Environmental construction firm installs glass bridge

Constructing a bridge is hard enough. Imagine trying to install a 40-foot-long, 35,000-pound glass footbridge in a heavily wooded area. For the environmental construction company W.L. Hailey of Nashville, the project was anything but usual.

The glass bridge, composed of 3,500 glass blocks, is a piece of artwork by Siah Armajani, who also designed the 1996 Olympic torch. The bridge was to be placed among 15 other works of art in the Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail at the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art near Nashville.

Because of the size and fragility of the structure, extra care was required to install it, and the hilly terrain made the task difficult. W.L. Hailey decided to undertake the installation as a donation to the botanical garden. To put the bridge in place, the company used a 110,000-pound crane to first lift the bridge structure, and then raise the 5,000-pound glass roof and position it atop the bridge’s walls.

Visitors to the Cheekwood Sculpture Trail can now walk through the work of art.