February 22, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Underground Construction In Manhattan Gets High-Performance Dust Suppression
[New York, NY] – One of New York’s leading heavy construction firms is smothering dust from underground blasting operations by using a network of high-performance suppression equipment, as rough-in work for the 2nd Ave. Subway Project in Manhattan is being completed. The series of four DustBoss® machines has been credited with suppressing dust during execution of the $469 million contract awarded to SSK Constructors (Schiavone/Shea/Kiewit).
The company has been tasked with demolition of existing buildings to construct the station entrances and ancillaries, mining of the 72nd Street Station Cavern, as well as shafts and adits for the entrances and ancillaries, and mining the G3/G4 tunnel to connect the 72nd Street Station to the existing stub tunnels at 63rd Street. The work is all part of a planned $4.45 billion expansion of the New York City Subway System.
“The technique we’re using is drilling and blasting, which is an effective way to dislodge large volumes of material at a time,” commented SSK Project Coordinator Frank Townsend. “The potential drawback is that it creates dust and smoke, and since this is one of the busiest sections of the city, we knew we had to find an effective control method.”
Like most contractors, excavation crews had relied primarily on manual spraying with fire hoses to keep dust down in the past. “That’s a labor-intensive approach, often requiring several workers at a time, and it’s not as efficient,” Townsend continued.
Townsend estimated that at a $100,000 annual cost per worker in New York City (counting benefits and insurance), the company may have been expending as much as $1 million per year for its attempts at dust management.
After investigating several equipment options, SSK decided to purchase four machines from Dust Control Technology, a specialty manufacturer in Peoria, IL whose sole focus is atomized mist technology for dust suppression and large-scale water evaporation. “We decided early in our company history to specialize in this technology,” said CEO Edwin Peterson. “We didn’t want to divide our resources to support a dozen different product lines.”
The suppression equipment at the 2nd Ave. site is strategically positioned to maximize droplet exposure to airborne dust particles and increase hang time. “When we blast, a tremendous amount of energy is released,” Townsend explained. “The force carries the dust away from the shot, and if not contained, it would find its way out the tunnel and up the shafts, which could take it out to the street.”
To accommodate the conditions, crews set up the DustBoss machines pointed in the same direction as the blast force travel, with two stationed at each of the vertical shafts. “By aiming the DustBoss units along the path that the dust will travel, we give the atomized mist more time to collide with dust particles and drive them to the ground,” Townsend said.
Three of the machines purchased by SSK are DustBoss DB-60s, the largest model in DCT’s fleet. The DB-60 employs a series of 30 specially-designed brass nozzles to atomize the water into droplets 50-200 microns in size, the optimum for effective particle attraction. Launched by a powerful 25 HP motor that generates 30,000 CFM (nearly 850 cubic meters per minute), the atomized spray has a range of more than 200 feet (approx. 60 meters), yet the carriage-mounted device is completely portable, allowing it to be located wherever it’s needed most on a given day.
The fourth machine in SSK’s repertoire is a DustBoss DB-30, a smaller unit that’s well suited to confined spaces. Also mounted on a wheeled carriage, the DB-30 outperforms its size, capturing dust particles more effectively than many larger machines. The versatile unit has a 7.5 HP motor that generates 9,200 CFM, and like its bigger cousin, it features a ring of specially-designed brass nozzles that atomize the water supply to droplets between 50 and 200 microns in size.
Originally proposed as early as 1929 as part of a massive subway expansion plan, construction of the extended lines was intercepted by the onset of the Depression in October. The need for a 2nd Ave. subway line has grown ever since, as the east side of Manhattan experienced significant residential development. Currently, the lone rapid transit option on the upper east side is the IRT Lexington Ave. line, the most crowded in the nation. Expected to open in 2016, construction of the 2nd Ave. line will add two tracks to help alleviate that congestion.
“The DustBoss units have had a big impact on this project,” Townsend concluded. “Our air monitoring systems confirm the significant dust reduction. The equipment has been so successful that we’re in the process of purchasing a fifth unit to use for demolition.”
SSK Constructors is a joint venture consisting of Schiavone Construction Co., J.F. Shea Construction Co. and Kiewit Corporation. The partners have been performing construction and rehabilitation of bridges, highways, secondary roads and subway systems for more than half a century. Many of the accepted construction practices for bridges and elevated roadways were pioneered by the firms, which remain among the industry’s most respected names in deep excavation and heavy construction.
Dust Control Technology is a pioneer in dust and odor control solutions for construction, demolition, mining, rock/aggregate, recycling, scrap processing and slag handling. The company’s DustBossÒ product line helps reduce labor costs vs. manual sprays, freeing up manpower to concentrate on core business. The automated units also use less water than fire hoses and sprinklers, while avoiding over-saturation, with some customers realizing payback in less than six months and netting an annual cost savings of more than $50,000.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Dust Control Technology
1607 W. Chanute Rd.
Peoria, IL 61615
Tel: (309) 693-8600
Toll-free: (800) 707-2204
Fax: (309) 693-8605
Or visit our web site:
For editorial assistance, contact:
Rick Felde / (503) 543-0800