Mackinac Bridge painting project wins fourth award

ST. IGNACE, me. (WLUC) – The Mackinac Bridge Tower Painting project was again awarded a national award by the National Council of Structural Engineers (NCSEA).

Ruby + Associates of Bingham Farms was recognized as an Outstanding Project Winner in the Other Structures category of the NCSEA Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards. The company designed the moving painting platforms used in the Mackinac Bridge’s two-year consecutive tower painting projects.

“The judges were impressed with the solutions to the unique challenges of this project,” said Carrie Johnson, Chair of the NCSEA Awards Committee. “The engineers were commissioned to create a painting platform. This was a two-story, moveable steel and aluminum structure that could withstand winds of 100 miles per hour. The solution eliminated nearly 400 feet of scaffolding. “

Kim Nowack, Executive Secretary of the Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA), congratulated Ruby + Associates on the latest award.

“These multiple awards recognize the technical knowledge and creativity of the companies involved in problem-solving. This is reflected in the excellent work they have done in repainting the Mackinac Bridge towers,” she said.

Back in March, Ruby + Associates received one of five Engineering Honorable Conceptor Awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies in Michigan (ACEC / M) at the association’s annual Engineering and Surveying Excellence Awards Gala.

Earlier this year, representatives from Seaway Painting of Livonia, the contractor who carried out the work on the bridge, accepted the E. Crone Knoy Award from the Society for Protective Coatings, an industry group specializing in the protection and preservation of concrete, steel and other industrial and other materials concentrated marine structures. The E. Crone Knoy Award recognizes outstanding achievement in industrial or commercial coating that demonstrates innovation, excellent craftsmanship, or the use of the latest technology or products to creatively solve problems or provide long-term service. ”

Last summer, Ruby + Associates received the Best Neighboring State Project Award for the bridge painting platforms used in the painting project at the 2019 Annual Civil Engineering Excellence Awards in Illinois. The movable scaffolding system was designed by Ruby + Associates, manufactured by Moran Iron Works of Onaway, and used by Seaway Painting.

The order for the south tower is worth almost USD 6.5 million. The work is expected to be completed in early 2021. The order for the repainting of the north tower was just under USD 6.3 million. Installing and removing the platforms required short closings several times during the night and early morning hours.

The original paint is lead based, and Seaway must have 100 percent of the paint removed and taken to a suitable landfill. The new zinc-based paint is expected to last at least 35 years and is regularly serviced.

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