is struggling with the boltholes timber. In it put, the timber in there and give it a wee go around yet. He. Needs to make his deadline and every, nut and bolt is a potential, obstacle. Gary. Is back on the job and ready for more concreting. With decades, of Hong Kong experience, even, though he's tired he, knows he has to use the sunshine, while he can. Typhoon. Torrential. Rain, it's. A hell of a thing, so. Me out the concrete it. Dry the the surface of it dries up so rapidly it. Starts, to deteriorate think it's a white film there gets all surface crack eaten and. It's. Not good you've got to break leave, the surface back on it it's time, money. Later, that day Simon, is preparing the big trust weighing a hundred tons to be lowered tomorrow then, he gets a nasty surprise. Back. Span engineer, Ted lund and chief, engineer Peter, Lauder come to check the plans for the operation, they're, worried by what they see what. Consent that they're. Suspending, it from three points on opposite, sides of the trust which, will put a lot of torsion along the truss, which. Hasn't been allowed for we suspect in the design, we. Really want it. Could damage itself, or, it could even class assignment. Is it responsible, for the plans but, he has to make them work they involve lowering the trusses on cables, attached to three points on the steel beams but. The engineers, fear three anchor points may not be enough. It. Would be disastrous if the truss is buckled, or felt. Gary. And his team wouldn't be able to use them on the east side back spans they, would slip further behind schedule as, the, inspection. Continues, the engineers, become increasingly. Anxious they. Fear the whole 100-ton, structure, may fall at any moment. On. The face of it never and on some boats too soon. We. Say shouldn't have done but.
We'll Find out. Yes. It's. Still standing, well that doesn't make it right. These. Space here illness, both pay peter has some serious, questions about the flaws but. What's meant to be holding, it it's got four, in 24, this. Is the Matis a man in the ICU check, but it is. Held by those four in 24, for installation, it with the same fatigue. What, we're doing is reversing it. Simon. Has the answers but the engineers, still aren't satisfied, his. Chances, of getting the trust lower tomorrow, aren't looking good. Now. The engineers, examine, the Strand jacks themselves. These, hydraulic, jacks will bear the weight of the truss as its lower. It'll. Work what, you're doing Simon, yep, but. It's not actually the right way to run a lowering circuit, on a strand Jack as. Soon as we open that you get the agenda balanced it's a metering valve so. What happens if we get a hose break here or if some ticket counter the Krannert steps is off a little bit down well no I should you have a check bar okay. Yeah. Thank you girl Simon's. Actually a good lad he tries very hard but. It's, risk. Operations, and, if. The thing twists, it could damage itself. At. The end of a long day at Stonecutters, there's another bridge where the engineers, like to meet. You, get a very good atmosphere, on, the big jobs you get a good crack going between the different, parts of it basically, we get on together we, socialize. On things like this we. Drink together in the bars of one join. But, someone, didn't make it to the party. Back. At the office Simon, is burning the midnight oil to, get the lowering of the trusses back on track. We've. Gotta cut the things in the last day. And a half which, they. Don't match exactly with what was on the original groins, and I thought we could get this to work so. We're. Having a bad, day today but. It's gonna get better I see. A solution option, a option, B and one of them will work so we're just gonna work out which one we're gonna do. One. Thing I'm getting a lot off here is is learning how to. Do. Things which oh I don't, like to do always and it's normally, I do what. I like to do but. Here it's a different situation, in. A certain moment you get pissed, off and then, you. Say some things that perhaps when. You look at it lighter and in hindsight it doesn't, achieve anything so you. Better off not to take her personally just look at it purely as a as, a, numbers, and. Just. Go with it but he can't you're not always gonna win pinky battle thyself. Lowering. The trusses isn't going to be easy for Simon but compared to the tasks facing him over the next year, it's minor-league stuff. His. Biggest, battle hasn't even reached the stonecutter, site yet. In Guangdong, mainland. China the giant, rope deck is being assembled. This, is the deck that will eventually span, the harbor the, twin rope sections, are 183. Feet, across lifting. Them into place will be one of the world's greatest engineering.
