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‘The Big Pipe’ that was made and delivered in 24 hours for Cape Breton washout

October 26, 2016

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On Monday night, October 10, an ‘unprecedented’ 225 mm of rain fell on Cape Breton Island as the tail end of Hurricane Matthew passed by. While the deluge was still in progress, AIL contacted senior officials at Nova Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (NSTIR) to advise that we were on 24/7 stand-by to help with any issues. 

Washouts and road closures were numerous. NSTIR had to react quickly to inform the public and set up road blocks. Then they had to assess the damage, take measurements for any required replacements and get them in place as soon as possible.

They came back to us late on Thursday, October 13, with a rush request to manufacture and deliver a large, 3000 mm Corrugated Steel Pipe (CSP) — all within a 24-hour window. It wasn’t easy, but we made it happen. Here’s how it rolled out.

First, we needed a nickname for the project
The new culvert, which was for a major washout on Beechmont Road near Sydney, quickly became known by all parties involved as ‘The Big Pipe’.

We quickly reconfigured the CSP plant that afternoon
Our Dorchester, NB team immediately stepped up to ‘The Big Pipe’ challenge. They showed great teamwork in changing the CSP mill over to the proper corrugation profile, diameter and gauge in just two hours — which is no easy task. 

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We rolled the pipe the next morning and shipped it by noon
We produced the pipe early the next morning, Friday, October 14. It was loaded onto two tractor trailers by noon — ready for the six-hour road trip to Sydney. Normally, all over-width loads must be off the road by 3:30 pm in October, so we had to get a ‘Special-Special’ clearance to have these loads travel later into the day. Naturally, NSTIR complied and spread the word that the trucks with ‘The Big Pipe’ on them were on an emergency routing to Sydney and should not be delayed. The shipment arrived at the site by 6:00 pm, as planned.

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We escorted ‘The Big Pipe’ to the site and helped with weekend installation
Throughout the project, AIL was in constant contact with NSTIR emergency staff in Sydney, coordinating the manufacture and shipping, escorting the loads to site, giving off-loading recommendations and providing installation guidance throughout the weekend of October 15-16. ‘The Big Pipe’ was installed in one day and Beechmont Road, was re-opened to traffic on Monday October 17. 

NSTIR staff contacted AIL expressing appreciation for the prompt turn-around and on-site technical assistance over the weekend.

Related article:

Flooding, high winds closes roads across Nova Scotia »

Project at a glance:

Name: Beechmount Road Culvert Replacement
Location: Sydney, NS
Owner: Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal  
Product: Corrugated Steel Pipe
Application: Emergency Culvert Replacement
Dimensions: Diameter 3000 mm, Length 24 m, Thickness 3.5 mm
Delivery Time: One day
Installation Time: One day