Stephanie tells us about her idea for installing an HDPE trans-mission main underneath the Englishman River with a 750mm casing.
Tell me a little about how this innovation got started.
Stephanie Ridenour: The permit for in-stream works (August 1 – September 15th) was a major requirement we had to work around. Once we began work in this area, it was apparent the scope was larger than originally anticipated. There was bedrock in places that weren’t shown on the drawings, which led to four times the volume of rock removal/blasting within a fixed time frame. The cofferdam design assumed shallow bedrock, but the elevation of the bedrock dove mid-river, which meant the cofferdam could not be founded on this due to bedrock depth. This led to a deeper cofferdam to maintain a foundation on bedrock as much as possible (more time to construct), and a leaky cofferdam (some parts founded on pervious gravels) equals more time to pump the water down to a manageable level for trenching/blasting. We were behind schedule and needed a way to complete the work by September 15th so we started to brainstorm different ways that the pipe could be installed etc.
What was the biggest impact this innovation has made for the team?
Stephanie Ridenour: It brought our team close together very quickly. It was an “all-in-this-together” approach. All hands on deck to get this one scope of work done on time. We took ideas, chopped them up, rehashed them, and used the parts that worked together. I’ve taken the same attitude away from this project and applied it on other ones. It helped develop a more critical eye for the installation processes. It’s easy to look at a shop drawing and see, “that’s what it’s going to look like in the end,” but it takes more imagination to visualize how that is going to come together, down to the smallest details. The issues are always in the details.
When September 15th came around and we were out of the river, we all let out a collective sigh of relief (lol). The Owner and the Consultant were both very happy that, in a tight spot, IDL managed to im-prove the design while also pulling the schedule back – and we did it safely. This set the tone with the Owner early on in the project.
Are there other individuals who helped make this innovation possible?
Stephanie Ridenour: Lynn Beeton, Darin Atchison and our trusty sales guy at Corix who rushed us a 30” HDPE casing and electrofusion coupler, Kevin Arscott.
What do you think of the TDBB Innovation initiative?
Stephanie Ridenour: I would hope any company in this industry would support this idea, but that it is a program here and visibly/actively promoted is really valuable. It is really encouraging when you can freely bounce ideas off a superintendent or project manager who has been doing this for the past 20-30 years. Ask anyone in the office here, I knock on management’s door here almost every day for tidbits of advice and their opinions. The reason I feel comfortable doing that is that they’re always willing to spare a few minutes to give me their two cents. This is the type of atmosphere that you have to have in order for innovative ideas to develop. It’s a cliché but it’s true: if people aren’t comfortable being wrong in front of coworkers, no one is going to throw out-of-the-box ideas out there for consideration. So in summary, I think the TDBB initiative is awesome be-cause it visibly promotes this type of supportive work environment. Plus… throwing out weird and wonderful ideas is fun.
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