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CSDA Contractor Wire Saws Four Bridge Abutments in Southwest Canada

CSDA Contractor Wire Saws Four Bridge Abutments in Southwest Canada

The Upper Cambie Bridge is located east of Allison Pass, west of the Manning Park Resort, about 40 miles east of Hope, B.C., Canada. The bridge is named after Henry Cambie, the chief surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railway. In the 1980s, the bridge underwent a major renovation that included the addition of a new deck and bike lanes.

The Cambie Bridge is a steel truss bridge that was constructed in 1911 and opened to traffic in 1912. It was designed by the engineering firm Dominion Bridge Company and at the time of its construction, it was the largest bridge in Western Canada. Today, the Cambie Bridge is a vital transportation link for the city, serving as a major thoroughfare for cars, buses, bicycles, and pedestrians.

In 2021, CSDA member Canadian Cutting and Coring began assisting General Contractor Hanna Infrastructure in wire sawing the bridge abutments in order to raise the bridge. The temperamental snowy weather in Vancouver only permits this type of construction in warmer times of the year, so the project was paused and then resumed in September of 2022. However, the wire saw that Canadian Cutting and Coring used on the first abutments did not seem up to par.

With the four bridge abutments needing to be sawed, Andreas Kuelz, the company’s Estimation and Operations manager, decided to purchase another wire saw to handle the task. The choice was a new Hilti DSW1510-CA, “Hilti managed to deliver the new saw to the job in just ten days, which is quite impressive given the supply chain delays we are experiencing these days,” adds Kuelz.

On Tuesday morning, Hilti’s heavy diamond specialists Rick Russell and Diana Surwilo joined Canadian Cutting and Coring crew members Chris Beaudoin and Giacomo Ceccolini to show them the new features on the wire saw. Hilti spent the entire day on site with the Canadian Cutting and Coring crew to make sure every detail had been covered. Kuelz said that it was very helpful to learn about the new equipment from Hilti directly on a site.

The Canadian Cutting and Coring team core drilled the two necessary 2” x 42” holes in each abutment needed to
install the wire saw using a Hilti DD 500-CA core drill. The Hilti DSW1510-CA wire saw was outfitted with Diamond Products diamond wire to saw the abutments, which each measured 36’ long and 4’ deep. Following the sawing of the abutments, a Diamond Products Core Cut CC6500 slab saw was used to cut the top of the bridge into sections and was
then removed by crane. Each abutment was cut into three angles per the client’s request.

Although snow was not a problem for operators in September, the growing wildfires in British Columbia posed an issue to everyone onsite. At some points during the work, there were wildfires as close as four miles away. During the month of September, there were up to 193 active wildfires at a single time. Canadian Cutting and Coring operators were required to wear protective masks and respirators depending on the direction of the wind on days when it was blowing toward the bridge. Notably, on Sunday September 12th, 2022, Vancouver had the worst air quality in the world, with an air quality index (AQI) of 199.

“On sites like this, everything must run very smoothly,” explains Kuelz. There is no cell phone reception in a remote place like this, one satellite phone for emergency calls and deliveries to site turns out to be costly due to the remote locations.”

The Canadian Cutting and Coring crew finished the four abutments on the following Saturday afternoon. Kuelz said he was impressed with his operators’ performances, saying, “They did a great job implementing safety measures while also making sure the customer was happy with the result. The crew performed their work with a high degree of professionalism, skill and attention to detail, while also prioritizing safety and customer satisfaction.”

Prioritizing the health and safety is critical in any workplace, but especially in environments where there are inherent risks and hazards. CSDA members take proactive steps to protect employees and ensure that everyone is aware of potential risks in order to create a safer and more productive work environment for all involved.

Canadian Cutting and Coring is headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., and has been in business for 21 years. They have a fleet of 9 trucks and 15 employees with a second branch location in Victoria, B.C. Their service offerings include wall sawing, slab sawing, core drilling, wire sawing and GPR Scanning, as well as robotic demolition. They have been a CSDA member since 2002.

General Contractor
Hanna Infrastructure Ltd.
CSDA Contractor
Canadian Cutting and Coring
Contact: Andreas Kuelz
Tel: 778-320-3831
Methods Used: Slab Sawing, Wire Sawing, Core Drilling

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