A crane with a 180-foot boom will stand at the west end of the empty Tempe Town Lake by Monday to help crews remove the rubber dam system that failed and emptied the lake.
The crane should accelerate work to remove the 40-ton, 240-foot-long sections that workers have been slicing up with some difficulty, said Adam Gordon, project manager for PCL Construction.
“They’re just so bulky. It’s a challenge to move them around,” Gordon said. “We’ve been using a forklift and an excavator to grab individual pieces and fold them over so we can complete our cuts.”
Three of the four sections will be cut into about five smaller chunks. The section that burst July 20 will be sliced into smaller sections at the request of Tempe and Bridgestone Industrial Products. A consultant will test the rubber dam to learn more about why it failed.
Small pieces of the other sections are being shared with rubber product companies to determine whether the material can be recycled, Gordon said.
Workers tried a demolition saw and other tools before settling on a circular blade that attaches to a half-inch drill.
“It cuts through pretty quickly,” Gordon said.
Each segment will take about 10 days to remove. A consultant will inspect the concrete base before the new segments can be put in. Installation will take two or three weeks apiece, Gordon said.
PCL will install the new dams, with assistance from a Bridgestone employee who oversaw the first rubber dam placement in 1999.
The city plans to have the lake refilled by Nov. 1.