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Orange MS Boom Pump Sighted at Zoo Interchange

Rendering of Zoo Interchange project in Milwaukee, Wisconsin upon completion.

Meyer Concrete Pumping and Conveyor Service had a new 38Z-5 meter boom pump specially painted the symbolic orange color identified with MS and decaled with graphics highlighting support in finding a cure for the disease.

Telebelt® conveyors were relied upon for conveying concrete alongside paving machines for numerous ramps at the Zoo Interchange.

A Putzmeister 38Z-5 meter showcases its compact outrigger spread for setup in tight spots.

A Putzmeister 38Z-5 meter showcases the ability to maneuver its five-section boom up and over buildings to access difficult-to-reach areas at a high school in Winnetka, Illinois.

Orange MS Boom Pump Sighted at Zoo Interchange

Construction crews at phase two of the Zoo Interchange project in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are accustomed to seeing red and white truck-mounted concrete boom pumps from Meyer Concrete Pumping & Conveyor Service, LLC, on the high profile job site. So when a brand new Putzmeister 38Z-5-Meter from the company's fleet showed up in a different orange color with special decals, it drew attention.

And that is exactly what Meyer's owner Mike Popp and his son Ric, who assists with administration of the business, had hoped to accomplish. Their objective is to create awareness about Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a disease affecting an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide—one of those affected is Ric’s mother.

Orange Means Multiple Sclerosis
To draw greater attention to MS, the pumping and conveying company ordered a Putzmeister BSF 38Z-5.16H boom pump to be specially painted the symbolic orange color identified with MS and intricately decaled with prominent graphics highlighting support in finding a cure for the disease. The equipment manufacturer gladly accommodated the request from their North American headquarters facility in Sturtevant, Wisconsin.

Ric Popp notes, "We saw companies paint their pumps pink for breast cancer awareness, and we wanted to do something highly personal like this for my mom who has lived with MS for the past 18 years. When she saw the special boom pump, it brought tears to her eyes."

To further support the cause financially, Meyer will donate 30 cents for every yard pumped by the unique MS boom pump to the National MS Society, so the goal is to keep the pump busy.

Largest Transportation Project in Wisconsin History
And the vibrant orange 38Z-5 unit is being kept busy, as shortly after its arrival to Meyer's fleet in March 2017, it pumped concrete on phase two of the Zoo Interchange project, a freeway Interchange on the west side of Milwaukee that forms the junction of I-94I-894I-41US 41 and US 45. Originally built in 1963, the interchange is nicknamed because of its location near the Milwaukee County Zoo.

The overall $1.7 billion project, divided into stages, got underway in 2013. It includes rebuilding the oldest and most heavily traveled interchange in the state. As the largest transportation project in Wisconsin history being constructed by the Wisconsin D.O.T., it involves a complete reconstruction, making the core a four level system interchange. It also includes improvements to six street interchanges, as well as three major arterials. Construction on the arterials was to efficiently handle diverted and detoured traffic during the two-phase core reconstruction process, of which the second phase is now underway. It is at about a halfway point of a two-year contract totaling $80 million, with completion anticipated in 2018.

Phase Two at the Zoo
The second phase involves constructing 21 bridges, 30 walls, 11 noise barriers, as well as numerous concrete pavings and fly over bridges. As of late spring 2017, the pumping and conveying company had placed 25,000 cubic yards (19,114m³) of concrete for this specific phase, which is under the direction of Chicago-based general contractor Walsh Construction. Walsh and Meyer have worked together on major projects in the past, with equipment dispatched from Meyer's main location in Des Plaines, Illinois as well as their branch in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which offers a closer proximity to the Zoo Interchange. 

During phase two, concrete placing equipment is seen working on site two-to-three times a week, mainly at night to avoid heavy traffic volume within the maze of highways in the busy corridor, as well as maintain cooler temperatures so the concrete meets stringent D.O.T. design specs.

Coordinating logistics, such as advising of lane closures when needed, navigating the site because of ramp closures, scheduling pump operators to accommodate day as well as night pours without exceeding work hour limits, and ensuring smooth ready mix truck flow are just some of the challenges involved with a project of this magnitude.

Every Unit on Deck
Meyer stands ready to respond to the major project. From humble beginnings, the pumping and conveying company's fleet has grown from two pumps and a conveyor to 24 pieces of concrete placing equipment, backed by 50 years experience in high rise, commercial and residential construction. The family-owned company's expertise and fleet were fully put to use during this particular phase of the Zoo Interchange, as every boom pump size and even the Telebelt® telescopic belt conveyors have been involved with the large project at one point or another.

