As reported in the previous blog post, the turntable installation has begun! On Monday, April 6, the ground was prepped for pile driving to begin the following days. These piles will serve impart as the underground support for the 89,000lb turntable. A pile driving crane was brought in from Savannah, GA to drive steel beams deep into the earth at the site. For roughly two days Bryson City, was treated to the loud echos of colliding steel as a result of driving the 50ft long piles anywhere from 15 to 35 feet into the ground. An engineer from Charlotte, NC was on hand assisting by attaching sensors to each pile so that data could be recorded and signal when the pile had been driven to refusal. A total of 19 piles were installed and secured. Scroll to the bottom for a short video of the pile drive!
With the piles in place the area is now undergoing an excavation of roughly 10ft down into site. This space will allow room for forms that will be used to lay the concrete into exact shapes that the space needs for further support of the structure. The dig was put on hold due to the massive amount of rain the area saw last week. Before the concrete will be laid, the exposed ends of the piles will be cut off and final grading of the pit will be preformed to the exact depth.
The steam shop guys have been busy this month and couldn’t be happier about the warmer/milder weather that has finally reached the Smokey Mountains.
The tender has been moved inside the shop and the cleaning has begun. Tim, one of our GSMR Operations crew members, has been recruited to help with Tender duties. He has been removing the old epoxy that has been inside the tender for several years along with prepping for the new marine grade epoxy that will be applied.
This past week Brian and Marshal have been pulling the studs off the firebox and wrapper sheet. The old rivets were shot out a few weeks ago! Stay tuned, there may be video footage of the rivet removal coming!
Joe has been working on the engine lathe making new rivet snaps. They are ready for heat treatment and then the next step of re-reviting the mud ring.
The remainder of the old firebox sheet has been removed and the mud ring inside was welded and grounded down.
Great news! The crack check was completed on the wrapper sheet and everything passed. There were a few minor repairs that the developer revealed when it was applied to the penetrant (the pink dye).
Things will be kicking up here in Bryson City as well! On Monday April 6 – crews officially broke ground for the instillation of the Turn Table! The heavy work will begin this coming Thursday when the pile driving begins. Stay tuned for photos and the latest information on that!