Anchor System Protects Bridge

The Pont Telpyn Bridge, located in Denbighshire County, Wales, needed serious remediation after nearly collapsing due to severe flood damage. Remaining was a seriously damaged road surface, rotated arch barrel, and cracking throughout the parapet and pandrel. Torrential rainfall delayed the strengthening work in 2006, when the U.K. received unprecedented flooding.

The installation of the Archtec anchor system from Cintec America Inc., Baltimore, Md., was a solution to return the bridge to working order. The strengthening structural retrofit system repairs and preserves collapsing bridges, including the Wisconsin Avenue Bridge in Washington, D.C.

For the Pont Telpyn Bridge, the Clwyd river was diverted to a temporary channel to allow for repairs. Anchors were installed into the structure to provide stability. To do this, oversized holes were drilled into the arch barrel of the bridge. Noncorrosive structural anchors enclosed in a mesh fabric sleeve were inserted into each hole. Then a pure mineral grout with high viscosity, nonabsorptive properties, and freeze/thaw resistance was injected under low pressure. The flexile, woven polyester sleeve acts to restrain the grout and expands in diameter to create a strong mechanical bond.

The anchor system was ideal for this restoration project because it can reduce the amount of steel needed and the amount of cement used. This preserves the structure’s historical features and minimizes impact on the environment.

The remainder of the restoration project required the arch to be propped underneath in order to remove the parapet walls. New concrete foundations were cast and the training walls were rebuilt. Because the flooding shifted the abutment, the existing structure was removed and a new foundation and concrete abutment constructed, which was faced to match the original stone. Gabions, which protect the river bank, and parapet walls were rebuilt, along with the surrounding landscaping.

A new culvert was installed to act as a permanent flood relief system, removing pressure from the main bridge structure during future floods. The concrete structures will divert additional water pressure to the east of the main bridge. To complete the project, the roadway was repaved. The restoration was completed in 2009, when the bridge was returned to its 40-ton capacity. Shortly after construction finished, the bridge was tested by additional rain and the flood system proved to be sound. Cintec America Inc. 800-363-6066.

All-in-One Solution

With budgets tight in the current economy, no company can afford to waste time and resources on redundant work. That’s why Noel Ferrell, owner of Ferrell Concrete LLC, Hainesport, N.J., looked for a comprehensive construction focused software solution that could manage her company’s finances.

After looking at the bottom line, Ferrell realized the company’s use of QuickBooks was costing time and money, while lacking much-needed details to help them work more efficiently.

Seeking a comprehensive solution, Ferrell turned to Maxwell Systems, King of Prussia, Pa. Its ProContractorMX software application allows Ferrell Concrete to manage takeoffs and estimating with job cost accounting and project management.

Prior to switching to the new software, Ferrell Concrete ran into a number of errors using a basic accounting program. Because the combination of software tools didn’t allow the staff to catch errors, materials for a job were bid too low, even though the correct supply was ordered, resulting in loss of profit. Similarly, unidentified change orders caused the company to lose money on projects. Using the new software, project managers now can monitor project budgets, costs, billing, and accounting data.

Handling payroll also was a daunting and time-consuming task due to the complex payroll scenarios common to the construction industry, such as Davis-Bacon Wage Determinations and workers’ compensation. “Every week the program incorrectly calculated the residence wage tax for one of our employees. It was never accurate and created so much extra work. It took us hours to do certified payroll for just 25 to 30 guys,” says Ferrell. The new software suite reduces redundant data entry and improves accuracy by retaining the correct information for employees.

Before upgrading, Ferrell Concrete had to create manual reports, often going without key data. The new software solution eliminates this task by providing powerful reports with real-time information. Ferrell believes this alone has improved their ability to make educated business decisions.

With a better understanding of finances, Ferrell Concrete has identified new profit areas, without the need for additional software components. Equipment usage costs now are tracked, allowing the contractor to bill them directly to a project. When Ferrell opened an equipment rental company, the venture’s management quickly integrated into the existing system.

Even though investing in administrative costs during a struggling economic climate, Ferrell found it to be a sound business investment. “We’ve had to downsize our staff and diligently watch our budgets,” she says. “I can’t even imagine how much time we save with an all-in-one solution.” Maxwell Systems Inc. 800-688-8226.