In the early stages of phase two, the conveyors were relied upon for conveying concrete alongside paving machines for numerous ramps. For the massive bridge deck pours, the larger truck-mounted boom pumps up to 58 meters are used for their longer boom reaches. For the many other pours, mid-height range boom pumps, such as the new 38Z-5 with a 123' 0" (37.50m) vertical and 107' 7" (32.80m) horizontal reach, are an ideal size that is often required, especially for pylons.  

Popular Size, Versatile Boom
"We selected the Putzmeister 38Z-5 as our special MS boom pump because it is a popular size for a variety of jobs so it would generate more exposure," said owner Mike Popp. "We also chose it because of its five-section boom that offers incredible versatility that should help solve difficult concrete placing challenges for our customers."

The model incorporates the latest technological features from the manufacturer's next generation series of boom pumps. This includes a completely new five-section boom with an additional hinge in its design that is crucial to expanding the boom’s reach into the interior of a building. By combining critical elements of the roll-and-fold and Z-boom design, the 38Z-5 achieves maximum flexibility and an extremely low unfolding height in a comparatively compact footprint.

On the Zoo Interchange, the five-section boom of the 38-Z has been useful in maneuvering between the various bridge decks and working in tights spots to accommodate overhangs and beams, and its boom versatility has been needed for other projects also. One such job was New Trier High School in WinnetkaIllinois, where the boom pump's compact outrigger spread allowed setup in a narrow spot. From within tight confines, the operator was able to unfold the boom and maneuver the boom into the many floors of the building for different types of flatwork, placing more than 2,500 cubic yards (1,911m³) of concrete at the high school to date.

Another project, although small in yardage reaped big savings in time and labor. The boom's versatility was employed to pump 27.5 cubic yards (21m³) of concrete for an in-ground grotto/jacuzzi with a patio in the back of a home, as well as a garage floor in front. Both tasks were accomplished with speed and efficiency, as the boom had to delicately articulate over the new construction house to access the back side for precisely placing concrete in awkward areas. It then moved to the front and reached under the low entry of a garage to place concrete for the floor.

To further meet the demands of job sites year-round, especially in the frigid temps of the Great Lakes region, the three-axle unit was ordered as a frost law, weight-compliant model with a tag axle that can be easily removed when frost laws are not in effect. 

A Worthy Cause
All the combined equipment features of the 38Z-5 make the unit useful for a variety of jobs, and in every season. "After all, the busier the unit, the bigger our check to the National MS Society in its efforts to find a cure," cites Ric Popp. 

In today's new era of social responsibility, customers will often share another company's desire to make the world a better place by supporting an important cause, and that is exactly what is happening with the MS truck. Everyone at the pumping and conveying company is on board, by readily informing contractors about the disease as well as describing the donation plan. Customers are responding.

"As contractors become aware of our efforts to help fund MS research, they have specifically requested the model. Some contractors may not need the pump's exact size, but are still asking for it as their way to help support the cause," says Ric Popp, who noted the company's commitment to this program as a way to make a significant impact in giving back to the community.

 On Display
Beyond appearances on job sites, the orange boom pump has been seen at the MS Walk in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and was displayed at the Who's Who Showcase, a local construction trade show held by Bluebook in Chicago. The National MS Society, appreciative of donor fund-raising efforts, joined forces with Meyer to help staff the booth to answer questions and further generate conversations about MS—a disease widely recognized, but seldom understood.

MS is an unpredictable and potentially disabling disease of the central nervous system, which interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. In MS, the immune system attacks tissue and cells within the central nervous system and causes damage to nerve connections, resulting in neurological symptoms. The cause is still unknown. That's why funding is critical for continued research to achieve the goal of a "world free of MS".

So when the bright orange 38Z-5 with specialty decals arrives on job sites to pump concrete, questions are being asked and the goal of creating awareness and financial support for MS is being achieved—a goal the pumping and conveying company set out to accomplish.

To learn more, Meyer offers additional information about MS on their website; visit meyerpumping.com/mstruck.

SPECS (Phase Two):
Owner: Wisconsin D.O.T.
General Contractor: Walsh Construction—Chicago, Illinois
Concrete Placing Contractor: Meyer Concrete Pumping & Conveying Service, LLC Des Plaines, Illinois and Kenosha, Wisconsin
Ready mix supplier: Walsh/TerrellMilwaukee, Wisconsin
Equipment: Putzmeister 38Z-5-Meter truck-mounted concrete boom pump and Putzmeister Telebelt® TB 105 and TB 110 telescopic belt conveyors