Port board told repairs can be made to crane

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 16, 2003

[9/16/03]Engineers Monday told the Warren County Port Commission there has been no recent movement in piers supporting a crane at the Port of Vicksburg, and repairs can restore the crane’s original capacity or make it stronger.

Part of the work on the crane and its supports was done by ABMB Engineers Inc., the commission and Warren County’s engineering firm and part by a specialized geotechnical firm to determine why one of the piers supporting the 15-ton bridge crane is tilted 5 inches off vertical and the other is 8 inches off.

The work is part of a planned upgrade of the Port of Vicksburg to handle additional cargo that may come through the port for the two tier-one Nissan suppliers located at the Ceres Research and Industrial Interplex. Part of the funding came from a $441,503 grant from the federal Rural Development Administration.

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Geotechnical expert Eddie Templeton said investigations and the results of planting instruments near the two piers that support the bridge crane showed there has been no recent movement of the soil under or around the piers. He speculated that the last movement was in the 1970s as a result of the 1973 flood.

“We have concluded the foundation is adequate for the existing 30-ton crane and for a 40-ton crane,” he said.

Anil DeSa, a structural engineer with ABMB, told the board what work would be needed on the supporting trusswork to bring the crane up to code specifications to operate at its present 15-ton use capacity, and that he estimated the cost to be about $500,000.

DeSa then described the work that would need to be done to the trusswork to make the crane usable for loads of 30 tons and 40 tons. Estimates for three options ran from about $1.2 million to about $2 million, not including the $250,000 cost of a 40-ton crane if the board decides to increase the capacity.

“I am pleasantly surprised,” said John Moss, president of the port commission, adding he had not thought the existing foundation would be found adequate.

“That’s good news and bad news,” he said of the foundation report and the estimates of cost of improvements.

The board then tabled the report until they could discuss it further and consult with Kinder Morgan Bulk Terminals Inc., the company that operates the port for the commission.

After approving its minutes from the August meeting and the September bills of allowance for payment, the board adjourned until 9 a.m. Monday to open bids on a timber sale that will be received by the port commission office Thursday.

The commission is made up of five appointees to manage industrial development sites and infrastructure in the county.