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Headaches, or Job Snafu's

Discussion in 'Jobsite Coordination' started by old-iron-habit, Dec 24, 2020.

  1. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    3,989
    Occupation:
    Retired Cons't. Supt./Hospitals
    Location:
    Moose Lake, MN
    As the year ends, in talking to old work friends over holiday greetings, I was reminded of a few job snafu's over the years. Some by a moment of less then good logic. Some out of anybody's control. I thought it might be good to show folks that none of us are exempt from having snafu's so I started this post. Please feel free to contribute. It might even save somebody else from the same mistake.

    In 44 years of projects, I have had a few utility snafus. The biggest was demolishing an old fairly large blacksmith shop, barn, shed, and homestead for a new greenfield hospital. The new utilities had been stubbed out from under the expressway the previous year before the expressway was paved. It had a 5 year moratorium on cutting into it. All the existing site utilities had been removed from under the street when the road was built, and with the exception of the new stubs, we got a clear diggers hotline report on the entire property. Second day in, as we demoed the (long deceased) blacksmiths shop tearing out the concrete floor, we tore out a 2" steel high pressure gas line. In a heartbeat we had a massive blow torch shooting a huge flame for a estimated two hundred feet. In a few minutes there was a dozen fire trucks and half the gas company trucks either on site or about the neighborhood. It took two hours and required shutting the gas off to half the city to stop the flow and the fire. After cutting and capping the line the gas was finally restored the next day. The gas company had no records of it. Talk about bureaucracy in action. Finally using a vacuum truck the old line was followed. It ended up going to the street, and after another political headache, the first scar on the new street was introduced. The line was connected to the 4" high pressure main with a antique live tap that was not even gas rated. No valve was installed except for one found in a ground vault poured into the floor. No one was looking for one and covered in six inches of crap it would never have been seen. No record of it was every found. An old neighbor thought he remembered that being put in on a weekend many years previous. Turns out the blacksmith had been using free gas in his foundry and forge for many, many, years. Cost us a week of being shut down, but no man or machine got hurt.
     
    colson04, aighead, hvy 1ton and 2 others like this.
  2. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    3,134
    Occupation:
    Field Mechanic
    Location:
    Claremore, OK
    Best one that comes to mind is years ago they were drilling in St Louis area. Won’t say where...lol. They were on the surveyed pin, at the specified depth...and punched into an underground storage facility dropping a rather large core down onto whatever was stored. JUST missed a guy in a pickup doing his rounds down there.

    I’ve seen the high pressure gas line first hand. Years ago we hauled stopple equipment for TD Williamson. Went to a line that was hit in TX so they could make repairs. I heard it several miles away. Thankfully it never found an ignition source.
     
  3. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    994
    Location:
    Az
    About 3 years ago we went and hammered out close to 1000 ft of footing full of Plumbing and conduit at 3 foot plus wide at an apartment it was 6 inches to high not even sure what it cost as a screw up by the time everything else was fixed
     
  4. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2019
    Messages:
    573
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    OIH, that's quite the story! Glad no one got hurt. Hilarious that the blacksmith had free gas for that long!
     
    old-iron-habit likes this.