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Yaacov Apelbaum  Yaacov Apelbaum

1. Sunshine Skyway Bridge Demolition

In 1991 the Florida Department of Transportation gave the go ahead to demolish the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The Hardaway Company (the original builder of this bridge) formed the engineering and management team. I was assigned as Project Engineer with the overall responsibility for all field engineering operations.

The scope of the project required that all underwater piles and piers as well as surface roadway, girders, trusses and beams be dismantled. Special care had to be taken in removing underwater bridge elements near the shipping channel. Additionally, the concrete material, deck sections, pilings and concrete girders were to be collected in order to be placed offshore and along the remaining bridge approaches to become reefs for the new planned state fishing park. The main bridge span had to be removed in one piece in order not to block the main shipping channel leading to the port of Tampa.

During the disassembly work of the bridge's structural steel members, several difficult engineering challenges had to be resolved including the order of disassembly, a safe method for detonating charges on steel members in a publicly open and difficult to control area such as the Tampa Bay and the development of a safe methodology for the removal-in one piece-of the bridge’s main span. Below are some of my project photographs and notes.


Yaacov Apelbaum

2. Bridge's Main Span Removal


Yaacov Apelbaum Yaacov Apelbaum Yaacov Apelbaum

3. Blast Design Patterns for Concrete Piers


Yaacov Apelbaum  Yaacov Apelbaum

4. Drilling Concrete Piers for Explosives


Yaacov Apelbaum

Yaacov Apelbaum

Yaacov Apelbaum

5. Shooting Concrete Piers


Yaacov Apelbaum  Yaacov Apelbaum  Yaacov Apelbaum

6. Shooting Main Approach Piers


Yaacov Apelbaum

Yaacov Apelbaum

Yaacov Apelbaum

7. Shooting Steel Truss and Piers


As the bridge disassembly work progressed, we became concerned that the daily demolition activities (especially the underwater blasting of concrete piers and claiming of debris from the sea bottom) could threaten some of the marine mammals in the vicinity of the work (dolphins and manatees).

To address these concerns, I developed a number of protective devices including: bubble screens, underwater alarms systems and confinement walls which were used extensively during the blasting and clearing operations. A true testament to the effectiveness of these devices was that during the entire demolition project, there wasn't a single marine mammal casualty.

Also, due to the limited availability of desktop or laptop computers in the field, I developed (and ported C code written for a midrange system) a large RPL-based library of blasting design and seismic analysis software for use on a hand held HP HP 48SX using a portable thermal printer as an output device.

Yaacov Apelbaum

6. Seismographic Analysis of Blast Effects

  Yaacov Apelbaum  Yaacov Apelbaum

7. Hand Held Devices Used for Blast Design

 

 

 

 

 

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