T-dock crane replacement to take extra time to finish|[01/11/08]

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 11, 2008

Work to replace the T-dock crane support structure at the Port of Vicksburg is in its final phases but will require extra time to complete.

County Engineer John McKee said Thursday the support structures are in place and concrete forming the platform is ready to pour, but its builder missed a Dec. 27 deadline to complete the contract on the $3.4 million project.

Since then, liquidated damages on the project have reached $75,000, according to terms calling for penalties of $5,000 per day over the time allotted.

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Vicksburg-based Riverside Construction has worked since midsummer to complete the replacement, deemed necessary by inspections in late 2006 showing piers bent out of place and deteriorating concrete due to barge contact to the old dock since its construction in the early 1970s.

A series of large piles will be added to the front of the dock to act as a buffer against barges bumping the dock. The so-called “fender system” is the next part of the job to begin, McKee said.

Slab overlaying a 14-foot-wide section of the approach bridge used to accommodate rail traffic is also being replaced.

Replacing the dock is seen as a major step in enhancing the port’s viability to shippers. Its contract operator, Kinder Morgan Bulk Terminals, began negotiations last summer with those involved with the SeverCorr steel plant in Columbus on a long-term deal to move raw materials through the port.