Although November is still three months away as this is being written, the amount of tele-vised political advertising is ramping up quickly. By the end of a typical “Jeopardy” broadcast, not only have I learned a few new historical or science facts but also how miserable life will be if Candidate A or B wins in the next election.
It is tempting to write that political discourse is at a new low or more partisan than ever, but American political campaign history is full of name calling, dirty tricks and scare tactics. By the time the presidential campaign of 1828 was over, according to historians, both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson were the subject of rumors and published accusations involving adultery, prostitution and even murder.
Asking political parties to be either less political or less partisan goes against the very words by which they define themselves. What might serve the American people a little better, though, is figuring out how elected officials can spend more time governing (acting on behalf of their constituents) and less time campaigning (striving to stay in office, presumably so that eventually they can act on behalf of their constituents).
The gridlock caused by political parties with two competing agendas has its fans. A gridlocked government, this theory holds, is less likely to raise taxes or enact a law that will introduce additional regulations.
Even fans of legislative gridlock, however, are not likely fans of the literal gridlock that occurs on congested highways or in detour zones caused by a bridge in disrepair.
Equipment companies KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens, Yankton, S.D., (with sponsorship assistance from other companies, including construction equipment maker Liebherr) have been urging elected officials to address both forms of gridlock through The Road Connection project. (See “Making the Connection,” starting on page 38 of the May/June 2012 edition of Construction & Demolition Recycling.)
The Road Connection website (www.theroadconnection.org) portrays how overdue America is for a financial commitment to update and upgrade its transportation infrastructure, beyond the recently-passed MAP-21 two-year budget. According to The Road Connection, one fourth of America’s bridges are rated as structurally deficient and in need of repair or upgrade and the interstate highway system built in the late 1950s and 1960s “was only built under the assumption that after 20 to 25 years, it would be replaced.”
As The Road Connection’s Lisa Carson says, “If we want to improve our nation’s infrastructure grade from a D- to acceptable levels, we are going to need serious investments that can be promised for more than two years at a time.”
Organizers of The Road Connection, on their website, have provided a “Contact Congress” button that any of us can use if we wish to remind our elected officials that not all gridlock is welcome.
For the demolition and construction industry, there at times can remain an issue over what to do with wood scrap and wood waste as a result of construction and land clearing. For decades, the industry had regularly paid to inefficiently dispose of a potentially valuable commodity—wood.
Among the options that companies throughout Europe, and now in North America, have discovered is briquetting as an efficient and effective way to recycle wood. Briquetting is a cost-effective, efficient process that produces blocks of compressed wood scraps. Briquettes are consistent in shape, size and weight, so they’re easy to stack, transport and even resell as a carbon-neutral source of heating fuel. This means that when they’re burned, the briquettes release only as much carbon dioxide as was naturally absorbed by a growing tree during photosynthesis.
Briquetting is a process that compresses wood scrap and waste into compact, easy-to-manage square blocks (briquettes). Briquetting has been utilized by a myriad of industries for more than 50 years, but the technology and benefits of using it have evolved greatly during that time. Old-style briquetting machines were large, loud and required regular maintenance. Today, briquetting systems are engineered specifically to run reliably and efficiently, and to deliver the same or better production rates while using less horsepower and manpower.
Wood briquettes are formed under high pressure without any artificial binder, so it remains a natural product; a high-quality briquette with uniform size, shape, and hardness. Wood briquettes can be used as fuel for woodstoves, fireplaces, wood boilers and furnaces, so they can provide additional revenue opportunities for wood processing operations.
Briquetting can be an efficient and cost effective solution for the demolition industry. Briquetting boosts the bottom lines of recyclers by adding value to the waste stream. For a relatively small investment, briquetting enables recyclers to get more, higher quality product to recycling facilities or resale customers more efficiently—reducing energy, labor and transportation costs while increasing revenue.
Briquetting systems can have excellent return on investment and efficiency and can be used as an additional source of revenue via the production of carbon-neutral heating fuel. A well-designed system is easy to install and operate and requires less than half the energy of pelletizing machines. In some instances, briquetting machines have been installed and integrated into milling operations in as little as one day.
