Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, Nevada/Arizona state line.
In January of 2015, Stantec Engineering performed a routine inspection of the Hoover Dam Bypass that spans the Colorado River on the Nevada/Arizona state line. As Stantec’s second contract inspection of this landmark structure, they were well prepared with a specialized line-up of equipment to accomplish this large-scale task in a safe, timely manner. Stantec turned to Harken Industrial for winching solutions to accommodate the primary access as well as the standby rescue operations.
Tapping into their experience of performing this inspection two years earlier, Stantec used the Harken PowerSeat as the primary means of access for the multiple 300′-plus ascents.
Using the PowerSeat for such a task allowed the team to work comfortably while collecting data, and increased the overall safety of the inspection by reducing fatigue in the desert sun.
Because of the efficiencies the PowerSeat provided, the team had time to spare and decided to demonstrate a road-deck rescue. A rescue on descent was not an option in the environment we were working in because of the river and steep terrain below. Since Stantec needed a standby retrieval option operated from the road deck, they used another Harken product made by Skyhook Rescue Systems.
The Skyhook winch integrates a Harken Radial 40.2STA self-tailing winch as its work horse. The system is driven using a cordless drill for hauling ease, but also has the option of manual operation. One of the challenges of the road deck-oriented retrieval system was the limited anchoring. Our most feasible option was to anchor from a vehicle and use the many Skyhook accessories to provide proper rope direction and a clear path of retrieval.
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Image Copyright: Sean Cogan
Author: Sean Cogan (Sprat Level III)