Kings Bay Work Platforms

The Kienlen team recently reached a major milestone on the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base steel erection project with the completion of the erection of the final temporary work deck platform module. A total of 19 modules have been built and will comprise 4 temporary work platforms. Kienlen and other subcontractors to the Alberici-Mortenson Joint Venture will utilize these platforms to complete necessary structural repairs and painting along the walls and roof of the Kings Bay dry dock.

Each module is 25’ wide by 204’ long bringing the total temporary work platform surface area to 95,489 SF or 2.2 acres which is equivalent to 1.7 football fields. The modules are composed of a total of 1,100 tons of steel provided by Hillsdale Fabricators in conjunction with Vulcraft. Each module weighs roughly 160,000 lbs completely assembled.

The modules are supported on either end by end trucks that will connect to a set of drive wheels and a motor allowing mobility of the platforms during the construction phase of the job. Construction on the modules began in January of this year with each platform taking between 2 and 3 days to erect and bolt up and 3 to 4 days to throw and fasten metal deck and two layers of plywood deck.

Phase B of the project kicks off in mid-July at which point Kienlen will fly the 19 work deck modules 60 feet into the air onto the dry dock bridge crane rails using an MLC650 crane. The modules will then be tied together into the 4 larger platforms, each consisting of 4 to 5 modules, before being moved into position on the crane rails to commence the scheduled 6 months of repair work. The platforms will be repositioned once during Phase B to provide coverage over the entire area of the dry dock.

Each of the four platforms is rated to carry around 450 tons of scaffolding, tools and equipment, and craft. These platforms will facilitate the replacement of roughly 30,000 bolts as well as the repair of close to 31,000 linear feet of weld in the superstructure of the dry dock.

Kienlen completed the erection of the work platform modules one month ahead of schedule allowing for some additional Phase B preparatory work to take place. Kienlen has recently begun the process of loading each platform module onto a mock-up of the crane rails to align the end trucks in a more exact manner prior to the installation and loading of the modules.

Additionally, in collaboration with the Alberici-Mortenson Joint Venture, Kienlen will conduct a mock loading of one platform module on the rail mock-up to gain a thorough understanding of how the modules will perform under a full construction load prior to the loading of the modules in the air. This extra preparation work will wrap-up in late June and will help to ensure a smooth and successful installation of the modules on the dry dock crane rails at the beginning of Phase B in July.

Originally built in 1985, the Kings Bay dry dock is one of only two dry docks in the world that can service the Navy’s nuclear submarines. Utilization of the work platforms plays an extremely critical role in the overall success of the dry dock recapitalization project. Kienlen’s key team members include Logan Brodak, Terry Wright, Matt Costello, Claire Bexten, Ryan Bearden, Chuck Stroh, and Eric Haack.