FDH Velocitel’s Jeff Clymer, P.E., and Rakesh Khan, P.E., are presenting “Nondestructive Testing for Aging Utility Infrastructure” at the IEEE PES General Meeting, July 16-20, 2017, in Chicago. Clymer and Khan will review industry challenges associated with aging structures and discuss FDHV’s proprietary solutions for evaluating foundations and restoring at-risk towers to safe capacity levels. Clymer is Vice President of T&D Services. Khan is Director of Engineering, Heavy Civil Division. For more information on FDHV’s nondestructive solutions for aging transmission structures, visit FDHV’s T&D Services website.
Volume 2 of the #ClimberConnection series was recently launched by the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) with a new safety video on the ANSI/ASSE A10.48 Standard.
NATE ramped up the production quality of the already solid video series, which now features host Ryan Van Duzer, a travel journalist often seen on the Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and National Geographic.
The new video, A10.48: Know It, Live It, discusses how the A10.48 standard, which has unprecedented engineering support, affects tower processes and procedures, with a special focus on gin poles and rigging plans.
Former NATE chairman and FDH Velocitel regulatory compliance advisor Don Doty refers to the new standard as “one of the most significant developments to have occurred in my 43 years working in the industry.” The A10.48 standard, titled Criteria for Safety Practices with the Construction, Demolition, Modification and Maintenance of Communications Structures, establishes criteria for safe work practices and training for personnel performing work on communication structures.
For more information on the new standard, visit the NATE website.
FDH Velocitel’s Heavy Civil (HVC) Group, led by Robert Lindyberg, PhD, PE, was recently awarded four task orders for the testing and evaluation of dams managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Issued by the Corps’ Louisville, Huntington and Pittsburgh districts, the task orders specify the nondestructive testing and evaluation of 912 trunnion rods at Newburg Lock and Dam (Newburgh, IN), 832 trunnion rods at Greenup Locks and Dam (Greenup, KY), 432 trunnion rods at Willow Island Locks and Dam (Newport, OH), and 184 trunnion rods at Charleroi Locks and Dam (Charleroi, PA).
An additional task order is pending for testing of 1,300 trunnion rods at Cannelton Locks and Dam (Cannelton, IN).
“The award of these projects marks a major step forward in the commercialization of FDH Velocitel’s proprietary nondestructive testing services for dams, both for the Corps and those who look to them for guidance,” said Rakesh Khan, PE, engineering manager for FDHV’s investigative services projects for dams and other civil infrastructure.
The five task orders total approximately $1.8 million. FDHV’s engineering and construction crews will be mobilizing over the next six months to complete the work.
FDHV’s Brennon Fuqua, EI, PMP, who manages the on-site mobilization efforts, noted that the six-month timeframe is challenging but important to accomplish before the high-water season begins on the Ohio River.
“We have an experienced and well-trained crew,” said Fuqua. “We are confident we can meet the project schedule and provide timely data to the Corps districts to support their decision making about the maintenance needs of the dams they manage.”
About FDH Velocitel’s Nondestructive Testing Services for Dams
Since 2008 FDH Velocitel has been developing and refining an innovative nondestructive evaluation (NDE) test to safely and efficiently measure in-situ tension in post-tensioned trunnion anchor rods. The traditional test method – hydraulic lift-off testing – is costly, inefficient, and poses significant safety hazards to personnel and the work site.
Working with the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), FDH Velocitel is completing a full-scale validation of this NDE test method on eight (8) USACE dams, which will be followed by “blind” testing at ERDC’s laboratory in Vicksburg, MS. Once complete, this validation program will enable USACE and other dam owners to utilize this NDE test service, without the need for the costly and dangerous hydraulic lift-off tests.
To date, results of the validation program have shown that with a speed more than 10x the traditional hydraulic lift-off test, and minimal equipment and personnel requirements, the FDH Velocitel NDE test can be performed at a fraction of the cost of conventional hydraulic lift-off testing, reducing testing costs by up to 90 percent.
In anticipation of the demand for this service, USACE issued an Engineering Construction Bulletin (USACE ECB No. 2015-20) in December 2015 notifying all USACE Districts of the pending availability of this service. On May 23, 2016, USACE awarded FDH Velocitel a 5-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to perform this testing in the continental U.S.
FDH Velocitel was recently awarded a five-year, $10M contract for architectural and engineering services to complete testing of tension in Tainter gate trunnion girder anchor rods on USACE-owned and managed dams nationwide. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Louisville District (Louisville, KY) is the contracting entity.
Congressman David Price (NC 4th District) and FDH Velocitel CEO Kevin Hostetler spoke at the contract award reception, held at the company’s Raleigh office on July 22. The event included a demonstration of FDH Velocitel’s proprietary nondestructive test (NDT) method, which can assess the integrity of trunnion anchor rods safely, efficiently and at a fraction of the cost of traditional test methods.
“The award of this contract is an important milestone in the commercialization of an innovative NDT method to test critical infrastructure, and will sustain and add engineering and technical jobs in Raleigh as FDH Velocitel grows this service throughout the nation,” said Robert Lindyberg, PhD, PE, Vice President of Technology/R&D for FDH Velocitel.
The development of this technology was made possible through legislation supported by Congressman David Price, which helped form the government-industry partnership that enabled the deployment of this innovative test method on USACE dams.
“I am thrilled that FDH Velocitel has been awarded this grant to support their innovative work to inspect and strengthen aging dams,” said Rep. Price. “Modernizing our nation’s infrastructure will require close cooperation between government stakeholders and the private sector, and I am proud that a Triangle company is on the vanguard of this vitally important effort.”
Dr. Lindyberg added, “For the past four years, we have worked in partnership with the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, MS, to develop and deploy this service – which reduces testing costs by up to 90%, while significantly improving safety. We appreciate Rep. Price’s support of this partnership, and the commitment of both the Congressman and USACE to protecting our nation’s critical dam infrastructure.”
Tainter gate anchorage systems, which contain post-tensioned anchor rods, have been used in major U.S. dams since the 1960s and have recently experienced a growing number of rod failures. Approximately 150 dams across the U.S. use the post-tensioned anchor rods, with more than 50,000 post-tensioned anchor rods in the USACE inventory. FDH Velocitel’s proprietary test will enable the USACE to safely and effectively manage this aging inventory.
SiteSafe principal engineer Klaus Bender, PE, contributed an article to Mission Critical Magazine on the results of the recent annual meeting of the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC). Bender, a member of the Mission Critical Communications editorial advisory board, attended the LMCC meeting as a guest of a frequency coordinator and SiteSafe client. The meeting covered several regulatory items impacting frequency coordination and FCC applications. SiteSafe, a business of FDH Velocitel, offers the online SpectrumWatch platform that provides the tools needed to prepare and file FCC applications for LMC facilities. Read more.