They do backbreaking work at incredible heights. They build our bridges, stadiums and skyscrapers. They live hard, play hard, and work hard in the world’s most dangerous trade. They are Ironworkers – a band of brothers who live and work on the edge.
Hanging Iron follows the rare breed of blue-collar workers who build extraordinary structures at unbelievable heights, in some of the most demanding construction sites on the planet. They’re tough men with nerves of steel, facing danger every day on the job. They battle high winds and heavy loads at extreme heights. Most have broken bones, lost fingers or ruptured an organ. This is a job that sometimes demands brute force and sometimes mathematical precision. Millimeters matter.
The pilot episode of Hanging Iron follows the positioning of the main arches of the new Walterdale Bridge in Edmonton, Canada.
After more than 100 years, the Walterdale Bridge has reached the end of its service life and needs to be replaced. Construction on the new $155 million replacement project began in 2013. This signature bridge will be the first of its kind in Edmonton, with two 56m tall arches spanning 206m across the river just east of the current bridge. The impressive new arches present an extreme engineering challenge for the ironworkers that must construct falsework to hold it in place while barges traverse an ice-filled river to move it into place, with just one chance to get it right.
Hanging Iron celebrates a band of brothers with iron wills and nerves of steel who are brave enough – some say crazy enough – to live and work on the edge.