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Overcoming the Odds
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A look at why Caldwell Marine and ECI Drilling won the 2019 Viewpoint Construction Award for ‘Most Challenging Project’
What’s the most difficult project jobsite conditions your project team has worked on? Snow, ice, wind, various teams working around the clock coordinating with multiple government authorities? For Caldwell Marine International and ECI Drilling International, these challenges and more were part of the everyday operations on their Boston Harbor submarine cable project.
The project team was tasked with removing an existing power cable and replacing it with a deeper cable with a very aggressive timeline. Caldwell Marine and ECI Drilling International, operating as part of the JAG companies, were awarded the 2019 Viewpoint Construction Award for Most Challenging Project for their work in Boston Harbor.
A Complex Project with Unique Challenges
Caldwell Marine, which has a 65-year history of submarine cable work with a reputation for project success and safety, was the right contractor for the job.
“The challenges involved in this project would be the quick setup time, the compressed schedule, working 24 hours a day, in a busy harbor through a challenging New England winter,” said Brett Bryant project superintendent at Caldwell Marine International.
The power cable that was laid will be the dedicated power source from South Boston to Deer Island. The project is composed of a submarine cable and a land combined to reach approximately five miles. Drilling began the project with a nearly 3,600-foot horizontal foot drill operation through bedrock. At 170 feet in depth and 36 inches in diameter for the bedrock drill the remaining distance was ploughed in to reach Deer Island.
The cable was installed among congested existing infrastructure in a location (South Boston, Massachusetts) with almost 400 years of historic harbor structures and utilities to account for. The project often had three teams of working simultaneously — a drill crew, a marine crew and a fusing operation for a total of at least 72 workers on the jobsite at all times for four months straight. The operations teams had to not only coordinate logistics of the project with ship traffic into the harbor but with also airport traffic into Logon International Airport, which had to be coordinated with the FAA.
Marcus Moor a fusing operator for Caldwell Marine International noted that: “The weather has been the main challenge here. The wind is constantly blowing, it never stops it just changes direction. With the changes in temperature, the colder it gets the longer the fuses take. It takes longer to heat the machines up.”
But with as bad as conditions were, no time was lost as the team leveraged its experience and took the proper steps to equip teams appropriately, minimizing the impact of the often near freezing temperatures and adverse weather.
Amid all of these conditions, Caldwell was proud to complete the project on time to the owner.
Worthy of Recognition
Viewpoint’s Construction Awards celebrate the ingenuity, determination and skill of our customers and are presented during our Viewpoint Collaborate Conference. Marcelo Alfonso, CFO of the JAG companies, accepted the award for the Boston Harbor Cable project during our 2019 conference, held in Portland Oct 21-25.
Submissions to the 2019 Viewpoint Construction Awards are determined by a panel that included Viewpoint Chief Product and Strategy Officer Matt Harris, Senior VP of Sales Steve Molen, Senior Director of Marketing Simmi Singh Corcoran, Dome Construction CFO Fran O’Sullivan, Hatzel & Buehler CFO Gerald Herr and Steve Jones, senior director of industry insights research with Dodge Data & Analytics. Judges evaluated 30 award submissions and selected three winners, one each from three different categories: Most Challenging Project, Most Collaborative Project and the Most Innovative Use of Technology.