Cianbro’s Brewer plant makes parts for island ferry project

Posted Sept. 15, 2009, at 10:28 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — A large crane, pipe pile and precast concrete will leave the Eastern Manufacturing Facility today for a ferry repair project on Swans Island, company spokesman Alan Grover said Tuesday.

The crane will be used to build six new dolphins for the $4 million Maine State Ferry Service project that Pittsfield-based Cianbro Corp. has been hired to construct. A dolphin is a buoy, pile or cluster of piles for mooring a vessel.

The project, which will begin shortly after the materials arrive, is scheduled to be complete in mid-June 2010.

“Some preliminary work is already under way,” Grover said. “It’s basically demolition work. This is the beginning of the job.”

The Cianbro-made sections of precast concrete, which look like massive disks with six holes for the pipes, will be stacked upon each other and shored up with the pipe pile, which will be pounded into the ground around the island’s terminal.

“Together all of that forms the new nest where the ferry will nestle up to with the fender system to provide the buffer,” Grover said.

The ferry service to the island will not be interrupted, he said.

“We can’t impact ferry service; that’s part of our agreement,” Grover said.

Billy Polk, Cianbro’s project manager for the Swans Island project, said the company is hiring a number of local people.

“It’s nice to be able to put local people to work whenever possible,” he said.

A barge will carry the 140-foot crane and materials down the Penobscot River to the construction site.

“This is really the first time that we’ve done another project at that site,” Grover said of the Brewer Eastern Manufacturing Facility, which was built to construct refinery modules for a massive oil refinery expansion in Texas.

With the next load of modules scheduled to leave for the Motiva Port Arthur Refinery in early October, nearly 40 percent of the contracted 54 modules will be delivered, Grover said.

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