When the Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Terminal opens in North Charleston in 2021, container traffic traveling to and from it will use the new Port Access Road, a direct route from I-26 that will reduce the need for commercial trucks to use local roads. Supporting the mainline road’s foundation piers will be South Carolina made spiral-welded structural steel pipe installed as vertical piles driven 60 to 90 feet into the ground. Spiral-welded steel will also be used in the subfoundations of associated new bridges and roads.
AMERICAN SpiralWeld in Columbia, just over 100 miles northwest of Charleston, manufactured steel pipe piles being supplied for the project through Consolidated Pipe & Supply Co., Inc. “The AMERICAN SpiralWeld product fit the project’s specifications, budget and availability requirements,” said Atlantic/Southeast District salesperson Brian Land of Consolidated. “The Columbia mill has far exceeded anything we have asked of them, and they have been a great resource and help on this job.”
Delivery of AMERICAN SpiralWeld product to the job site began in December 2017 and will continue into 2020. Quantities made by AMERICAN are 23,590 feet of 30-inch x 5/8-inch wall; 4,410 feet of 36-inch by ¾-inch wall; and 1,710 feet of 54-inch by ¾-inch wall. As of early May 2019, approximately 85% had been installed.
Additional AMERICAN SpiralWeld pipe will be used to support a noise barrier wall along the east side of I-26 in the Rosemont neighborhood. The barrier’s foundation will include 89 pieces (4,807 feet) of 30-inch x 5/8-inch wall pipe cut to lengths ranging from 17 to 68 feet.
Fluor-Lane South Carolina, LLC, is the design-build firm for this project. Fluor-Lane Contracts Manager Eliza Alderman said, “It has been a pleasure to work with AMERICAN and Consolidated. If I need something, all I have to do is pick up the phone or send an email.”
“It has been a pleasure to work with AMERICAN and Consolidated. If I need something, all I have to do is pick up the phone or send an email.” – Eliza Alderman, Fluor-Lane Contracts Manager
A $220 million project of the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the 1.2-mile Port Access Road will include a fully directional interchange on I-26 to help separate cargo carrying trucks from highway commuters and residential traffic. Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc. (JMT), Fluor-Lane’s lead design partner for this project, engineered the I-26 interchange including six new bridges, an extension of Stromboli Avenue, and associated roadway and railway improvements.
Some of the AMERICAN spiral-welded steel pipe piles will be used in the bridge subfoundation for the Stromboli extension, work to be done in 2020 during the final phase. The project is on track for November 2020 completion, a few months before the Leatherman Terminal is scheduled to open.
The Leatherman Terminal, a facility of the South Carolina Ports Authority, is the only permitted new container terminal on the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts. At full buildout, the terminal will include more than 280 acres and is expected to boost port capacity by 50%.
Port Access Road is among an estimated $2 billion in planned improvements to better accommodate large container ships visiting the Port of Charleston by way of the expanded Panama Canal. Related projects include dredging to make the Port of Charleston the deepest on the East Coast and construction of a rail transfer yard near the terminal.