Not only can briquetting be a smart recycling decision for the bottom line, it also is environmentally friendly. This is especially true when contrasted with wood being burned or added to a landfill. In this case, briquetting creates an easy way to re-use or resell scraps.
Briquetting is a popular disposition method in Europe, and has been for many years, mainly because there’s a robust market on the continent for briquettes as a source of eco-friendly heating fuel. The method is now coming into its own in North America as more businesses become aware of it and the market for briquette-based fuel continues to grow. Briquettes can be used in any fire-burning device and typically sell to distributors for between $140 and $200 per ton. This is not a bad return for wood scrap that might otherwise be given away.
Additionally, from the construction site to the warehouse, briquetting improves operations by eliminating dirty and potentially dangerous wood dust from the air where it could damage machinery or threaten the health of employees and visitors. And because briquettes are typically square in shape as opposed to round or cylindrical like pellets, they can be easily placed on pallets and shrink-wrapped to simplify transportation and warehousing—saving time, money and valuable floor space.
As briquetting becomes more common throughout North America and beyond, its benefits to both businesses and the environment are likely to grow. C&DR
C&D Side Business
“I would recommend it if somebody was in a business where the raw materials were already in their possession,” he says. “It really works best if it is accompanied by a parent company. If you are a company that already deals with wood fiber to make mulch, it might make a good add-on to make briquettes.”
Lango utilized clean wood from C&D recyclers as well as sawdust from milling operations to make briquettes using a system from North Olmsted, Ohio-based RUF. “It was critical for us to make sure the materials that came in were not pressure-treated,” he says. Excelsior was able to accept nails in the wood because they can be extracted with a magnet during the grinding process.
Lango, who is no longer in business because of a fire that destroyed his operation, says he was happy with the RUF briquetting system. He advises that the process to produce briquettes entails budgeting in operating expenses, but that it is still a profitable venture.
This story was submitted by RUF, the North American subsidiary of Germany-based RUF GmbH & Co. a global provider of briquetting systems for more than 40 years with more than 3,000 briquetting systems currently in operation worldwide. More information is available at www.RUF-Briquetter.com.
The 1.5 miles of roadway that connects the Golden Gate Bridge with San Francisco, known as Doyle Drive, was closed at 8 a.m. Friday, April 27 until 5 a.m. Monday, April 30 for demolition, making way for a temporary bypass. Eventually, the temporary bypass will be replaced by a more seismically stable structure called the Presidio Parkway, scheduled to open by the end of 2015.
A total of 65,000 tons of concrete was demolished and removed to make way for the temporary bypass.
“This is one of the biggest operations that I’ve ever been involved with,” says David Pang of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). “Demolishing 3,300 feet of concrete viaduct in basically less than 24 hours—that’s an amazing feat.”
Doyle Drive is the southern approach to the Golden Gate Bridge that opened along with the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937. It had been identified as one of the most seismically-unsafe roadways in the state of California. Caltrans shut it down and began tearing down pretty much everything between Highway 1 and Marina Boulevard on a Friday evening and reopened the area with a temporary bypass the following Monday morning.
|Several different attachments were used during the Doyle Drive project.|
“The timeframe was what made this difficult,” says Marc Ferrari, president of Ferma Corp., Mountain View, Calif. “We basically had 24 hours to get three critical spots cleared so they could build the brand new road. We destroyed somewhere around 65,000 tons of concrete and miscellaneous pieces.
“The amount of work for this time frame was absolutely insane,” Ferarri adds. Crews ran three 12-hour shifts in a row to get the demolition work done so the temporary road could built before the Monday morning commute.
During demolition, hundreds of joggers, dog walkers and spectators lined the construction zone to take in the interesting and unusual show. Cheers were heard as giant excavators, their hydraulic arms fitted with various attachments, knocked down Doyle Drive with agility and speed.
