CoatingsPro Magazine

MAY 2017

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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Feature 52 MAY 2017 COATINGSPROMAG.COM BY JACK INNIS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR PHOTOS COURTESY TITAN INDUSTRIAL SERVICES, INC. Coatings Crew Reaches to Bridge Monongahela River L ife is simple in the small boroughs of Belle Vernon and Speers in western Pennsylvania: rolling hills, small farms, and cafes that serve breakfast all day. Simple. On the other hand, the 1950s-era, 2,064-foot-long (629.1 m) bridge that spans the Monongahela River to connect the two boroughs is a very complex structure. e Belle Vernon/Speers Bridge supports Interstate 70, a major freeway that runs from Utah to Maryland, or vice versa, depending upon one's geographic orientation, and it comprises 12 spans ranging from approximately 50 feet to 450 feet (15.2‒137.2 m). e bridge supports the roadway with a web of riveted steel trusses, box beams, girders, and cables, all of which require periodic painting. Mike Forakis, president and project manager of Titan Industrial Services, Inc., knew that to blast and recoat 900,000 square feet (83,612.7 m²) of steel on this project, his 55- to 65-man crew would need to extend their reach in two distinct ways. First the Baltimore, Maryland-based crew needed long-term lodging. Commuting 250 miles (402.3 km) was out of the question; hotel bills really add up on a two-year project. Second, the team would have to find a way to access the underside of the platform. Hey! You can't prep to apply a Sherwin-Williams protective coating system onto something you can't physically reach! As it turned out, lodging was the easy part. Not on the Same Side "We rented a dozen houses for the crews," said Forakis. "We also used local labor from a painters union. We're an out-of-state contractor and knew we'd be walking into new regulations and specifications that we'd have to become familiar with. It helped to have local painters on hand." Titan also served as general contractor on this project, providing all coatings-related work and subbing out approximately 35 percent of other work. BRIDGE All tasks had to be completed efficiently and safely. To do so, the crew wore hardhats, harnesses, safety vests, double lanyards, respirators, and blast hoods as required by each task. Working on the 2,064-foot-long (629.1 m) s teel bridge that spans the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania required planning and a close attention to detail. The seasoned crew from Titan Industrial Services was up to the task. STEEL EPOXY

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