The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) has announced the winners of the Rigging Job of the Year Awards. The awards went to Fagioli, Opera, Italy, in the Jobs over $750,000 category; Omega Morgan, Fife, Wash., in the Jobs between $150,000 and $750,000 category; and Barnhart, Memphis, Tenn., in the Jobs under $150,000 category.
Over $750,000: Fagioi Recovers Wreck of Cruise Ship Costa Concordia
Fagioli recovered in one piecethe wreck of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which had come to rest on an underwater rock ledge off the coast of Isola Del Giglio, Italy, in January 2012. It was the first time that such an operation had been performed on a vessel with such huge overall dimensions: 300 meters long and 114,000 gross tons.
Fagioli divided the wreck recovery plan into four basic steps, each involving expert engineering and detailed planning. The steps were anchoring and stabilizing the ship; preparing a false, subsea bottom; righting the vessel using rotational leverage (or parbuckling); and, finally, surveying the wreck and installating sponsons.
The first step, stabilization, was carried out by securing four anchor blocks to the sea bottom between the center of the wreck and the coast by means of 16 300- to 450-ton capacity strand jacks positioned on the wreck. Seven more anchor blocks and 12 towers were installed to secure the position of the wreck keel during the rotation. The 12 sets of Fagioli tower lift and strand jack systems (L600 jacks positioned on top of each tower) were combined to perform the stabilization.
Next, a false bottom was prepared on the seabed for the ship to rest on after it was rotated. The subsea platforms, comprised of 1,180 removable grout bags weighing more than 16,000 tons, provided a stable base for the vessel.
Eleven large floating tanks, known as sponsons and weighing up to 500 tons each, were positioned on the port side of the ship. Using gantry cranes, mobile cranes and 48 axle lines of SPMTs, Fagioli provided the equipment for the load out, load in and rotation upside down of the sponsons. After installation of the sponsons by the client, Fagioli rigged 36 strand jacks on top of the 9 sponsons on the starboard side of the wrecked ship.
The power pack units (PPUs) used to allow the 36 jacks to work during the parbuckling operations needed to be placed on the wreck, which meant during the duration, the PPUs not anchored as the strand jacks could have created a large-scale stability problem. In response, Fagioli’s team used two swinging platforms installed onto the tallest sponsons, equipped with generators and PPUs. This allowed the PPUs to remain stable at the highest water levels during the rotation. To provide buoyancy and stabilization, two blister tanks were installed at the bow of the ship by the client.
To assure safety in the work area, Fagioli completed the connection of all the electronic and hydraulic components in a control room positioned on a barge clear of the work area. The strand jacks were remotely controlled from the control room during the rotation operation.
In mid-September 2013, the parbuckling operation began with three main phases: detaching the wreck from the spurs of rocks on which it rested; the rotation phase induced by strand jacks until the vessel rotated approximately 25 degrees from its initial position; and the rotation phase by means of ballasting of the sponsons and jacks. At the end of the final phase the wreck would complete 64 degrees rotation and would rest on the false bottom platform at a depth of 30 meters.
Over the course of more than a year, Fagioli was involved in almost every element of the project, ranging from calculations, risk assessment, method of statements, procedures and in the road and sea transport of all the equipment. The job was dramatically influenced by weather and sea conditions with the risk of losing the wreck, or in the worst case, sinking it.
The strand and tower lift positioning was critical, as the ship rested a few meters from rocks where it was impossible to position the tower. The foundations of the tower were installed in the seabed by professional sea divers.
“This was a job significantly influenced by the dramatic events that occurred to the wreck, and there was a psychological pressure every day after the accident by the worldwide media,” said Fagioli’s Edoardo Ascione. “It was a unique operation that was followed by millions of people around the world.”
$150,000-$750,000: Omega Morga Moves a 1,100-Foot-Long Bridge
Crews from Omega Morgan strategically moved the 87-year old Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Ore. from its permanent concrete supports to temporary steel piers to make way for a new bridge to be constructed across the Willamette River. The Sellwood Bridge—at 1,972 feet long, 75 feet high and, 28 feet wide—is among the state’s busiest bridges with 30,000 vehicle crossings each day.
Once it was secured into place, the old bridge in its new location would become a temporary route while the new $307.5 million bridge is built in the original location. The new bridge will open in 2016.
A complication was that it was not a straight-across move. Instead, the east end of the bridge needed to be moved only 33 feet while the west end had to be moved 66 feet. The entire span was also shifted two feet east. Omega Morgan’s team started planning for the project in March 2012, moved its crew onsite on January 2, 2013. The actual bridge move occurred over 12 hours on January 19, 2013.
Both Omega Morgan and General Contractor Slayden/Sundt Joint Venture have successfully used this detour bridge method on other projects. Omega Morgan’s collaboration with the general contractor was critical to proper project planning and public safety.
Only a week was allowed to jack up, move and jack down the bridge. To minimize downtime, the bridge was actually jacked up with traffic on it. Omega Morgan’s safety manager was included in every phase of project planning to identify any areas of safety concern and collaborate with the contractor’s safety plan.
