Application Stories

Fabricator Beats Critical Bridge Reconstruction Deadline with New Welding Equipment

Two demanding California bridge jobs required delivery of parts in a matter of days with
welds meeting strict mechanical property requirements for impact and fatigue.
• 12 plate girders in eight days to repair two spans of highway overpass.
• 1,735 inches of 8" - 24" diameter pipe certified to API 5L line pipe and PSL-2 grades X52 and X60.

• Lincoln Electric Idealarc® DC-1000
• Lincoln Electric LT-7 Tractors and NA-3 Automatic Wire Feeders
• Lincoln Electric Lincolnweld® LA-75 and 888™ Submerged Arc Wire and Flux
• VERNON Tool™ Thermal Cutting Equipment

• 50% increase in productivity for girder construction.
• 100% inspection pass rate with no on-site work required.
• Impact toughness significantly exceeded contractual requirements.
• Multi-purpose submerged arc consumables could be used for multiple jobs with no changeover time.

 In 2007, a gasoline tanker overturned on California Interstate 880, caught fire and destroyed two spans of the overpass bridge on Interstate 580 near Oakland, California. The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) immediately put the bridge reconstruction project out to bid for this span of highway – known locally as the MacArthur Maze – that sees in excess of 150,000 vehicles a day. Bridge fabricator Stinger Welding Inc. won the subcontract for 12 plate girders, which would allow for emergency repairs to be made.

 “The tanker accident had immediate and far-reaching effects on the local economy – traffic had to be rerouted, other construction projects were delayed, and public transportation was terribly overloaded,” explains Gary Gardner, quality assurance/quality control manager and CWI for Stinger Welding. “CalTrans initially estimated it would take at least six months to complete the reconstruction. Due in large part to our turnaround time on the girders, it was done in three.”

Stinger girders were installed only eight days after the MacArthur Maze overpass accident.

 For the MacArthur Maze project, the company’s experience in constructing fracture-critical bridge structures (projects that necessitate special certification due to the load-bearing
configurations) helped it win the bid. But its delivery of completed plate girders in record time reinforced its reputation for doing great work fast.

"Running only two shifts, we fabricated 12 plate girders in eight days, allowing the I-580 bridge spans to be reopened in just three months – six weeks ahead of best estimates," Gardner says. "CalTrans had six full-time inspectors on site inspecting and non-destructively testing 10 percent of the welds, and they almost couldn’t keep up with us."

 "Lincoln’s equipment and consumables consistently provide outstanding results for us on all types of projects. It’s why we’re a red shop,” Gardner adds. “Plus, Lincoln equipment and wire
are manufactured right here in the United States — just another reason why we’re proud to use it."

 Stinger Welding Inc. is an AISC-certified Major Bridge fabricator with a fracture critical endorsement. Stinger is located in Coolidge, AZ, between Phoenix and Tucson. Examples of their work can be viewed on their website:

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Originally Written 3/17/09