COLUMBUS, Miss. — Burkhalter received both Rigging Job of the Year and Hauling Job of the Year awards from the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SCRA) at their annual awards dinner Saturday evening in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Rigging Job of the Year was awarded for Burkhalter’s precision rigging, positioning and setting of the new Galveston Causeway Railroad Bridge and the removal of the existing bascule railroad bridge in the Intracoastal Waterway in Galveston, Texas, in February 2012.
The new 387 foot wide, three million pound lift span bridge was brought in via barge and set into place with a meager two and a half inches of horizontal clearance on either side of the bridge. Burkhalter had a number of additional challenges as well, including existing structures that provided vertical obstacles, strong currents and tides, coastal winds, and gas and water lines that ran directly underneath the channel, limiting how deep the barge could be lowered. The positioning and setting of the new bridge had to be done within a strict time limit to allow for scheduled rail traffic to resume; Burkhalter completed the setting in under the seven hour allotted time window.
The existing bridge removal was completed in under the allotted five hour time window provided by a second rail closure. Due to the way the existing bascule bridge operated, the 1,700,000 pound bridge was designed to have its center of gravity to one side, which actually was outside of the channel completely. In order to be able to load the bridge onto transporters on the barge and remove from the channel, Burkhalter engineered a solution to relocate the bridge’s center of gravity 45 feet.
Hauling Job of the Year was awarded to Burkhalter for the transportation of two hydrogen sulfide (H2S) absorbers in a simultaneous convoy to Mississippi Power’s Kemper County IGCC Project during October and November of 2012.
Each absorber was 238 feet long, 21 feet wide, 20 feet high, and weighed 1,425,730 pounds. The absorbers were transported utilizing 160 axles of Goldhofer modular transporters per absorber, with the final 732-wheel configuration for each absorber reaching 28 feet tall, 22 feet wide, 346 feet long, and weighing just under 2,600,000 pounds. When wing dollies were deployed at the Noxubee River Bridge crossing, the width reached 40 feet and a total of 796 tires per load.
The absorbers were transported via barge from the Port of Mobile, Ala., to Bigbee Valley, Miss. From there, the absorbers were transported over the road to the Kemper County facility via a 76 mile route. This was the largest load ever transported over Mississippi public highways and believed to be the largest ever transported on any U.S. highway nationwide.
The SCRA Job of the Year competition is held at the association’s annual convention. Top competitors present their jobs to a panel of judges composed of industry professionals. Jobs are judged on a number of items, including their level of difficulty, engineering and innovation used, limitations imposed and safety considerations.
Burkhalter Rigging, Inc., is a specialized rigging, lifting and transport provider internationally servicing the power, petrochemical, civil, offshore and marine industries. Burkhalter is headquartered in Columbus, Miss., with offices in Houston, Mobile, and Toledo, Ohio.