American Cranes and Transport
D. Ann Shiffler
Omega Morgan has developed a widespread reputation for its ability to handle complicated rigging and hauling projects using a variety of specialized equipment. A recent job moving seven digester pieces, three ImpBins, a PS reactor and other equipment to a paper plant involved just that.
The scope of the job was the direct discharge of 13 pieces of equipment from the AAL Singapore ship to Omega Morgan-provided barges at the Port of Longview, WA. Two heavy lift cranes on board the AAL Singapore were used in tandem to load the pieces onto Omega Morgan’s barges.
The Foss Maritime 286-3 barge and a PJ Brix tug were used to transport 12 of the pieces up the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The Foss 286-3 is a RO-RO barge measuring 286 feet long by 76 feet wide with a 7,056 ST capacity. The D.B. Beaver owned by Beaver Hook Service and long-term leased to Omega Morgan is a 116 by 52-foot wide derrick barge rigged with a 98-ton capacity American crane. The D.B. Beaver had one piece on the deck and was pushed up river by SDS Lumber Company out of Bingen, WA. The RO-RO ballast plans, deck lashing design and layout were performed by the Omega Morgan engineering staff.
“This work took four shifts to complete with both day and night crane picks,” said Mark Richardson, Omega Morgan project manager.
The two barges were pushed separately from the Port of Longview, WA to the Port of Lewiston in Idaho due to the height of the barges, according to Richardson.
“Two of the larger pieces were loaded directly to Omega Morgan-constructed dolly trailers so they could RO-RO off in Lewiston because they exceeded the crane capacity,” he said.
After arrival in Lewiston the two loads were rolled off the barge and a third was also rolled off due to its weight. The remaining nine pieces were removed from the barges with the onsite port derrick crane and placed on a Kamag K25 10-line towable trailer and hauled to the staging area at the port. At that point a Port of Lewiston-supplied Manitowoc 4100 unloaded and set the pieces to the ground.
In mid-November, the second phase was scheduled and involved the Manitowoc 4100 loading the pieces onto Omega Morgan’s custom-built perimeter deck lane loader trailers. They were then transported over the road about three miles to the Clearwater Paper Plant. Some three dozen smaller pieces would be hauled from the Port of Longview to the Clearwater Paper Plant site using legal haul trucks.
“There is one piece called the PD80 vessel still located at the Port of Longview that Omega has to haul to site,” Richardson said. “This will be moved using our custom built 11-axle perimeter deck trailer.”
By early December, when the project is expected to finish, the PD80 vessel, which measures 60 feet 2 inches by 13 feet 1 inch by 11 feet 11 inches and weighing 104,517 pounds will be hauled on a custom 11-axle perimeter deck trailer from Port of Longview to Clearwater Paper.
Most of the highway hauling would take place between the middle of November until early December.
“The PS Reactor will be moved on the Omega Morgan dolly system,” said Richardson. “The remaining 12 loads will be transported on our 150 and 160-ton capacity custom-built lane loaders.”
Among the many challenges, Richardson pointed to how the Omega Morgan team created a dolly configuration for the PS Reactor to make bridge weight on the US Highway 12 Memorial Bridge over the Clearwater River.
“There are three concrete medians at the intersection of US 12 and Main Street in Lewiston that all 13 loads would cross,” he said. “Crossing the islands creates a stability issue due to the height of the loads and there was a significant impact to local traffic. These will require traffic control and the removal of street lighting and signs. All overhead franchise utilities along the route were relocated underground to accommodate the height of these loads. The street lighting and traffic signals along US 12 are also being removed to accommodate the height and width of these loads.”
Configuring the hauling equipment was another hurdle.
“We used a K-25 Kamag 10-line towable to move the pieces in Lewiston from the barge to the laydown area,” said Richardson. “When the PS Reactor reaches the site we have to transload it from the 12-dolly configuration to a 12-line Kamag self-propelled trailer. We need to reduce the travel height to clear the on-site conveyor systems, and we need to reduce the footprint width from 20 feet in order to stay on the paved roads on-site.”
Other challenges included a short period of time between the awarding of the job and the expected transportation to the site.
“Omega had a lot of coordination to accomplish in a short period of time,” Richardson said. “Omega has moved large freight in the Lewiston area in the past, and therefore we knew who do deal with the Idaho Transportation Department, the Port of Lewiston and Red Wolf Traffic Control in order to get the process started.”
From there the network of people and entities involved grew. Franchise utility relocation in the expected time frame was a major undertaking.
“The fact that Clearwater Paper Corporation is major employer and utility user in the local community is the reason that the utility relocation has gone as well as it has,” Richardson said. “Avista Corporation, CenturyLink, Cable One and XO Communications have done everything in their power to try and make the intended timeline of the project.”
The project was awarded to Omega Morgan on June 24 and the freight was scheduled to arrive September 15 with the intent of transporting to the site starting in mid-October. Richardson said the freight arrived on time in Longview, but transportation from Port of Lewiston was set to begin roughly four weeks later than anticipated due to utility relocations.
“The utility companies have done a great job and were wonderful to work with,” said Richardson. “It’s great to work on a project in which everyone is cooperative and willing to help out with tight schedules and other regulatory concerns and issues.”