Welcome to another episode of The Team Elmer's Update, where we take you past the orange barrels and onto the job site.
Manhole structures are vital components when reconstructing a roadway, connecting several underground pipes together, while allowing workers access to those underground facilities, but how was it made? Well, it's actually created ahead of time in a pre-cast production facility.
It's hard to mold things out of concrete in the field. A lot of bridges that you drive over are pre-cast bridge beams, so it basically means a plant took concrete of a certain specification and pre-stress steel, and molded that into a certain size for an application. It's a pre-cast structure. We're making something ahead of time in order to use in the field. The reason that we're using concrete in these applications is for strength and longevity.
First step is making a manhole is setting up your wire, rolling it, get your rebar out and tied onto it. The grease just fills any cracks where the metal doesn't fit real snug, and then the form oil has to be on there or you would never get the metal back out of your form. The concrete would stick right to it, and then you wouldn't be able to use your form again. Then you would flip it, set it down somewhere, and then strip the skins inside and outside of it, set it back down and redo the process.
Dave calls the concrete dispatch and asks for a load of concrete. The driver comes over and they actually just fill the form up with concrete.
Once you pour it, about eight hours is all you've really got to let it sit before you can pull it again. It all depends on how busy we are. Sometimes we pour certain stuff twice a day.
Dave and Keith have a lot of prep in what they do. They have to put the wire in the structures. They have to put lifting pins in the structures. They have to look at the plans and understand where they're going to put holes in the structures. They either cut those holes or ahead of time, they actually preform them. There's a lot of math behind it, a lot of skill behind it, and a lot of prep. It's not just pouring concrete and walking away.
But our pre-cast capabilities don't end there. Our production facility can also be used for a variety of other miscellaneous projects, including special events to benefit the community.
We recently built a memorial monument structure, which was very exciting. Barry, Dan, Keith and Dave did a very nice job with that. Max headed up that, and it's a really cool thing to go see. But really, you can make anything out of concrete. We do different things every year. It just depends on what the challenge is, and Dave and Keith are up for anything.
Thanks for tuning in to another episode of The Team Elmer's Update. As always, stay safe out there. We'll see you next time.
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