Benecia Bridge

AKS performed abrasive jet cutting to a drive shoe for removal from a crippled drilled shaft casing at Benecia Bridge in California.

Key Challenges:

  • Relief of the potential energy remaining in the crippled shoe;
  • All work had to be done remotely; team members could not enter the caisson during the operation;
  • Stored up energy, hence the beveled cuts and doing the first piece

Permitted Confined Space:


  • Hydrogen Sulfide – explosive; therefore, could not use “hot work” – sparking or flame type cutting
  • Hot Work restricted space

Monitor for Oxygen:

  • 100-ft deep into a caisson = permitted confined space
  • The actual cutting had to be done remotely

Services Performed

  • 14- caisson cut shoe
  • Depths at 100 lf
  • 14-8’ diameter crippled drive shoes
  • AK Team cut at an agle to provide relief for the stored energy in the steel – cut length was 3-3/4”
  • Cut and remove the first section = the relief
  • Then went back in, and cut all the verticals
  • Then went in and cut the horizontal ring cut, removing each piece as we cut
  • Used pulverized garnet as the abrasive
  • All cuts were performed at an angle

Successful Results

The AKS team successfully cut and removed all 14 sections of crippled caissons for two separate contractors – Kiewit Pacific and Condon Johnson. The project owner was the California Dept. of Transportation.


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    • Everett, MA 02149
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