Houston Fuel Oil Terminals Expansion: A Massive Project
How big was the expansion of the Houston Fuel Oil Terminals dock area? The project, which involved relocating Barge Dock #1 so that Deep Water Ship Dock #3 could be built in its place, consumed nearly 3,000 tons of steel and about 1,600 wall feet of piling. In other words, it was massive.
Hammer & Steel was selected as a supplier for the piling portion of the project through a competitive bid, according to Clarence Jean Jr., vice president of Engineering and Construction for Houston Fuel Oil Terminals. On the project, Hammer & Steel worked with Bo-Mac Contractors, Ltd., the Beaumont, Texas based contractor selected to drive the piling.
"We had two different wall systems," explained Jerry Burton, Bo-Mac's project manager for the Houston job. "For the deep water dock the contractor installed a King Pile system (high capacity HZ piling manufactured by Salzgitter)." The piles were 95 feet long, and tied back with HP 14x73 battered steel H piles. Bo-Mac built a template to set the King Pile. "We set 10 vertical King Piles in it and drove them to grade. They were driven full penetration," Burton said. "Then we came back and put in an intermediate section, a curtain sheet 75 feet long."
"Driving was very difficult, because there is very stiff clay in the ship dock area," Burton commented. "The King Piles drove well and the template performed well-it kept the King Piles in position."
For the barge dock, Bo-Mac installed a range of steel sheet piling, 85-foot-long Hoesch 3600 sheets and 60-foot-long Hoesch 2500K sheets. "Whenever you put in that much wall, any job is going to be difficult," Burton said. Work started in November 2000 and took about six months-a rainy period that had Bo-Mac employees working "up to their elbows in mud."
Doug Picker, of Hammer & Steel's Houston office, coordinated ordering and delivery of all the steel. "Due to the large quantity and long lengths, there wasn't a good location to receive and store the steel at the job site," Burton recalled, "so it was taken by truck to an off-site location for transfer to barges. Doug had to make sure they had the trucks available to get it to us. It took quite a bit of coordination."
Picker noted this was the largest job he has tackled, and one of the largest in Hammer & Steel's history. "It had complex requirements. We did the layout drawings for the sheet piling to aid the contractor with his installation and coordinated each phase from ordering to coating and delivery. It's an example of our capabilities and how our mill contacts allow us to supply large volume projects."
Houston Fuel Oil Terminals has been impressed with Hammer & Steel according to Jean, who called their operation "excellent." "The performance of the contract was done in a very professional way," he said. "Given the opportunity, we will do business with Hammer & Steel again."