Kriger Construction Inc., based out of Dickson City, Pennsylvania, was the only contractor to bid on a Luzerne County project to build a new park with boat and kayak ramps/ launches along the Susquehanna River. The Susquehanna River is notorious for its rapidly rising and falling water levels. The first 40 feet (12.2 m) of the two new ramps would be built below the water level. It was a challenge most contractors were afraid of tackling.
The ramps, themselves, would be 40 feet (12.2 m) wide, 110 feet (33.5 m) long, and built on a 10 percent slope as required by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
“While researching the project, we spoke with several people in the industry about the best way of finishing the ramps and they all recommended GOMACO,” James Marzolino, General Superintendent for Kriger Construction, said. “We chose the C-450 because of the width and the thickness of the concrete being placed and the grade it was being placed at. We felt a cylinder finisher would give us the quality we wanted and a better end-product.”
Work on the project was planned around the river. When the water level was at its lowest, Kriger moved their crews in and worked double shifts to complete the project. The first phase involved building the coffer dam to hold the water back. Sheets of PZ-27 piling were driven into the river bed at approximately 25 to 30 feet (7.6-9.1 m) deep, or 2.5 times the depth of the water, to form the coffer dam.
After the dam was built, grade was prepared and two mats of heavy gauge wire mesh was placed on grade. Rails for the C-450 were set and the finisher was placed on the rails. Two GOMACO service representatives were on-site assisting with set-up of the C-450, training and guidance on the first pours.
“The service reps were a big help, because we didn’t have any experience with the GOMACO product,” Marzolino said. “We spent some time with them just going over the machine, learning about it, what precautions to take, and just general operation of the machine. They were a big help.”
Kriger completed each ramp in two pours, 55 feet (16.8 m) long, 40 feet (12.2 m) wide, and eight inches (203 mm) thick. The concrete and concrete pump were supplied locally by Pocono Transcrete. The mix was a 4000 psi (27.6 MPa) design with a four inch (102 mm) slump for pumping.
To help accommodate the steep 10 percent slope of the ramps, Kriger outfitted their C-450 with an all-wheel drive system and 36 inch (914 mm) bogies with cupped wheels. Then, as an added safety precaution, the C-450 was attached to a winch and a D5 dozer. Kriger never had to utilize the extra precaution.
The C-450 is equipped with double-drum cylinders and misting spray bar to provide the ultimate finish. The C-450’s automatic advance moved the machine forward 12 inches (305 mm) automatically on each pass.
“We were dealing with some pretty tight finishing tolerances,” Marzolino said. “It had to be under 0.25 inch (6 mm) over a 10 foot (3 m) distance. The C-450 easily accomplished that requirement.”
Each of the two pours was accomplished in under five hours, from start to finish. Specifications required a heavy broom finish on the new ramp, and joints were saw cut on 10 foot (3 m) centers the day after the pours. Twenty-eight days after the final pour, the ramps were opened up to the awaiting public.
The ramps are part of the public boat launches on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River for the city of Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding communities. The project included not only the ramps/launches, but also a two acre (0.8 ha) parking area, a bioretention garden and 1800 square yards (1505 m2) of earthwork.
Kriger Construction has more work planned for their new C-450. Their next project is finishing two bridge decks in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.