In early 2012, Cleveland, Ohio-based Great Lakes Construction undertook a new project: making the city’s west-side, beachfront Edgewater State Park more accessible for Cleveland residents.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) awarded Great Lakes Construction with the $2.8 million project designed to create an ADA-accessible pedestrian ramp and tunnel that will connect Edgewater State Park with the Battery Park neighborhood on the south side of the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway.

The Shoreway four-lane highway stands between Edgewater Park and the local residents who could easily travel to the Park on foot or bicycle if access was made possible.

Not only will the project fulfill a practical need for local residents, it will also help to beautify the area, notes Randy Radel, Superintendent with Great Lakes Construction.

"This project is one of many in the area to help beautify the city and encourage both downtown residents and those living in the suburbs to come enjoy Edgewater Park and other downtown areas," Radel says.

Welding is a key component of the project. Currently, the construction crew is creating a supportive excavation system known as a combination, or combi, wall. It’s composed of a series of king piles – 24- and 36-inch diameter steel pipe pile – and steel sheet piling. These pieces are welded together to create a two-tiered drive frame.

"The durability, performance and reliability of Lincoln Electric welders are unparalleled. When you’re on a jobsite and your crew is relying on their welding equipment to get the job done, you need your machines to perform," Radel says. "You don’t want to have any downtime or mechanical problems, and you want your equipment to be fuel efficient. Great Lakes Construction works with union workers, and they all recommend Lincoln Electric above any other brand, which is why we use Lincoln Electric products exclusively on our jobsites."

Soon, the crew will install two additional combination walls, followed by some stud welding, concrete work and excavation. The full project is expected to be complete in September 2013, unless winter weather poses delays. Welding equipment – and the skill of the welding crew – will continue to be critically important as the construction progresses.

"Good welding equipment is really treasured on a project,” Radel says. “When they’re putting down a good weld bead, they’re worth their weight in gold."