When a one of the nation’s largest refinery owners required expert bridge engineering coupled with heavy lifting and transport services, they selected the team of Westbrook Associated Engineers, Inc. (WAE) and Mammoet for this task. The scope of work involved transporting two massive reactors across a 1980’s era county highway bridge utilizing SPMT (Self Propelled Modular Transports) from a rail siding and then erecting them at the refinery site. The total weight of each reactor and SPMT configuration to be transported across the county highway bridge was approximately 1,500,000 pounds.
WAE inspected the existing highway bridge structure per FHWA guidelines, performed a series of refined structural analysis in order to ascertain AASHTO LRFD rating factors, developed a detailed rating report for review by both public and private entities, supervised the bridge crossing during each SPMT transport and performed pre/post bridge inspections for each SPMT transport. The in-depth structural analysis and bridge modelling undertaken by WAE proved that acceptable rating factors could be achieved from the existing bridge. This then allowed each reactor to be transported by standardized SPMT v. a more complicated and time-consuming jack-n-slide method. It is estimated that this resulted in a $750,000 savings to the project.
WAE would especially like to thank Mammoet (Eric Molenda and Nathan Overell) and all the public and private agencies that made this a very successful and safe transport. The attention to detail and professionalism shown by all made this a truly a TEAM effort.