Bridge painting and lead abatement on the Hoan Bridge

This bridge painting and lead abatement job on the Hoan Bridge project in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is providing Thomas Industrial Coatings crews with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in installing Safespan’s temporary platform systems. 

Lead abatement and coating

Lead abatement on the bridge is scheduled to begin once a Safespan temporary platform installation is completed. As temperatures rise next spring, crews will begin an abrasive blast on the structure, bringing it down to a bare metal before applying a three-coat protective coatings system of zinc epoxy and urethane. 

Crews will also be performing spot abatements on the bridge in places where structural steel repairs are required. This will prevent ironworkers at the site from being exposed to harmful chemicals while cutting and welding.

Thomas Industrial Coating is aiming to have lead abatement completed by the end of summer, 2014.

SafeSpan to the rescue

Before moving forward with lead abatement on the Hoan Bridge, which spans the Milwaukee River near its confluence with Lake Michigan, Thomas needed a system for lead containment.

Crews knew they needed to wait for warmer weather before lead abatement could begin high on the bridge, which presented a problem. A large portion of the bridge runs above Milwaukee’s famed Summerfest grounds. This meant that the warmer weather needed for lead abatement to begin would also bring with it crowds of festival-goers for the summer season. Running tarps from the bridge completely to the ground was out of the question.

Luckily, Thomas Industrial Coatings is a leading installer of Safespan temporary work platforms. These platforms, customizable to fit the job at hand, can be sealed with tarps for lead abatement. This prevents potentially hazard materials from escaping into the environment, without disturbing scheduled events at the Summerfest grounds below. Additionally, the platform will aid general contractors by acting as a net to catch debris once the road deck removal begins.

Crews hope to finish the Safespan installation by April of 2014, with significant portions handed over to the general contractor by March.


Water tower restoration and painting in Kansas City

Thomas Industrial Coatings crews are currently teaming up with the Kansas City, Missouri Water Services Department on a water tower painting job involving three tanks, totaling 2.8-million gallons of water storage space for the city. The Worlds of Fun amusement park logo is to be added to the largest tank, which has a 2-million gallon capacity.

A well-worn interior

As crews began work on the largest tank, it became apparent the internal structure had badly deteriorated. At nearly 50 years old, the tank was showing signs of its age. When the surface struggled to stand up to an abrasive blast, it was decided that a full-scale interior overhaul was needed.

Luckily, the team was able to consult with Kansas City officials, as well as structural engineers that had previously worked with Thomas Industrial Coatings. The contract was eventually reworked to accommodate the extended scope of the water tower painting job. A full scaffolding system was erected inside the tank so that no portion of the restoration was out of arm’s reach of the crew. This was an operation significantly more in depth than the safety staging required by a simple abrasive blast and coating.

In the end, this added step guaranteed that Thomas was providing Kansas City with a lasting fix, rather than pushing necessary maintenance further down the line.

A lead-based problem

The tank’s age also meant that its exterior could not support another top coat. Instead, it would have to be blasted with an abrasive before the outer coat could be added. As another consequence of the tank’s age, crews were dealing with a lead-based paint and had to take measures to prevent hazardous materials from escaping into the surrounding environment. With outriggers in place, crews erected a “teepee system” to completely enclose the tank. As a large painting contractor, Thomas Industrial Coatings has the resources for a total containment job readily available.

Crews will wait until spring to begin work on the 115-foot Worlds of Fun logo that will adorn the revamped tower. The urethane top coat is sensitive to cold weather, so it will be applied in warmer temperatures for the best effect. The project is expected to be completed by early May.

Storage tank maintenance and water tower painting at Scott Air Force Base

Thomas Industrial Coatings crews provided a number of storage tank maintenance services for two tanks managed by the American Water Company at Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County, Illinois. In addition to adding a fresh coat of paint, crews wanted to make sure the owners got the maximum lifetime out of their new coatings system.

Ensuring a long life

Initial services were intended to remove possible points of failure for the new coating system. Spider rods, which are used as support during the building process but no longer necessary once the tanks are completed, were removed, along with the painter rings that acted as tie-off points during the original construction. Both of these holdovers were identified as potential points of failure for the new system, so they were removed prior to its application.

Rigging couplets were installed on each of the tanks before crews began the interior work. These couplets act as support for the staging systems that allow crews to safely work high on the interior walls of the tank. They will remain on the tank and allow similar coatings jobs to be replicated in the future. An updated attachment system was also installed on the internal and exterior ladder systems, as an added safety measure for personnel operating on the tanks.

An abrasive blast was then performed on the tank interiors, followed by sanitation and testing to ensure the tank was adequately clean to once again hold drinking water. This completed the interior portion of the storage tank maintenance.

Painting a powerful symbol

Next, the exterior of the tanks were power washed before an overcoat was added. The previous coating had left a chalky residue which needed to be removed before the outer coating was added, to ensure the new coating’s adhesiveness.

After the outer coat was added, crews then proudly hand-painted the official Air Force logo and the words “Air Force” on the tanks exterior. These logos will stand above the base for a long time to come, in support of the brave servicemen and women of the United States Air Force.

Surface preparation and protective coatings for the Highway 145 bridges in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This project involved the abrasive blasting and recoating of six bridges along a stretch of Wisconsin State Highway 145. In addition to blasting and coating, we were also in charge of lead remediation for all of the bridges.

Over a span of two and half months, crews worked alongside the structural engineers of Zenith Tech, who were in charge of road resurfacing and updating the bridges’ concrete decks, to beautify this stretch of Wisconsin highway.

Following the completion of this job, the Badger State will have reduced hazardous lead and more protected against dangerous corrosion.

J. E. Roush Dam Rehabilitation

Thomas Industrial Coatings was hired to perform surface preparation and lead abatement to the structure’s three crest gates and parking lot support beams, as well as apply new paint and coatings to keep the nearly fifty year old dam looking fresh.  

This project began in March 2013. 

Alexander County Truss Bridge painting and abrasive blasting

Built in 1933, the Alexander County Truss Bridge carries Old Illinois Route 3 over the Sexton Creek, a tributary to the Mississippi River. We were hired to give this classic bridge a fresh coat of paint.

Services for this bridge painting include:

  • Containing the entire bridge
  • Abrasive blasting of the structure, taking it to a SP-10 near-white blast
  • Containing the lead waste and lead waste disposal
  • Applying a Carboline three-coat system consisting of an organic zinc rich epoxy primer, an epoxy polyamide intermediate coat and an aliphatic acrylic-polyester polyurethane top coat

This is a project on which we’re proud to have the Thomas name.

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