Monthly Archives: October 2011
TIMELINE OF HOW A SCAFFOLD COMPANY SAVED AN ICON – in less than 24 hours!
At 1:51 pm on Wednesday 8/23/11 an earthquake of 5.8 magnitude rocked the east coast. It was followed by two smaller aftershocks of 2.8 & 2.2. On the whole, structural damage was fairly limited – given the wide scope of the quake.
Immediately, inspectors were sent out to every scaffold job site to make sure nothing had shifted, moved, or changed with the scaffolding around any of the structures. As the world found out – there were a few national structures that were damaged, such as the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral. But up in Camden, NJ a national treasure was teetering on the brink of disaster.
The statue on top of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical center had shifted and broken. The big fear was that an aftershock would topple the statue of Mother Mary – not only breaking the iconic figure but endangering patrons at the medical center. The call went out to Superior Scaffold’s emergency services unit.
Timeline for a rescue:
7:30am – Superior received the call the morning after the quake.
8:30 am – Superior was on site assessing the damage up on the roof. A material list was sent out, as well as calls to team members who assist in erecting the scaffolding on top of the roof. A truck was loaded at the yard and sent to Camden.
11:00 am – The equipment truck as well as 6 team members arrives. A plan was in place to get the scaffolding to the roof – not an easy task (which I will detail in another blog about access). Crews would have to use freight elevators to the highest point and then all of the necessary equipment would have to be taken up several staircases that wind up through the hospital to the second roof.
Once to the lower roof, a stockpile scaffolding to be used up on the next level was made. Portions of the scaffolding were actually assembled in the very small second roof and then handed up to the top section. Crew members had to climb through several more narrow areas of the hospital just to reach the statue on the roof. Once there, a rope and wheel hoist were used to get the scaffolding up to the statue where it could be put into place.
The superior team worked until the wee hours erecting the scaffolding and securing the iconic statue to make sure no further damage could be done should there be more aftershocks. Guy-wires were strapped all around the statue and tied down to make sure she couldn’t and wouldn’t topple over.
3:00 am – Less than 24 hours after receiving the emergency call Superior’s team finished the job.
In the oncoming months, restoration crews will come in and repair the damage that was done.
Even though the images of the guy-wires strapping her down are intense – the statue of the Mother Mary on top of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical center is safe and secure.
Hospital administrators could now rest safely, knowing that one call to Superior scaffold saved an icon. (Our Lady of Lourdes)
This is very unique way to get beneath bridges to make repairs. Instead of anchoring a barge in the water beneath the bridge, or parking a giant truck with a bridge inspection bucket (like a cherry picker with a platform) above it they can suspend a platform from the steel beams and girders beneath the bridge itself.
I was on it yesterday and it’s as stable as traditional ground based scaffolding. I was shocked. Those brackets essentially hold the weight of the scaffold platform beneath it and all of the workers, equipment, and parts necessary to make the repairs. It’s really a very cool way to get beneath a structure like that.
This photo shows the pipe that was leaking and is now being repaired.
This way, entire crews can work beneath the bridge without being limited to a small platform on a bucket truck.
For instance, on this job, crews are removing and repairing large sections of pipe over the river. This hanging platform system prevents leakage into the water below and allows for much greater mobility. It also allows the bridge and waterway to remain open for business as usual. Superior guys did a heck of job on this one. Really smart and stable!
Well, things are surely coming along at the Independence Hall Tower. Crews have really done a terrific job getting the spire repainted, the ball and weather vane re-guilded, the roof flashing in place. It’s looks great. They have even taken most of the decorative urns down to have them repainted as well. I saw it with my own eyes. It’s been a good 6 months since I was last up on the scaffold. I do have photos and will post them up tomorrow. We got to see inside the bell housing as well. They have put new metal flashing down in there as well and completely repainted the surrounding bell housing. This new refurb should last another 100 years. It’s pretty cool to see how the tower is taking shape as they move down further towards the ground and take down the decorative scrim. We did notice that they are getting the gold colors in the clock faces as well. Just a quick entry here but I will post more details when I get the photos up.