Industry Suppliers Build Safety into Tappan Zee Bridge Replacement

WRE Update: From the May/June 2014 Issue of Wire Rope Exchange
By Jennifer H. McInerney

nnyb_hires-11For travelers and commuters crossing the Hudson River from Tarrytown to South Nyack, New York, the sea of cranes beneath the Tappan Zee Bridge has become a familiar—and ever-expanding—sight.

By the year 2018, the Tappan Zee structure, which opened in 1955, will be replaced by the New NY Bridge, a twin-span bridge that’s projected to last 100 years without major structural maintenance. The design calls for eight traffic lanes, four emergency breakdown lanes, a traffic monitoring system, an additional lane for either a commuter bus or light rail, and a pedestrian/bike path.

The $3.9-billion bridge is being designed and constructed by Tappan Zee Constructors LLC, comprised of four firms: Fluor, American Bridge, Granite, and Traylor Bros. Design firms HDR, Buckland & Taylor, URS, and GZA are also lending expertise to the project, and a team of employees from the New York State Thruway Authority and the State Department of Transportation will be working closely with TZC throughout construction.

The wire rope, lifting, rigging, and crane industry continues to play an integral role in the completion of the new bridge. Numerous companies, including the Bilco Group and Python Rope, among many others, are supplying equipment and support. Continue reading

Vertical Investments, The Shanghai Tower Redefines the Role of Super-Tall Buildings

Python® Compac-35 wire rope hangs from the top of a Favelle Favco Crane on the Shanghai Tower.

Python® Compac-35 wire rope hangs from the top of a Favelle Favco Crane on the Shanghai Tower. PHOTO BY VITALY RASKALOV / CATERS NEWS

With nearly 25 million people, Shanghai is the largest metropolis on Earth. It’s home to the largest daily commute of people in the world. It’s a global financial center in the world’s fastest growing region, and serves as the world’s busiest container port. But it also accounts for over 1 billion gallons of sewage daily, and smog levels that on certain days make going outside dangerous. This is the scene of an emerging China – and it’s continuing to grow at an unprecedented rate, prompting leaders and residents to confront growing pains with new solutions.

Google a skyline picture of Shanghai from just a few years back compared to today; it’s awe-inspiring. Over the past decade alone, the population has increased by 37 percent, with five times as many vehicles added to the streets during that time, with no signs of slowing down. More people and vehicles mean more congestion. In a city where space is fast-becoming the most precious commodity, Shanghai is literally running out of it. The obvious need is to build ‘up,’ but the challenge is to do so in a smarter way. Continue reading

Facing Traffic: Building the New International Trade Crossing

Article from the February 2014 Wire Rope Exchange
By Joe Nolan

Bridge Photo_6When we talk about the American border, most eyes turn south, down towards states like Arizona and Texas, and the line that separates them from our Mexican neighbors. When our neighbors to the north come to mind, one usually conjures images of the border in a Western state like Montana or that perennial honeymooners destination, Niagara Falls that New York shares with Canada.

However, the most unique spot on the U.S. border might be that place on the Detroit River where Motown connects to Windsor, Ontario via the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the Ambassador Bridge. Currently, nearly 25% of Canadian/American trade passes between Windsor and Detroit at this point making this the busiest border crossing on the continent of North America in terms of trade volume, and marking one of the biggest bi-lateral trade partnerships on the globe. Continue reading

Wire Rope Exchange Article: B/A Products Proves That the Family That Works Together, Works Best

By Joe Nolan

B/A Products is the kind of company you used to hear about a lot – a busy little family affair that blossomed into a booming success. During a time when many entrepreneurs are questioning the American Dream, B/A is finding that the best way to build a future is through old-fashioned values like inventiveness, perseverance and the help of a hard working family.

When Mel and Enid Berman founded B/A Products Co. in Hollywood, Florida they built chain assemblies, punched rubber sling straps and offered other basic products aimed at the towing industry. Continue reading

Wire Rope Exchange Article: TANDEMLOC Has Progress Locked In

By William S. Fiske, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)

In the bustling town of Havelock, North Carolina, the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point provides excitement for all and employment for many. Home of the 2d Marine Air Wing with five deployable Marine Air Groups, Cherry Point also houses the Fleet Readiness Center (East).

This large industrial hub provides depot-level maintenance, repair, and rebuild services for Naval Aviation assets worldwide. The base serves as the East Coast point of embarkation for the Corps and has moved more than 35 tons of military equipment overseas in the last three years. Continue reading

WRE Magazine: November-December Issue Print Information

The November-December issue of the Wire Rope Exchange Magazine closes for print soon. See below for more information:

Advertisement Close Date, November 12th
Our next advertising close date is Tuesday, November 12th. If you have any questions or if you would like more information on advertising, please contact us: advertise@wireropeexchange.com Continue reading

Wire Rope Exchange Feature Article: Washington A. Roebling, the Civil War, and building Brooklyn Bridge