In the middle of the 24-hour demolition time frame was Stanley LaBounty, Two Harbors, Minn. Ferma operated 12 different LaBounty attachments on this job. Among the LaBounty attachments in action were metal shears, concrete demolition Universal Processors (UP), large mounted pavement breakers and LaBounty’s newest concrete demolition attachment, the MDP30 (Mobile Demolition Processor).
Ferma utilized a UP 75 to cut girders in the ground as well as a 3000R, a 7500R and a 2000R.
“We couldn’t have done the job without LaBounty products,” states Ferrari. “Their forces were phenomenal. They were cutting columns in single passes.”
An MDP30 was on site to perform the processing needed to drop the sections of the roadway. “The great thing about those big tools is they rotate and they have big jaws, so we were able to get around the 32-inch columns we had out here,” says Ferrari.
Pang says the equipment was unlike anything he had ever seen. “When the equipment started coming in a couple of weeks before we started this operation, we were amazed,” he recalls.
Shears were quickly put to work clipping columns and breaking down the girders. Byron Linn Caltrans says he was surprised at how the shears were able to demolish 4,000 psi (pounds per square inch) concrete. “With this shear, it just crumbles like cookie crumbs,” he says.
Stanley LaBounty provides metal and concrete demolition and recycling attachments for general contractors, scrap metal recyclers, demolition experts, heavy construction engineers and bridge contractors.
|The Doyle Drive project involved processing both concrete and steel.|
“On this job our demolition attachments enabled the operators to work with agility and speed,” says Barb Popoli, president, Stanley Infrastructure Solutions. “Once sites like these are cleared, our metal shears can further process the scrap in preparation for recycling.”
“The demolition portion of the job had to be done in 24 hours so it required they have the right tools on site,” Bob Stuppy, Stanley LaBounty western regional manager, says. “The LaBounty Shears, Universal Processors, MDP and the Stanley MB100EXS breaker worked non-stop allowing the contractor to finish ahead of schedule.”
“I just think overall, crews did an amazing job,” remarks Molly Graham of Caltrans. “It was really like something I’ve never seen before and I don’t think many people have. It was right here in the middle of a national park and it was almost a spectator sport. It was really quite amazing.”
Paving the Way
Caltrans and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) met on May 4, 2012, to celebrate a successful demolition of Doyle Drive, paving the way for whtat is being called a seismically safe Presidio Parkway.
“This is a huge milestone for the Presidio Parkway Project,” said Acting Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “This comprehensive seismic safety upgrade to Doyle Drive would not have been possible without the teamwork and partnership of the agencies involved.”
“Last weekend’s demolition was an amazing feat of engineering might,” stated Bijan Sartipi, Caltrans District 4 director. “A fleet of 40 excavators demolished 151 bridge spans and 307 columns to the cheers of those watching. It was a rare opportunity to be a part of history.”
When complete, the Presidio Parkway Project will also reduce the traffic impacts on biological, cultural, historical and natural resources in the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Presidio Parkway Project is a collaborative effort between Caltrans, the SFCTA, the California Transportation Commission, the Federal Highway Administration, the Golden Gate Bridge District, the Transportation and Highway District of the National Park Service, the Presidio Trust, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the California Department of Veterans Affairs.
“The project is of great regional significance and will transform the Presidio, one of the treasures of San Francisco,” said José Luis Moscovich, Executive Director of the SFCTA. “This could not have happened without the close coordination and partnership of these stakeholders.”
It is truly exciting to have taken down Doyle Drive and get one step closer to the final product.”
“The successful demolition of Doyle Drive last weekend is a significant milestone and progress toward rebuilding a seismically safe, vital transportation route connecting San Francisco and the Bay Area,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “We are thrilled with the project’s progress and the support we have received from federal and state partners in creating jobs, transforming the Presidio Parkway and connecting our City for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
The Presidio Parkway Project will begin Phase II later this year, which will be constructed through a private-public partnership. The $1.045 billion seismic safety project, which includes $96 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, is scheduled to be completed in 2015.
This article was drawn from information provided by Stanley LaBounty, Two Harbors, Minn. More information is available at www.stanleyhydraulic.com.
