During the construction of the scenic River Walk along the Chicago River, an equipment barge used by the construction crews took on water and sank to the bottom of the river taking all its supplies and equipment with it. Our team arrived on site with our dive boat to contain any potential environmental issues. After sealing off all potential contaminated liquid leak points the crew assess the condition of the barge and equipment. The initial findings found the equipment barge was on its side with much of the equipment, which was still attached to the barge, several feet in the muddy river bottom.
Using 80,000 lbs of lift bags to stabilize the barge, a 175 ton Crane was used to remove the telescoping man basket, compressor and other equipment and supplies from the deck of the barge. The lift bags were then used to safety roll the work barge into is proper position and brought to the surface for dewatering. The barge was safely floated and transported to drydock for repairs.
The Chicago River is vital to the City of Chicago as it is used from commercial traffic, recreational and personnel use. Working with the EPA and Chicago Police Marine division we were able to keep the River open to all traffic during this salvage operation.