In [John Roebling’s] plans for the 1,600-ft. span Brooklyn Bridge, John specified the use of steel wire for the first time in a major suspension bridge. While he and Washington were inspecting the site for the Brooklyn tower in June 1869, a ferry boat unexpectedly slammed into the slip where they were standing, crushing John’s foot, and he died a horrible death ten days later from tetanus. As Washington recalled years later,
Continue reading

Destination: Loos & Company

Featured in the May/June 2013 Issue of Wire Rope Exchange

By: Peter Hildebrandt

For Connecticut manufacturer, the sky’s the limit

Loos & Company, GusWire rope manufacturer Loos & Co., Inc., is nestled in the quiet northeast corner of Connecticut. But that fact has done nothing to keep the firm from being right in the thick of things with respect to the industry’s latest developments and technologies. Since its humble beginnings in 1958 – in a garage in Pomfret, CT, the company has grown by continuing to produce quality wire rope products for over half a century.

A.W. “Gus” Loos and his wife, Joan, founded the firm by initially reselling cable, and then purchasing the machinery needed for manufacturing cable, jacketing cable, and producing cable assemblies. Today, the Loos & Company operations in Connecticut measure 220,000 square feet and employ approximately 300 people, manufacturing products that are used in aerospace, military, and commercial applications, including aircraft flight controls, elevators, fitness equipment, rigging, and scaffolding operations. Continue reading

New Issue of Wire Rope Exchange Available Now

August 2013 Digital Issue

Check out the latest issue of Wire Rope Exchange featuring: Manchester Sling and their partnership with Mammoet; we also feature Barnhart Crane & Rigging’s latest project moving Big ‘Bertha,’ and we highlight Nik Wallenda’s latest high wire walk over the Grand Canyon rigged by O’Connell Electric with Wirerope Works cable.

Brazil’s 334-MW Electric Infrastructure Overhaul

Photo: Eletrobras Furnas

Photo: Eletrobras Furnas

The nearly completed Simplício Hydroelectric Complex in Brazil, owned by the government-run Eletrobrás Furnas, has been a Herculean construction project that began in 2007 and is expected to finish in late 2012. Constructed by the Construction Consortium of companies Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez, the project has received worldwide acclaim for its engineering ingenuity, level of construction difficulty, and expansive 15-mile-long site.

With Brazil scheduled to host two of the world’s largest and most prominent athletic events, preparations are underway to shore up the electric grid infrastructure before the 2014 Soccer World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games arrive. Only one month after securing the Olympic bid, Brazil endured a harsh reminder of its aging electric infrastructure: in one of the largest blackouts in human history, 60 million people—including the entire population of Rio de Janeiro—were left in the dark for three hours after a storm struck a key transmission line near the Itaipú hydroelectric dam on the Paraguay-Brazil border. Continue reading

CF&I History Featured at Steelworks Museum in Pueblo, Colorado

You may recall the May/June 2012 Issue of the Wire Rope Exchange that featured the legacy of CF&I and its lasting effects on companies today, including Ver Sales, Mill Valley Splicing, Kirby Ropes International/Certex USA, and Western Sling & Supply.

The Bessemer Historical Society in Pueblo, Colorado is home to the archives of CF&I’s wire products and the Steelworks Museum, detailing CF&I as the “driving force in the development of the West, with the largest steel mill west of the Mississippi River.”  Currently, the museum is showing the ‘From Factory to Farm‘ exhibit through December.

Watch the video featuring this legacy here.

Growing Up Charleston

Independence Day came early this past year at Charleston’s Rigging in South Carolina – at least that was the joke circulating around family get-togethers in the Sawin family last summer.  July 1st, 2011, marked the date that new owners and siblings Jessica Sage and Skip Sawin took ownership of Charleston’s Rigging and Carolina’s Rigging from parents Rick and Valerie Sawin after 23 years in business.  Jessica and Skip grew up in and around the business, actively engaged at various times and undoubtedly involved by necessity at other times as all family businesses operate.  Most recently, Jessica has served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Skip as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and both will continue to serve Continue reading

Industry Thought: Leaders on Innovation

At the end of 2012, we conducted a roundtable discussion on innovation in the rigging industry to get perspectives and insights about what is driving innovation and growth.

Wire Rope Exchange:  How do you define innovation in our industry?

Tom Miller, President
Marcal Rope and Rigging, Inc.

Tom Miller:  To me innovation in the rigging industry is two-fold.  We’re focused on providing our customers with safer products that also promote ease of use. The loads are getting bigger and bigger, so the rigging also gets bigger and bigger – which means more weight and more opportunity for accidents. Providing a safer way to lift these larger loads is where we are looking.  Also, I think our own manufacturing practices have to be safer. Continue reading

Carving New History, the Panama Canal Expansion.

The shortest path between two points is a straight line.  It just so happens that this line is 50 miles long, accounts for nearly 300 tons of shipments worldwide annually; and the two points are the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  Since the colonization and exploration of the Americas, a shortcut has been envisioned to connect the West with the East across the Isthmus of Panama. This simple solution has been the root of an ongoing engineering idea that has transformed this section of land into a gateway for international trade routes.  The current expansion plans underway will further cement the Panama Canal as a nucleus for shipping and impact most economies across the globe. Continue reading