With road repairs to one bridge done and demolition of another behind it, Manhattan Road & Bridge (MR&B) is now working on construction of a new, multi-purpose, westbound bridge on Interstate 244 in Tulsa. The locally based company began the nearly $64 million project in late spring 2011 and is expected to complete it during the course of 2012 and 2013.
The new bridge’s top deck is designed to carry four lanes of traffic across the Arkansas River, with a bottom deck designed for future rail use, although the rail lines won’t be put in as part of this project. Pedestrian and bicycle traffic areas will also be part of the bottom deck. The new, completed bridge, slated to be finished in late 2013, will be about 300 feet longer than its predecessor.
MR&B began the construction phase as it was wrapping up demolition of the existing bridge, drilling new piers while taking down the supports for the previous structure that was built in 1967. The bridge was considered functionally obsolete, meaning it could no longer meet traffic demands of a city with a population of more than 390,000.
Throughout its short history— MR&B was formed out of two businesses merging together — the company has completed some of Oklahoma’s most recognizable public projects, including the six miles of reconstruction it did on Interstate 244 in Tulsa. It also relocated about six miles of Interstate 40 through downtown Oklahoma City. Those projects, as well as several other multimillion-dollar ventures, helped MR&B approach this Interstate 244 job with confidence it could meet the scheduled time frame for completion, even with some unique challenges.
Protecting Route 66
In late spring, MR&B began repairing the surface of the existing eastbound Interstate 244 bridge. The repairs were necessary to ensure the bridge stayed in good working order while the westbound bridge was demolished and the new one constructed. This existing bridge currently carries traffic both ways.
“We mainly worked nights and weekends on the repairs to minimize traffic disruption,” says MR&B Senior Vice President Mike Webb. “That went very well, as did the demolition, despite facing some challenges that required us to do some of the work differently than we normally would.”
Among the challenges of the demolition phases was protecting the nearby 11th Street Bridge, which is part of the historic Route 66 and sits in some spots as close as 40 feet to where the old bridge was. To lessen the impact, MR&B placed a thick layer of sand underneath the Interstate 244 bridge to cushion the impact of debris hitting the ground as it demolished the bridge.
“We also minimized the impact by taking the bridge down in smaller chunks,” says General Superintendent Reed Wood, who is overseeing the project. He also notes that an additional challenge included working next to a refinery with trains moving in and out and crossing a railroad bridge in close proximity. “Seismographs were set up to monitor vibration and movement. Our processes worked, and we were able to demolish the bridge without any issues.”
A variety of equipment is being deployed at the Interstate 244 bridge site in Tulsa, Okla. (top to bottome): Hydraulic hammers help downsize material; excavators equipped with jaw-like processors also help prepare material for processing and demolish the structure; a Komatsu dozer helps grade and prepare a causeway ; and lifts made by JLG raise workers high enough to make cuts to structural steel.
The demolition began with MR&B removing the old bridge deck. Much of the crushed concrete was used on site to build a causeway for crews to move machinery, personnel and materials across the Arkansas River.
MR&B used a combination of excavators made by Komatsu, Rolling Meadows, Ill., ranging in size from a compact PC88 to a PC400LC-8. Some of these were equipped with hammers and processing jaws made by NPK, Walton Hills, Ohio. Additional excavators included a Komatsu model PC228, a PC270 and a PC138.
“Demolition puts a heavy toll on machinery, but our Komatsu equipment has always stood up to the challenge and gives us good productivity, says Wood. “The hydraulic excavators have excellent power to run any of the attachments we put on them, which makes us appreciate their versatility. We can hammer, process and dig with one machine, and that makes a big difference to the bottom line.” As MR&B took down the bridge deck, it hauled and placed concrete in the river to build the causeway, grading it out with Komatsu D37 and D61 dozers. Komatsu wheel loaders were used for a variety of tasks, including moving materials around the site and loading trucks.
MR&B also used lifting machines made by JLG Industries, McConnellsburg, Pa., for various tasks, including lifting personnel up to the top of existing bridge piers to cut structural steel.
“I’d estimate that at times, our workers were up to 50 feet in the air,” noted Wood. “We used the JLGs rather than have our workers walk beams with lifelines tied to them. It made for a much safer operation. Of course, we also used the lifts for getting materials into place.”
