You’ll be hard pressed to find a more rugged environment for walkways than port terminals where bulk dry commodities are transferred from trains and river barges to ocean-going vessels (or vice versa).
In the past, for heavy-duty applications like port terminals, engineers have typically specified steel walkways. Yet GatorBridge by CMI has just installed more than 1,400 feet of aluminum walkways for Impala Materials, a global terminal operator.
In 2011, Impala bought the closed Burnside Terminal in Darrow, Louisiana. Impala then invested more than $270 million to make Burnside a strategic hub on the Lower Mississippi River for importing and exporting global shipments of coal, bauxite, petroleum coke, and other dry bulk commodities.
Impala relied on contractors and suppliers able to meet its rigid standards for quality, performance and rapid delivery. Gator was awarded a contract to fabricate 27 sections of 48” wide walkways, in spans ranging from 40 to 60 feet. Each accommodates a 90-psf live load, but weighs less than half of a similar span made with steel. In addition, Gator supplied three 97-ft. access trestles.
“Gator’s ability to execute on tight deadlines was the key to winning Impala’s business,” said GatorBridge sales rep Ashley Velotta. “After working in close coordination with the engineer and the contractor, we began shipping material within 20 days of approved submittal drawings and had all 27 sections of walkways shipped within 60 days.”
This work-in-progress is an aluminum walkway leading to the Burnside Terminal’s continuous barge unloader, which discharges bulk product at high rates to storage areas. Yet-to-be-installed sections of the walkway are on a barge.