C+S June 2022 Vol. 8 Issue 6 (web)

George Harms Construction Company continued work on the replace - ment of the Raritan River Bridge on a frigid January day as a major winter storm barreled toward New Jersey. This determination, along with a unique decision-making strategy centered on a specific piece of equipment, are keeping this critical infrastructure project on track. The material under the riverbed largely dictated the need for a rig the size of the BG 55. The upper layers were soft, silty clay underlain by varying depth sand layers. Beneath that was dense clay and Siltstone. A group of key project executives from Harms and Equipment Corpo - ration of America (ECA) gathered on the shoreline as work progressed and crews secured the barges holding the equipment. “We can handle cold temperatures and snow but our biggest nemesis out here is the wind,” says Jason Hardell, P.E., Senior Vice President of Operations. “That's why we all have beards.” The group erupted in laughter. This 112-year-old bridge carries an active New Jersey Transit line across the river from Perth Amboy to South Amboy. Damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the new span will incorporate structural designs and materials to bolster its defenses against severe weather. In May 2020, Harms was awarded a contract to install 87 drilled shafts across the Raritan River in configurations from two to 10 shafts per pier. It was the first of three construction phases that will replace the bridge with a lift span. This bridge represents the largest project Harms has ever done in terms of dollar value, but not in terms of scope. Building the BG 55 into the Bid The selection of the BG 55 was founded on a 30-plus year business relationship and friendship between ECA New York, New Jersey Re - gional Sales Manager Bruce Langan and Harms President Emeritus Tom Hardell. Harms was awarded this project when the original low bidder retracted its bid. No stranger to $200-million-plus bridges, Harms wasted no time mobilizing and starting work in July 2020. Harms worked with ECA’s Director of BAUER Product Sales and Ser - vice Gordian Ulrich to spec the BG 55 into the project during the pre- bid phase. His career started in 2007 at BAUER Maschinen’s method development department in Germany and he has been involved with various drilling applications on a global scale. Harms Installs 240-Foot Drilled Shafts with Barge- Mounted BAUER BG 55 By Brian M. Fraley

Other brands of equipment were considered, but Harms concluded that only the BG 55 could cost-effectively drill 8-foot-diameter shafts up to 240 feet. “We went out on the limb and purchased it before we were even low,” says President and CEO Rob Harms. The smaller BAUER BG 40 was also considered, but lacked the winch capacity Harms needed. With the massive Kelly bar, tooling, and heavy clay, the BG 55 was the only choice. ECA had the rig shipped from BAUER Maschinen in Germany to the Port of Newark and hauled to the Harms waterfront facility in Newark, N.J. Once assembled, the BG 55 crawled onto a 200-foot-long Flexi - float Barge and was floated to the Raritan River Bridge site. This barge would serve as its mobile working platform. Barge stability was critical with the 118-foot-tall BG 55 mast subjected to heavy winds during drilling. The barge is constructed of Flexifloats and the configuration is unique and specifically designed for this proj - ect and this application. Its 10-foot-wide sections in 10- and 20-foot lengths snap together like Legos, so Harms had the flexibility to add and remove. Six hydraulic spuds with 24-inch diameter pipes anchored the barge to the soft riverbed. Despite the added stability, Harms and ECA had to overcome up and down movement every time the Kelly bar moved. Harms worked with Flexifloat at the pre-bid stage to design the barge around the BG 55. The polymer slurry tanks on the opposite side served as a counterweight. The hurdle Harms had to overcome was that the Project Team: Rob Harms – President, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Harms – Vice President of Construction Jason Hardell P.E. – Senior Vice President of Operations Chris Standke – Equipment Superintendent Tim Fogarty – Project Superintendent Tom Hardell – President Emeritus The BG 55 cleanout bucket removed the spoils with the help of polymer slurry pumped from nearby tanks.


June 2022 csengineermag.com

Made with FlippingBook Annual report