Devising a strategy to move the bridge in one piece helped Omega Morgan win the contract after showing that it would save time, money and duplication of efforts. Other proposals had suggested expensive and redundant structural features and extensive staging.
The plan involved sliding the aging bridge on skid gear to the north of the existing bridge and then mounting it on new piers that had been built in the river. The bridge would then become the “shoofly,” or detour, while construction begins on the new bridge.
Engineers used 10 sliding jacks, 40 lifting jacks and a central control system to make sure the move progressed as planned. The truss span was designed as a continuous structure rather than a series of connected spans. This unusual design required the contractor to move the entire span in one piece.
In preparation for the move, crews removed short spans at the east and west ends of the truss span that will not be part of the new detour bridge. Hydraulic jacks lifted the truss span several inches off the old concrete piers, and then horizontal jacks pushed it on rails along steel translation beams linking the old piers with the detour bridge piers.
The layout of the skid beams and skid track was extremely critical because the track that was up to 1,100 feet apart had to be set on different radii with the same point of rotation. The bridge was moved using pushing cylinders at each bent. Hydraulic flow was metered so that the cylinders at each bent moved the proper amount. Prior to the move, the skid track was marked off in tenth-of-a-foot increments from the starting point of the skid beams. The progress of the skid beams at each bent was monitored against an offset table to ensure that the bridge was staying straight and on a radius of the turn.
Prior to the bridge move, temporary approach spans were installed at the west and east ends of the relocated bridge to link Highway 43 in southwest Portland to S.E. Tacoma Street. They will remain in place throughout construction of the new bridge.
The bridge started moving at a pace of about six feet per hour early on a foggy Saturday morning. Dozens of crew members remained on the bridge throughout the move, operating the network of 50 hydraulic jacks that lifted and pushed the bridge on ramps to its new location, and monitoring the truss. During the move crews monitored the pressure gauges and adjusted the flow rates at each location accordingly.
Under $150,000: Barnhart Removes 10 Platforms on Control Tower at Airport
Barnhart removed 10 platforms on a control tower at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nev. Each platform weighed 12,000 pounds and measured 16 feet long by 19 feet wide by 10 feet tall. All were located 230 feet in the air. With the control cab in place, the tower crane on the project couldn’t remove the platforms.
The outer most diameter of the cab overhung the walls by 18 feet. It was impossible to get the tower crane hook above the center of gravity (CG) of the platforms.
The original plan to remove the platforms was to set winches on the concrete floor slab above, run the line through a hole in floor, rig the line to the platform, and lower it to the ground. But it failed to account for the new architectural façade.
Barnhart presented the tip stick, which was originally designed to tip objects, In this application, the main question was how to secure the platform to the tip stick: Where would the pump sit so that the operator could run the pump in while being able to see the pick and how to prevent the hoses form hanging 230 feet in the air?
Barnhart installed lifting eyes on the control pump and rigged it to the tip stick, allowing the pump to function as a counterweight as well. To assure the operator could see the tip stick, a remote control with 100 feet of cord was installed. This allowed the operator to grab the remote off of the end of the tip stick and stand on the adjacent platform, where he would be able to safely see and make the pick.
The tip stick’s control pump allowed the pick location on the beam to be manipulated. After the connection was made the operator slowly moved the pick point more towards the center of the beam, which is the new CG of the load with the platform attached. The lift director then was able lift the platform off the support bolts and fly the platform to the ground.
Rigging was a challenge because it was impossible to place the tip stick directly above the CG. A moment-resistant hard connection to the platforms was designed, allowing the platform to be picked even if the CG was not below the beam. A portion of the deck was removed and beams were installed over the top of the tip stick.
The safety plan called for crews to access the platforms using ladders from the level above. Workers were required to tie off prior to exiting the control cab using 50-foot retractable lanyards secured to an engineered anchor point. The lifts were timed to ensure planes were not on the adjacent taxiway. Wind was an issue; work was stopped if winds exceeded 20 mph. Two 300-foot taglines controlled the movement of the tip stick to counter the wind.
The work plan addressed crane setup, boom tip height, tip stick position, swing path, landing zone, platform connection, FAA coordination, access to the platforms, fall protection, fallen worker rescue, and the removal of the last two platforms behind the tower crane. The platform company provide engineering to ensure that the connection was safe, and Dielco Crane Service provided the operated Link Belt HC278. Archer Western provided valuable input to the connection, their carpenters performed the deck modifications and connections, and they also coordinated with other operations and the FAA. The job was completed in less than five working days with a crew of eight. It was performed ahead of schedule, under budget and without any safety incidents.
The Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SC&RA) is an international trade association of more than 1,300 members from 43 nations. Members are involved in specialized transportation, machinery moving and erecting, industrial maintenance, millwrighting and crane and rigging operations, manufacturing and rental. SC&RA helps members run more efficient and safer businesses by monitoring and affecting pending legislation and regulatory policies at the state and national levels; researching and reporting on safety concerns and best business practices; and providing four yearly forums where these and other relevant member issues can be advanced.