A Unique Situation With A New Solution

By Tommy Marciniak | April 2014, Vol. 69 No. 4

Completing a cast-in-place project that measures 46-feet wide by 39-feet long by 35-feet deep near the shores of Lake Michigan is a challenging project in and of itself. Now add in the challenge of being in the middle of an active British Petroleum (BP) refinery, and you have the unique situation that Superior Construction Company Inc., of Gary, IN, found themselves.

“When the project started, in February of 2012, my original plan was to use a slide rail shoring system,” said Paul Armstrong, superintendent for Superior Construction. A slide rail system is a dig and push style system. With its modular, flexible design the system can comply with a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It is installed from the top down and removed from the bottom up, minimizing excavation size, soil disturbances, restoration time and cost. Installation is done with low vibration, providing soil support for excavations, adjacent structures and existing utilities.

“I went to the internet and started searching for slide rail shoring systems,” said Armstrong, “that brought me to GME’s website. After a couple of conversations, they [GME] sent two representatives over to review the project in person.” One of those people was Dennis Parker, product manager with GME.

Originally, the project was designed to be three smaller pits, meant to be used for sulfur retention. As the project progressed, the three small pits morphed into one large pit, located in the middle of the active refinery. With the change of location and the change to one large pit, some site demolition was needed, requiring the removal of the vibration alarms. “With the partial site demolition that needed to occur and the vibration alarms removed, everybody involved in the project turned to sheeting,” noted Parker. “That opened the door for GME and Sunbelt Rentals Pump & Power Services, to quote our new MD Bracing system.”

“We [Superior Construction] already had trench boxes on site from Sunbelt,” added Armstrong. “They were already an approved vendor through BP; it just made the whole process a little easier.”

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