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Larry Liles takes us on a tour of a pile driving operation; Honoring the WODCON organizers

This month’s cover photo depicts dredging’s first cousin, a pile driving operation.

In late April, Larry Liles showed us around the Pier G expansion project, where Manson Construction Company is driving piling and building the deck for the pier, which will be the new ITS container terminal.

Liles is Manson’s Southern California operations manager.

We watched as Dave Jeffreys, operator of the crane Valkyrie, carefully lifted a 105-foot-long, 31-ton octagonal piling from a barge, winched it to an upright position, then placed it for driving. Piling foreman Eddie Heredia checked the orientation of the pile by hand with a level until he was satisfied that it was exactly vertical before the hammer began to fall.

It takes about an hour to position and drive each one, creating a forest of pilings of different heights. They are later sheared off to a precise elevation in preparation for building the deck.

The pilings in the foreground of our cover photo were driven by a land-based crane and have already been cut off. Out of the picture to the left, workers are building the pan forms in preparation for pouring concrete on the deck.

Project manager on this job is Richard Ferguson, and superintendent is Jerry Gienger. The crane operators and other vessel engineers and workers are members of Operating Engineers Local 12 and Local 2375 of the Pile Drivers Union, who have been with Manson a minimum of six years.

The Valkyrie began in mid-March to drive 580 piles, while the shore crane drove 350 piles starting in mid-February.

* * * * *

Many thanks to everybody who submitted photos and graphics for our WODCON program section in the center of this issue. We designed this section to so you can easily see where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there.

This is our regular May/June issue, and many subscribers receiving it will not be attending this conference. We’ve made this program section with the purpose of informing those people in an interesting manner what is going on at the event, and also to create a historic record of the conference.

The World Dredging Conference is held every three years, and rotates among the three members of the World Organization of Dredging Associations, in Europe and Africa for the Central Dredging Association, in Asia for the Eastern Dredging Association, and in the Americas and related islands for the Western Dredging Association.

Larry Patella, WEDA executive secretary, deserves great credit for how he has managed this conference, especially the hotel arrangements, personally handling all problems that came up about registrations. His wife Nancy, who has her own career but willingly lends a helping hand on all WEDA functions, is next in line for kudos, as she took on many of the the administrative tasks of this meeting and will be there to make sure all runs smoothly.

Ram Mohan and his international committee organized a fantastic technical program, with sessions devoted to issues of vital interest to the dredging industry around the world. It will be hard to choose which session to attend when there are a number of vital talks happening at the same time.

The registrants reflect the international purpose of this conference, and there will be plenty of opportunity to connect with people from all over the world. Have a good show!

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