In addition to using its own equipment, MR&B turned to Kirby-Smith Machinery, Oklahoma City, Okla., for most of its rental machines, working with Territory Manager Dan Rutz. “It’s common for us to rent pieces that we wouldn’t necessarily need on every project,” says Webb. “That keeps our costs down. We’re very pleased with the service we get from Dan and Kirby-Smith.&rdquo
|Manhattan Road & Bridge General Superintendent Reed Wood (left) meets with Kirby-Smith Machinery Territory Manager Dan Rutz at the I-244 bridge site in Tulsa.|
When the new Interstate 244 westbound bridge is finished, it will be nearly 3,000 feet long and MR&B will have used approximately 9 million pounds of structural steel, 6 million pounds of reinforcing steel and 39,000 cubic yards of concrete. It will have excavated more than 30,000 yards of material and built four retaining walls. The upper deck that carries traffic must be completed first, within 550 days of the May 13 start date. Additional days are allowed to complete the lower portion.
MR&B will handle nearly all the work. Webb and Wood estimate as many as 250 workers will be involved in the project. Among them are key individuals, such as Senior Project Manager Richard Davis and Project Manager John Poole.
“We sub out a few items, such as a large soil nail wall on the north end of the project, utility relocation, electrical work and asphalt paving, but our personnel will do the vast majority of the project,” says Webb, who noted that MR&B remains on schedule. “Making a project like this work involves not only having the proper equipment to do the job, but having the right people in place who know how to get a job done. Our guys certainly have the experience to do that. We’re confident that we’ll be done on time and on budget.”
This story was submitted on behalf of Kirby-Smith Machinery, www.kirby-smith.com.
The Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center Inc. (RMC) has formed a new business partnership to collect and recycle plastic well pad liners from gas drilling sites in the Marcellus Shale region, which is located in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. The deep shale formations that make up the Marcellus Shale region have been a hot spot for natural gas drilling.
“This is a first-of-its-kind venture that will produce major and dramatic benefits for Pennsylvania in addition to new jobs and growth for the companies directly,” said RMC Executive Director Robert J. Bylone, Jr. during a press conference announcing the recycling partnership.
The benefits include reclaiming millions of pounds of marketable plastic, thus slowing the consumption of landfill space and reducing truck traffic around drill sites.
The partners in the venture are WellSpring Environmental Services LLC, headquartered in Orwigsburg, Pa., and Ultra-Poly Corp., based in Portland, Pa.
Both companies are members of the RMC’s Center of Excellence, a network of recycled materials processors and end users of recycled materials.
“The new recycling venture with WellSpring and Ultra-Poly is expected to take at least 20 million pounds a year of plastic well pad liner material out of the waste stream and turn it into useful new products,” Bylone said at the press event.
The products have been gaining traction with builders over the past decade, and the company’s co-founder Jim Kerstein thinks it is just the tip of the iceberg.
“One of the keys to getting more than the current 17 percent of plastics recycled is to develop the necessary pull-through, or major uses, of recycled materials,” he says. “As Axion and hopefully other manufacturers of recycled products continue to grow and start to develop significant markets, it will become imperative to collect and utilize more materials that currently seem to fall outside of the recycling stream.”
Now that one of its material suppliers, Portland, Pa.-based Ultra-Poly, is processing plastic liners from gas drilling sites in the Marcellus Shale region, Axion is furthering its goal to collect material that traditionally is landfilled and making useful products out of it.
Axion’s major products made of recycled structural composite (RSC) include Ecotrax composite railroad ties as well as Struxure beams, boards, pilings and bridges and boardwalks. All of these products are made of 100 percent recycled content, with HDPE (high-density polyethylene) as the base material, according to the company.
In 2011, Axion used 10 million pounds of recycled resin. Kerstein says Axion is on track to quadruple that in 2012 by budgeting for the use of in excess of 40 million pounds of recycled resin.
