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Jones Island Pipeline Restoration

Revitalized pipeline opens gas/oil supply

The Challenge

Jones Island wanted to revitalize a dock at its storage facility, but the depot had been dormant for years, and needed significant upgrades to be back in service. New piping was designed, fabricated, and installed to connect storage tanks to the dock—a distance of thousands of feet across busy highways and 6 railways.

The Solution

Five sets of pipelines ran parallel and had to cross seven sets of rail tracks and two busy roadways. The site is a hub of transportation for many companies with constant rail and truck traffic. Crews coordinated work with the Port Authority to augment traffic flow and stage construction. On one case, crews had less than a week to tear up a road, tear up rail track, install new pipe, and fix the site to get it back to normal traffic. Much of the work was performed around the clock to minimize downtime –crews brought in floodlights and worked late into the night in some cases.

Due to the length of some of the piping headers two cranes had to be used to lift the 100 ft. (10,000 lb.) pipe pieces into place. To further complicate this work, there were tee’s every 15’ on the rail track designed so trains could offload fuel. These needed to be level, and five of the lengths were set as close as two feet apart.

Teams opted for open trench pipe installation as it was more cost effective than horizontal boring. However, trenches crossed multiple roadways and rail lines and crews worked quickly to dig trenches, remove old pipes, install new pipelines, level the site, test all lines, then fill in and return the sites to normal grade.

The Results

For several years, the main pipeline from Milwaukee to Green Bay had been inoperable. The customer relied on trucks to transport the oil north. With a restored facility on Jones Island, products can be transported more efficiently via Great Lakes tanker from Milwaukee to Green Bay. The average tanker holds 100,000 barrels of product, but  it would require 500 semi trucks to ship the same amount of oil. Additionally, a revitalized dock provides more revenue to the Milwaukee Port Authority.

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