As I-69 cuts into northeast Indiana from the Michigan state line, it crosses several small lakes in Steuben County near the Ohio border. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) awarded Primco Inc., a construction company out of Fort Wayne, a $26 million contract for placing nine miles of 1.5-in. asphalt overlay and replacing nine structures, including the four bridges crossing the lakes and five other bridges crossing county roads.
“We did five bridges in 2006, will do two lake bridges in 2007 and two more lake bridges in 2008, with a completion date in 2008,” said Todd Fredrick, president of Primco.
The bridge removal involves taking out the reinforced deck and railings on both sides. Next, the crew works down to the substructure, which consists of steel tiers and piles.
The 2006 phase of the project, including the five bridges crossing county roads, began with the crew tearing up the concrete roadbed. Primco used a Case Model CX460 excavator with an Atlas Copco Combi Cutter Model 3300 universal attachment.
The universal processor pulverizes concrete, in this case from 3 ft thick down to small rock size, allowing Primco to haul it out for recycling. Fredrick described the Combi Cutter as being “like Pac Man; it eats concrete.”
The Case CX460 has an operating weight in excess of 100,000 lb and an engine that exceeds 360 net hp. The latest model is Tier III-certified.
Fredrick reported that he selected the CX460 for the bridgework because it is big enough to handle the Combi Cutter.
“We invested in the right excavator to do what we wanted it to do—the way we wanted to do it,” said Fredrick. “We’re very happy with the rate of production the CX460 has created for us.”
Primco uses smaller Case CX210 excavators to load the concrete debris onto trucks.
With an operating weight of 44,002 lb, 147 net hp and a 1.5-cu-yd bucket, the CX210 is perfectly sized for loading the trucks with a minimum of cycles.
Once the concrete is removed from a bridge, Primco switches attachments on the Case CX460 to the Atlas Copco Combi Cutter Model 3300 S. Fredrick explained that the “S” stands for the “shears” used for cutting away the steel.
Beginning in 2007, Primco will be taking out the lake bridges. Primco plans to load the Case CX460 onto a barge so that it can gain access to the bridge from the water.
One of the safety concerns in working on water, according to Fredrick, will be having adequate barges to load all the material. He emphasized that he plans to use separate barges to catch material as it is being crushed or sheared so that it is not falling into the water.
Primco plans to use cranes to lift out the debris from the barges. The debris will then be loaded onto trucks and hauled away.