Underwater Wire Sawing and Core Drilling at Port of Houston

Houston, Texas
ATI expertise with underwater wire sawing and core drilling was on display with this renovation project.

A barge collided with a concrete dolphin, knocking it off the steel sheet piling, which itself was old and rusted throughout, into the ship channel into 40’ deep water, causing navigation issues in the port. (A dolphin is a man-made structure extending out of the water, not connected to the shore, and is used for berthing or mooring.) Getting the dolphin out of the water was top priority to allow normal shipping operations to resume. But a way as needed to grasp the massive concrete object to lift it out.

ATI operators, in collaboration with general contractor Orion, determined that drilling and sawing a large hole through the object for a lift cable was the safest and most efficient remedy. ATI supplied the hydraulic drill and supervised the diver who core-drilled four holes through the dolphin. Each of these holes were two and a half inches
in diameter and three and a half feet in length.

Through these holes the diver threaded a diamond wire saw blade. The wire saw, supplied and operated by ATI crew, was used to cut to cut an eighteen inch square opening in the dolphin. Through this larger hole, the diver later ran cables so that cables could lifted out of the water.

Once the cuts were made and the cables secured, Orion completed the lift out of the massive concrete piece and port operations were able to return to normal.

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