Sandhogs Part1

Sandhogs Part1 - The Sandhogs Larry McCloy, construction...

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The Sandhogs Larry McCloy, construction superintendent for The Sandhogs had to make a decision: Should he call off tomorrow's press conference and shut down construction? Planned to celebrate the tunnel's having reached the center of the river, the press conference was to be a major public-relations event. But two engineers had warned McCloy that predicted flood conditions and leaking joints in the new tunnel's temporary metal lining might pose danger. The Situation The Sandhogs had attained a nearly legendary reputation for superiority in tunnel construction. In a business typified by unexpected delays and late completions, the Sandhogs had finished almost every tunnel on schedule. Even more impressive to people in an industry where fatal construction accidents are frequent, the Sandhogs had never had a fatal accident. The Sandhogs attributed their singular record mainly to the exceptional skills of their foremen, who had earned the reputation of being able to solve any problem that a construction project could throw at them. Time and again, the foremen had overcome serious challenges. The Sandhogs also attributed their excellent record to their careful adherence to written procedures. They did everything by the book. No tests were omitted, no details overlooked. This tunnel was being pushed through muck in the bed of the Columbia River. The top of the tunnel was only a few feet below the river bottom. Each extension began with the advance of a massive hydraulic ram that drove itself through the muck. Then workers moved in and erected a temporary metal lining (TML), bolting the new wall segments to those installed previously. The joints between TML segments contained gaskets, which are flexible rings that compress and render the joints water-tight when the bolts are tightened. Later, forms would be set up inside the TML and a permanent concrete wall would be poured. Or, at least the joints were supposed to be water-tight. The joints had been leaking almost since the project began. At first there had just been occasional trickles. But the trickles had become more frequent over time; and a year ago in March and again June, there had been really serious flows of water that the workers had labeled "gushers." These gushers had forced The Sandhogs to shut down work and to bring in pumps until they stopped the flows of water. Each time a leak had occurred, including the two gushers, The Sandhogs had succeeded in eliminating the leakage by retightening the bolts that held the TMLs together, and there seemed to have been no permanent harm. People had advanced several theories about this leaking. One theory held that the workers had grown
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This note was uploaded on 12/01/2011 for the course MBA 605 taught by Professor Dave during the Spring '10 term at dwh.

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Sandhogs Part1 - The Sandhogs Larry McCloy, construction...

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