Acrow Bridge, a leading international bridge engineering and supply company, announced that it has recently completed the installation of a permanent, steel pipe trestle bridge at the Port of Wilmington, NC.
Due to the recent expansion of the Panama Canal, the Cape Fear River at the port needed to be widened to accommodate turning movements of larger vessels. As a result, the existing pipe trestle needed to be abandoned and reconstructed outside the river dredging limits.
Acrow's new structure was designed and constructed as a replacement and expansion of the original piping network to transfer bulk liquids from the tankers to the storage tank farm. The fully-customized bridge carries two levels of pipes as well as a pedestrian/small vehicle walkway. To accommodate the pre-determined piping configuration, it was necessary to create many specially fabricated components such as pipe racks, pipe guides, cable trays and bracing components. The Acrow structure has a total length of 780 feet and is comprised of eight continuous spans. The six middle spans were each 100 feet in length, and the two end spans each 90-feet long.
An additional challenge of this project was the tight delivery time. After the contracts were awarded in the first week of January 2016, the structure needed to be designed and delivered by early March. The Acrow team was able to meet the strict project schedule and accomplish an on-time completion to accommodate the first shipments from the larger tankers.
The project and bridge was ordered by the North Carolina State Ports Authority, and the trestle contractor was Precon Marine of Chesapeake, Virginia. The design was coordinated between the Acrow engineering team and the North Carolina Ports' consultant, AECOM.
"While this unique project posed special challenges, it was very gratifying to be a part of the expansion of a key Atlantic port to accommodate the New Panamax vessels," said Scott Patterson, Vice President of Engineering at Acrow. Added Bill Killeen, President and CEO of Acrow Bridge, "The strength and expertise of the Acrow engineering team provides government agencies and their contractors with highly customizable solutions that help keep critical projects on, or ahead of, schedule and within budget."