Great Lakes Construction Undertakes Welding Project To Connect North, South Lake Erie Shorelines

In early 2012, Cleveland, OH-based Great Lakes Construction undertook a new project: making the city’s west-side, beachfront Edgewater State Park more accessible for Cleveland residents.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) awarded Great Lakes Construction with the $2.8 million project designed to create an ADA-accessible pedestrian ramp and tunnel that will connect Edgewater State Park with the south side of the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway.

As it stands now, the only way to access the park from the south side of the Shoreway is to cross the four-lane highway, a huge safety risk for the majority of area residents who rely on bicycles and their own two feet for transportation to the lakeshore.

Not only will the project fulfill a practical need for local residents, it will also help to beautify the area, notes Randy Radel, superintendent with Great Lakes Construction.

Welding is a key component of the project. Currently, the construction crew is creating a supportive excavation system known as a combination wall. It’s composed of a series of king piles – 24-and 36-inch diameter steel pipe pile – and steel sheet piling. These pieces are welded together to create a two-tiered drive frame.

“All that steel needs to be welded in position to ensure that the king piles and the sheet piling stay in proper alignment during the installation,” Radel says.

Proper alignment ensures the positioning of the concrete wall and that the sheet piling is interlocked within itself. This two-tiered drive frame will provide support when the crew excavates and pours the sidewalks and the concrete walls for the ramp that will go down into the tunnel.

The construction crew uses diesel welders, including 250- and 300-amp Vantage power sources from Lincoln Electric, as well as several Lincoln Electric Ranger models, Excalibur electrodes and welding helmets.

In addition to welding, the crew also uses Lincoln Electric’s equipment to run grinders, power a small electrical pump for watering and, occasionally, provide additional light.

“The durability, performance and reliability of Lincoln Electric welders are unparalleled. When you’re on a jobsite and your crew is relying on their welding equipment to get the job done, you need your machines to perform,” Radel says. “You don’t want to have any downtime or mechanical problems, and you want your equipment to be fuel efficient. Great Lakes Construction works with union workers, and they all recommend Lincoln Electric above any other brand, which is why we use Lincoln Electric products exclusively on our jobsites.”

Within the next six to eight weeks, the crew will install two additional combination walls, followed by some stud welding, concrete work and excavation. The full project is expected to be complete in September 2013, unless winter weather poses delays. Welding equipment – and the skill of the welding crew – will continue to be critically important as the construction progresses.

Lincoln Electric, (216) 383-2662,

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