Repurposed Bridge

by AquaNew on January 31, 2017

in Local News, Stories

By Rob Gourley, CEO, AquaNew, LLC

While working on the Alaskan pipeline project in the 1970s and 1980s, I worked on repurposing parts … even salvaging and modifying what were available in the Arctic to keep the large ice trucks, oil drilling equipment, and cranes operating and provide essential warmth for the crews to continue working in bone-chilling conditions. Back then, we had to make do since we had no time to wait on parts deliveries by either trucks driving the long treacherous Dalton Highway or planes flying into frozen and foggy Deadhorse Airport located near the Arctic Ocean … This was a time before parts could be ordered online. Later, I converted decommissioned Navy ships into passenger/auto transport ferries that continue to operate between St. Thomas and St. John of the U.S. Virgin Islands to this day.

For a more recent repurpose project, the bottling plant in Tampa, FL has a new building addition. The management was trying to figure out how to construct a sturdy bridge between the existing and new buildings for moving pallets of bottled water on forklifts and not bankrupt their budget. Since forklifts travel in and out of truck trailers (containers) for loading and unloading all day long, I recommended that they purchase a used container (built for the weight of forklifts and heavy loads). Once the used container was delivered to their parking lot, we got going on the reconstruction.

One of the plant managers ran my plasma cutter to cut the container to the correct length (He said it was fun!) while I used a grinder to remove the sharp edges. We welded steel plates to each building, and a crane lifted it into place … a perfect fit! Now, the forklift drivers are buzzing through the covered bridge, appreciating the convenience and efficiency instead of having to previously load pallets from the production building and then drive the truck to the other side to unload into the new inventory and distribution building.    

Yes, recycling is good but I say repurposing is even better.

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