Winston-Salem is North Carolina’s fourth largest city. Streets Supervisor Larry Cauthen has served the city for 21 years. In 2006 he was presented with a product that could substantially reduce the time, cost and labor raising manholes, and decided to give it a try.
Winston-Salem has been using risers since 1996. But risers aren’t perfect: “For the first 10 years that we used risers, we definitely had a few problems,” said Cauthen, “They were difficult to install, wouldn’t seat well, and lids would sometimes rattle and pop out.” In 2006 AHP made a sales call with their company’s “Pivoted Turnbuckle” Manhole Riser, and Cauthen was interested; “It looked like a better product, so we switched over.”
The turnbuckle was the key difference and is used to adjust riser diameter, which helps two ways: making the diameter smaller makes it easy to set the riser into old rims, and expanding the riser sets it into the old rim very tightly.
“I install them by myself, ahead of paving crews,” said Terry Prevette. “It takes no more than five minutes, depending on how long it takes to clean the old rim. The old ones used set screws, which aren’t as good. With the turnbuckle, just a few twists with a screwdriver and you’re set. They’ve been a lot easier for me, that’s for sure.”
“In five seasons, we’ve never had one fail,” added Cauthen. Prevette agreed, and said that he’s seen trucks and paving equipment drive right over the exposed risers without any problem. More importantly, lids that don’t pop out will never endanger Winston-Salem commuters.