Challenges, When. Simon Cassell's, finished his work on the back spans it will be his job to lift these mammoth, steel decks up into place. Stone. Cutters will be the highlight of his career but, back in Hong Kong he's, had to prove that he's up to the job. His. New plan for the truss has got the seal of approval from, the engineers. For. The last six weeks he's been stretched, to the limits. Simons, now lowering one of the last trusses, the, end wing section, of one of the back spans. He's. On schedule for his vacation. A, little. Bit at 11 right there. Every. Step here requires experienced, technical. Knowledge and steady, nerves. The, trust sections, have to be kept level as they descend if the. Steel frame tilts on the way down or hits the pier it could be damaged. Doing, this type of work is it's, quite stressful yeah. I mean, you gotta concentrate all of the time it's. Really, quite. A nerve-wracking. You, got something that's quite heavy hanging. On the end of some cables. And you're controlling what it's doing. Come, on come another fry yeah. Simon. Feels confident, enough to give his right-hand man some time at the controls. We'll see part of my deal is here I got it I've, got a training people, this. Is one of the guys I've worked with for a long time. It. All goes smoothly until the last 26, feet when suddenly they hit a problem. The. Strand jacks have let out the cables unevenly. The. Truss is dangerously, tilted. It. Wasn't, designed to be hung at this angle and it could collide with the pier at any moment, talk, to me Mike the bottom is a 2 meter and the top is 1.5. Right. Now we, have the trust more slight than when we started is that right the the, outside single deck is higher than the others. Well. I don't ever want to have the float more than when we started all right theoretically, it should always be less Simon. Thought he was just minutes from completing, the job but. He's suddenly in crisis. At Stonecutters. Bridge Hong Kong they're, about to complete the first crucial, stage of the world's longest cable-stayed, bridge. Typhoons. And technical, problems have already put the project over a year behind schedule. Overcoming. All obstacles they've. Completed, the mighty piers on the east side of the bridge, now. They're moving the huge trusses, to the west side. One. Of the last trusses, has almost been lowered the full 200, feet down to earth, but. The platform is tilting dangerously. And might. Crash into the concrete pier, ah the. Touch started out this slide right and now we're even on a more of its level if, the trust gets jammed against the pier the concrete, could be damaged, by its huge weight or, the truss itself, could buckle. Either. Way, Simon. Would have a lot of explaining, to do just, keep going with this one, okay. Come on let's one struck out that. Wall. Is using changes, to pull the truss away from the pier while, Simon, lowers it on the opposite side. It's, touch-and-go in, the, narrow space Simon's. Team can't maneuver the trust back to the correct angle. They. Have to save this trust if they don't there, will be some serious knock-on, delays. The trust is a piece of precision. Engineering, getting. It lowered is a high-tech, operation, but. The solution, to their problem is surprisingly. Low temp. Since. They can't level the truss they, decide to pack the space beneath it with wood anyone. They can find it fill the gap but. Is it going to work.
The. Hundred-ton, trust rests gently and evenly on the wood beams. It's. A huge relief. Yeah. We transport, them out to the west side we. Start direction, and the next month they're all erected over there pending. And, then I'm off on holiday anyway next month. With, work on the backs pans now on target the crew at Stonecutters bridge are ready for the next phase. Early. Next year they should begin, spanning, the harbor with the cable-stayed, Road deck. But. Today is a moment, to celebrate. For the Stonecutters, crew it's also a time to reflect. 7:00, it's worth worth the matter requirement, to do this one because it's, it's. A one-off it's a very unique project this. Is this is the highlight of my career this one really is. The. Big bridges are always. Milestones. They're always special. They're. The things that get put on postage, stamps, they're the things that people remember, they're the things that people think. About this, one is going to be visible, from. Anywhere. In Hong. It'll. Have been, my. Father lowest, in the hottest project, I've ever wrote and that's I've been gone there. Six. Years. Even. Though we've had delays, had, some incidents remember II can never take away the, achievement, that we've been through it's the biggest handling. Structure, in the whole world that, doesn't matter if people say how you took a hell of a long time to build a bridge doesn't, matter we. Had to build it anyway. For. All the Bulls and all the pain and the anguish we go through on a daily basis. I. Study. I'll talk about it till the day I bloody died. Stonecutters. Bridge has shaped the lives of the people who are building it and, will. Shape the life of Hong Kong for centuries to come.