Crews from Caltrans and American Bridge/Fluor Enterprises joint venture last week placed a steel segment atop the four independent legs of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge’s self-anchored suspension span (SAS) tower.

Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney says the new section, known as the “grillage,” will evenly distribute the weight of the 480-ton cable saddle that will hold the SAS’s nearly mile-long single cable as it passes over the tower. The section is nicknamed the “grillage” due to the position of internal steel plates which create the appearance of a grill grate, Ney says.

The tower section arrived in the Bay Area on Feb. 14. The grillage weighs approximately 500 tons, and measures 30 ft by 30 ft.

Two strand jacks hoisted the grillage nearly 500 ft into the air in order to carefully place it onto the four tower legs. Once it was set down, crews connected the grillage with bolts, welds and splice plates.

Ney says the cable saddle is tentatively scheduled to be placed in late May.