Bridge Work, Multiple crews, Multiple loads, Late work, months of weekend-only work.

Bridge Work, Multiple crews, Multiple loads, Late work, months of weekend-only work.

Bridgework in Edmonton is a touchy subject, with a bit of history.  We work for most of the bridge construction companies, and never found anything but focused and conscientious people.  But, the past being what it is; when we go to work on a bridge site; we try and be extra attentive.

                The construction company was working on two bridges simultaneously; trying to finish off the 159th and Whitemud overpass and start up the Rainbow Valley, (the ski hill) bridge.

                Over a 5-6 week period, we moved a couple of hundred jersey barriers; repurposed on-site, several times, then removed altogether to the second bridge.  The problem is simply weight.  An 8x2x3ft high barrier is over 4000 lbs.  We can only get 15 tops on a tri-axle trailer, and 20 on a super B.  WE have over 100 to move.  The Bridges are high traffic, high-velocity spots.  You need to pick a quiet time, get in, and get out as quickly as possible.  The city is not going to shut the bridges down for a jersey barrier move.

                Dispatch had a plan.  It’s weekend work, we would start Friday at 10 pm, and work most of the night.  It’s a good idea to check your crews, make sure we have availability.   By that time, on a Friday; our units should be clear; so trying to pin down the crew, on a Friday night is a priority, but our people know when they are on call; and the OT tap usually helps.  We would be good, but the job stretched into weeks, so we retooled and rescheduled, several times. as we had to.  Our dispatch had it figured out. 

                Our first night we were rerouting the traffic flow on one end of the bridge.  We started early, loading at a city storage yard.  By 10 we had 2 trailers, loaded with 40 barriers, sitting at the bridge. Ready.  Our second crane was waiting and began to offload and place.  As the trailers emptied, they immediately returned for another load.  Some nights we used 3 tractors with a picker to load and another offloading and setting.

                By the next Friday, or so;  the construction company would have finished that end of the bridge, and we would begin reloading our hefty product and shuffling everything to the other side of the bridge; which at times meant finding another route across the river, because of the intense construction on our own.  Another all-nighter. 

                When that end of the bridge was done, we reloaded everything to open the lanes up completely and transferred all the barriers to the 2nd bridge.  Rainbow Valley.     This was a long night.  We had our good crews working, but there were a lot of barriers.  We planned on clearing out 149th first, we had to be off the site before 6 am to allow the construction company’s graders to clean up and open the road.

                We removed it from one site and planted it on the other.  When it got too late for the crew or the coming morning rush, we instructed our crews to bring the loads back to our yard and stage them there. 

We took these extra loads back to the city laydown yard and returned them to their cozy piles.  

                The final night, Friday at 10 am once again, we had a few more tasks.  We took two big pickers and two tractors with empty trailers to the site.  Our pickers tandem lifted a long work shack, out of a depressed area, off to the side of the bridge, up onto the deck.  Our winch tractor pulled it onto our tilt deck, then delivered it back to our yard. The pickers started the loading. Our winch tractor returned to the bridge with an empty trailer and joined the lifting party.

                We were taking all the barriers back to city storage, so our 2nd boom truck loaded his trailer and traveled over to the south side yard.  He set the trailer off to the side, then began offloading and waiting for the rest of the loads.   Back at the bridge, our initial crane was busy.  He loaded the first empty trailer.  Then we transferred a lot of the barriers from the side of the road, back to the center divider.  It worked out well, the offloading time allowed the bridge crane to transfer all the barriers required to the center and to finish the rest of the loading.  While the offloading crew kept up to the flow of the tractors. 

                Everything worked.  We got in and out of both bridges without stalling traffic. 

                The Barriers are heavy girls and it takes decent cranes and the super B decks to move them efficiently.  Our Jersey barrier clamps are also time-saving amazing creations; they grab and release, automatically;   invaluable; and we have two, one for each end of the project.

                If one has the equipment, the tools,  the men; and you know how to use them; a good team can accomplish a lot.

                The Head of the construction company’s projects phoned us after another all-nighter.  Just said “Thanks for a good job.”, even named the crew, thanked our dispatch people.   Nice of him.