Award of Excellence: Industrial Category
Concrete Dock Repair: Removal and Replacement of Concrete Slab
Port Arthur, Texas
Submitted by Structural Preservation Systems
Valero Port Arthur Refinery
Port Arthur, Texas
Structural Preservation Systems
White Cap Construction Supply
Deer Park Lumber
Deer Park, Texas
Commissioned in 1901, this refinery of a major oil and gas company has undergone several upgrades. However, one area that had not been significantly upgraded was the concrete dock that serviced the refinery. Constructed in 1910, the 3000 ft long (915 m) cast-in-place concrete dock is connected to an intercoastal waterway leading to the Gulf of Mexico. This dock serves as the off-load for crude oil and the on-load of petroleum products and is crucial to operations at the facility.
An investigation of the dock’s structural integrity revealed substantial erosion on the bottom side of the dock. The concrete beams that supported the dock had visible damage, including reinforcing steel that was hanging in the water. Whereas other contractors suggested using a barge and crane from the water for the repair, the chosen repair contractor recommended performing the repairs from the dock. This approach was attractive to the owner because, with the other repair method, each time a ship would come to the dock, the barge would have had to be moved, leading to a tremendous amount of downtime. By completing repairs from above, the dock was removed in small, manageable pieces; and work never had to stop for deliveries.
Even with the significant amount of repair work done by hand, including removing pieces of concrete weighing more than 2500lb (1134 kg) near an open hole, there were no workplace incidents. Crews worked around the clock 7 days a week to complete the project in a mere 2-1/2 weeks. The owner was so pleased with the results that the team began repairing another dock section 1 week later.