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CP chosen to widen U.S. landmark

When Paul Scharmer at Massman Construction got the challenging job to retrofit and widen the Huey P. Long Bridge by 15 meters, he chose Chicago Pneumatic drills ‘for their reliability and ruggedness’.

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The Huey P. Long Bridge is something of an icon in Louisiana, as it was the first bridge in the state to cross the Mississippi River. Named for a hugely popular governor, the cantilevered steel bridge carries a two-track railroad line with two lanes of highway on each side of the tracks. Opened in 1935, the bridge was designed to carry Model A Fords.
 
Louisiana travelers have been making do with two 9-foot lanes in each direction ever since. Meanwhile, the Greater New Orleans area has grown bigger and bigger, and so have the cars and trucks that need to cross it every day. Traffic is suddenly crammed into a pinched roadway and slows to a crawl on the bridge — all 8,076 feet or 2,460 meters of it.
 
To deal with the increased traffic, the main piers are being encased, widened and strengthened, with all the additions on the original foundations.
 
For this challenging job, the Massman crew is using CP 0032 and CP 0022 sinker drills and CP 0014 rotary drills for the pier work. Before that, they brought in CP 4181 rivet busters and CP 4123 chipping hammers for the necessary demolition work. They also have CP 6060 3/4-inch-drive and 6500 RSR 1/2-inch-drive impact wrenches on the job.
 
“We chose the CP tools for their reliability and ruggedness,” said Scharmer. “Reputation and reliability, along with [CP dealer] Danny Johnson’s knowledge and repair response, were our major deciding factors to go with CP.”