Winning Combination for Bridge and Pipeline Projects

Isolating a workspace from a river or other large body of water to upgrade a pipeline or repair a bridge poses a number of challenges. Unstable subsurface, volatile flow, and other adverse topographic variables are things that can stand in the way of a successful outcome.
However, a strategic partnership, such as the one recently forged by Portadam and Rain for Rent, can virtually ensure a positive outcome to any project requiring water storage or liquid handling, no matter what the scope.
Portadam, a leading provider of temporary portable cofferdams and portable water storage systems, and Rain for Rent, a leading provider of temporary liquid handling solutions, joined forces to offer the most environmentally friendly cofferdam and dewatering solutions available. These systems are used in construction, remediation, rehabilitation, flood protection, and inspection projects in rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs, and other retaining areas.
Robert Gatta, president of Portadam, comments on the working partnership, “We had indirectly worked with multiple companies, but it was Rain for Rent’s approach to the marketplace and its ability to be an exceptional solution provider mindful of what the customer wants and needs, and the sense of urgency given to projects requiring expediency, that brought them to the forefront for me.”
Paul Harrington, EVP of Rain for Rent, characterizes the partnership as symbiotic and of great benefit to customers. “We started out in the oilfields renting steel pipe, pumps for water transmission, and tanks for well-site water storage,” Harrington says of Rain for Rent’s evolving history in the water management business. “We expanded into the underground rehabilitation market by providing tanks and pumps to the directional drillers, and then we got involved with the cured-in-place pipe business where we do large sewage bypass. Partnering with Portadam was a logical and natural outcome.”
Portadam and Rain for Rent’s growing repertoire of high-profile, joint projects includes The D&G Boring Pipeline Crossing in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Huguenot Bridge Reconstruction project in Richmond, Virginia—two case studies demonstrating the value of a working relationship with Portadam and Rain for Rent.
Brad Thomas, D&G project manager comments, “We were at a standstill and at risk of not being able to complete this pipeline project. Rain for Rent’s solution combined with a joint Portadam and Rain for Rent implementation allowed for an on-time project completion under extremely difficult site conditions.”
Unstable subsurface and rocky banks and the resulting buildup of hydrostatic forces prevented engineers from employing directional drilling. In the pipeline project’s final phase, time was of the essence to prevent the boring’s potential collapse. Rain for Rent engineered and designed a gravity-fed bypass piping system, which reduced the need for bypass pumping. Portadam provided a combination of a 5-foot, 7-foot, and 10-foot-high system with additional bracing, flume bypass, and scour protection. A three-sided cofferdam with pumping was installed in the project’s final phase.
As a result of the combined efforts, D&G Boring saved $500,000 in bypass pumping with Portadam’s custom-designed cofferdam system, while Rain for Rent’s engineered design solved D&G’s boring collapse problem—meeting the project’s deadline in a timely fashion.
When engineers at Skanska Inc. began reconstruction work on the 62-year-old Huguenot Memorial Bridge in Richmond, Virginia, that spans the James River and connects the City of Richmond to the south and Henrico County to the north via Huguenot Road, they envisioned a four-phase dewatering plan for building four bridge piers. However, in order to mitigate extremely volatile flow conditions and rocky and irregular subsurface challenges, Skanska project manager Brent Hunt called upon the combined expertise of Portadam and Rain for Rent to coordinate solutions for this multi-phase project.
Specifically, Portadam devised a 10-foot-high cofferdam system, diversion dams, fabric wraps, extra bracing equipment, and unique fabric materials. Rain for Rent provided settling tanks to meet strict environmental regulations and a variety of pump capacities. As a result of combined efforts, which included daily scheduling and planning meetings to allow for proper contractor coordination, the safe and timely implementation of all four phases occurred.
Says Hunt of the Portadam and Rain for Rent teams’ innovative response to the challenging project, “The effort and expertise of Portadam and Rain for Rent were important factors in helping us complete this project despite challenging environmental conditions.”
For over 30 years, Portadam has allowed contractors to perform in-water work in dry conditions. This time-proven temporary, portable cofferdam, water diversion, or fluid retention system can be used in open water up to 12 feet deep. By utilizing an established free-standing steel support system and impervious fabric membrane, the Portadam system allows many types of in-water construction to be accomplished in dry conditions without the need for excavation, fill, costly pile-driving equipment, or time-consuming sandbag dikes.
With in-house engineering and design services and over 60 branch offices, Rain for Rent can support engineers, contractors, and government agencies with Liquid Ingenuity™ solutions and services. Rain for Rent’s range of technologies, which includes a wide variety of pumps, filtration, and storage products, allows it to handle everything from complex to routine water management in a safe and responsive manner with proven expertise. ■
For More Information:
For more information on Portadam, visit For more information on Rain for Rent, visit
Modern Contractor Solutions, May 2013
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