It's a Bird, It's a Plane...It's a Cement Truck?
Construction Company Takes High-Flying Route to Mixing Grout for New East Span
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
A call to Rob Santos, co-owner with his father, John Santos, of Pleasanton Read Mix Concrete, revealed that his firm was enlisted by Conco Pumping of Concord to supply two mixers for a mission-critical job: providing high-strength, non-shrink grout to fill in the gap between the cable saddles and the deck at the west end of the self-anchored suspension span. The grout makes a tight seal between the bridge deck and the saddles, which are bolted to the deck. It took all day Tuesday and several loads of grout to do the job. The trucks were lowered back down to the ground today.
According to Santos, American Bridge/Fluor, the joint venture constructing the SAS, decided it would be more efficient to mix the fast-drying grout on deck rather than take the normal route of mixing it on the ground and pumping it up. The truck mixers were lifted while empty, then filled while on the deck.
“For us it’s a cool thing,” said Santos. “We’re a smaller company, and we would never be on a job like this. (But) they needed smaller mixer trucks for getting them up there and maneuverability on the bridge.”
It was Santos’ first time to have one of his trucks airlifted, and his family-owned company’s first encounter with a public infrastructure project of this scale. “I’m just honored to have the opportunity to be up there and be part of something like this,” he said.
There is a saddle on both the westbound and eastbound decks of the
SAS. The saddles will cradle the nearly mile-long main cable that will
loop around the twin decks and the tower.
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