An estimated 100 million pounds of high-density plastic were used for well pad liners by drillers in the Marcellus Shale region in 2011. Currently most of that material is disposed of in landfills when it needs to be replaced or removed.
Ultra-Poly, a polyethylene and polypropylene recycler with 170 million pounds of annual processing capacity, has designed a proprietary process for processing the liner material and has built a recycling plant specifically for that purpose in a building leased from the Berwick Industrial Development Authority, Berwick, Pa.
“We are supplying the recycled plastic to several existing customers, including Axion International, which turns the material into composite railroad ties and other composite building components,” said David LaFiura, vice president of Ultra-Poly. “The market is potentially huge. We have developed an environmentally responsible method, we are the only company doing this and we are in position to recycle as much of the liner material as we can get.”
Axion International, based in New Providence, N.J., uses post-consumer and post-industrial plastics to make building products the company says are strong enough to compete with traditional materials. (See the sidebar “Building Bridges” on the right.)
In tandem with that, WellSpring has developed special equipment for separating well pad liners on site so the pieces from one well site can be trucked away for recycling in a single trailer load.
In the past, excavators were used to rip well pad liners into large sections, and then it typically took eight to 10 trips with roll-off containers to take the sections from a single site to a landfill for disposal.
“There’s not one well pad in Pennsylvania where this new approach doesn’t make sense,” said Jonas Kreitzer, president of WellSpring.
It’s estimated that 20,000 pounds of liner material is used per drilling site. The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued 3,510 Marcellus Shale well permits in 2011 and another 1,243 through mid-May of 2012.
“We can do liner removal more efficiently, at less cost, while cutting down truck traffic, protecting the environment and generating commercially reusable material,” Kreitzer said.
Bylone said, “We think this will have tremendous application and value for the shale gas industry in Pennsylvania, as well as elsewhere. That alone will have a beneficial impact on our economy. It also gives a very big boost to our recycling industry in Pennsylvania, which is growing by leaps and bounds. In addition, it will save landfill space and will cut down on truck traffic, which everyone applauds.”
State Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker said that the agreement “represents the success that can be achieved when agencies, companies and markets work together in a way that benefits all Pennsylvanians. This venture is a win for everyone—80 new jobs will be created and a cleaner environment will result from this creative reclamation and recycling initiative.”
Vince Brisini, deputy secretary for waste, air, radiation and remediation in the state Department of Environmental Protection, commented, “The development of the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania is progressing, and to their credit, the natural gas industry and the associated industries and services are becoming more efficient in the management of resources. This is being accomplished through the expansion in research and development for beneficial re-use of wastewater and other materials that would otherwise simply become part of a waste stream. I am pleased to see another solution that has found a market which allows the recycling and re-use of these plastic well pad liners.”
Jay Alexander, general manager of the Wayne Township Landfill in Clinton County, said, “Since the beginning of 2011, the Wayne Township Landfill has been very active in looking for sustainable recycling opportunities for the plastic liner material being removed from the natural gas well sites. In working with WellSpring Environmental Services, we have found a solution.”
He said the recycling facility set up in Berwick, Pa., by WellSpring’s partner, the Ultra-Poly Corp., “will create an excellent recycling opportunity for the natural gas industry to help keep this valuable commodity out of landfills.”
Alexander added that “we are appreciative of the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center, which investigated how to recycle this liner and facilitated bringing this project to reality.”
Bylone said the recycling process used for well-site liners may also be applicable to the recycling of agricultural film plastic and that this could have further value across Pennsylvania. DEP has already issued permits to the two companies for the process.
WellSpring and Ultra-Poly have invested roughly a combined $4 million in research and development up to this point.
LaFiura said the partnership will generate 80 or more new jobs for Ultra-Poly, provide added job security for another 180 existing company jobs, and add an estimated $1 million per year to state and local tax revenues. Kreitzer said WellSpring would be adding another dozen employees and expanding its truck fleet.
Both men credited the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center for making the connection between the two companies and helping them shepherd the partnership into existence. They also said DEP had provided assistance with the permitting process.
This article was based on information provided by Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center Inc., WellSpring Environmental Services LLC and Ultra-Poly Corp.