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Sea Wall Restored Putzmeister trailer pump places concrete underwater

With its ability to pump concrete under high pressure for long distances, a Putzmeister Thom-Katt TK 50 was used to place concrete underwater to restore the footings of a seawall at Waterways Marina, Aventura, Fla. The unit was supplied by M&M Concrete Pumping, Lighthouse Point, Fla.

A 550-foot rubber hose was used in place of a steel pipe to deliver the concrete needed to restore footings along a 700-foot seawall in Aventura, Fla.

A diver places quick-setting concrete during the restoration of a seawall footing at Waterways Marina, Aventura, Fla.

Sea Wall Restored Putzmeister trailer pump places concrete underwater

STURTEVANT, Wis. (Oct. 20, 2003) – After being battered by three decades of pounding waves, the foundation of a seawall that stretches 700 feet in length and protects the shoreline of Waterways Marina in Aventura, Fla., was rebuilt and strengthened this summer through a series of unique underwater concrete pours.

The marina is located along a section of Florida’s exclusive Gold Coast. Along with providing a safe haven for boaters, the marina offers shopping and dining experiences along with a health spa that was built at a cost of $5 million.

Under the direction of the seawall project engineer, Robert Berkoff, of Intercounty Laboratories Inc., North Miami Beach, Fla., concrete footers were created to deter future erosion. The footers range in width from 8-12 inches. Berkoff said the seawall now should stand up to even the strongest and highest waves.

“The seawall was built over 30 years ago and over time had deteriorated from boat blasts,” said Matt Wooten, of B.K. Marine Construction Inc. Wooten’s company, based in Deerfield Beach, Fla., places seawalls throughout south Florida.

“We could have replaced the seawall, but that would have cost a lot more,” Wooten said. “Instead, we placed interlocking aluminum footers at the base of the existing sea wall and poured concrete to give the wall more penetration.”

The project featured the novel use of a 2-inch hose to place concrete (extended to 550 feet during the final pour) instead of a traditional steel pipe. With hose creating about three times the resistance of pipe to flowing concrete, sections of pipe are used much more frequently.

But given the locations of where a concrete pump could be set up and the indirect route that concrete would have to follow to reach the seawall, a flexible hose offered the preferred solution. Also, use of the hose significantly reduced set-up and tear-down time.

M&M Concrete Pumping, Pompano Beach, Fla., provided the Putzmeister Thom-Katt® TK 50 concrete trailer pump used on the job. “Most other pumping companies don’t like to work with hose beyond 300 feet because hose has three times more resistance than steel pipe, thereby making it more difficult to place concrete,” said M&M Owner Mike Moberg. “Our operators prefer the flexibility of using hose and have mastered how to effectively adjust the output to avoid jams.”

The job presented another challenge: A 6,000-psi concrete mix that was difficult to pour. But the Putzmeister trailer pump delivered the concrete with power to spare, said Pete Dixon, a pump operator.

“The Putzmeister pump was really needed for its high pressure to push the concrete so far,” Dixon said. “Plus, I can put the unit in reverse to suck the concrete back if a problem occurs. That’s the best feature about this pump. I don’t like working with any other brands that don’t have it.”

Scott Thompson of Thomas Machinery Inc., a Putzmeister dealer in Miami, added, “Customers such as M&M are sold on both the Thom-Katt’s reliability and the reverse feature, which is standard on our cable remote control. Additionally, we equip our pumps with radio remote, which has the reverse feature as well. In case of any blockages, the operator can easily back it up and save the time and expense of working out a jam.”

The Putzmeister trailer pump was placed in action on three separate pours. During the first two pours, setups were done at a nearby condominium complex; the last from an alley behind a shopping center. The last pour required the longest amount of hose.

For the first two pours, permission to locate the setup on an easement between two condominiums had to be obtained from the condo homeowners’ association.

Wooten, a project supervisor as well as a diver, placed a total of 35 yards of concrete during the three pours. The concrete was a quick-setting mix with added inhibitors that basically set upon coming in contact with the water. With such time constraints, placement of concrete became even more critical when pumping.

“With most mixes, you can work with it for about 30 minutes, but not this one,” Moberg said. “It would set up within 15 minutes so it was critical that we primed out correctly the first time and kept pumping without fail.”

Harry Silnicky, site inspector for Intercounty Laboratories, said, “The first footer was poured in May, the second in June and the third and longest one in July. By mid-September, the finishing touches were completed and Waterways Marina was satisfied with the results.”

Owner: Waterways Marina – Aventura, Fla.
Engineer: Intercounty Laboratories – North Miami Beach, Fla.
General contractor: B.K. Marine – Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Ready-mix supplier: Rinkers Materials – North Miami Beach, Fla.
Pumping contractor: M&M Concrete Pumping – Pompano Beach, Fla.
Equipment supplier: Thomas Machinery – Miami
Equipment: Putzmeister Thom-Katt TK 50 trailer-mounted concrete pump