Blastrac Global recently brought much notoriety to the company's largest piece of shot blasting equipment, the Blastrac 2-4800 DH, by successfully resurfacing New York City's Lincoln and Holland Tunnels on time and under budget. This was the highest-profile project completed by the machine since it was introduced to the surface preparation market in 2003.
The New York City Port Authority's deadline to complete the project was six weeks, but with the work of three shot blasters, the tunnel resurfacing project was finished in four weeks.
Dino Tittarelli, president and owner of Tittarelli Inc., was subcontracted for the tunnel project by Vista Engineering because he owns a 2-4800 DH, which he purchased four years ago. He said he was impressed by the shot blaster because it is compact, yet much larger than many of the shot blasters on the market. He also he rented two additional shot blasters to complete the project in the allotted time frame.
Tittarelli began working on the tunnel resurfacing project in November 2005 with the completion deadline of January 1, 2006. His team worked on the project for four weeks at night with weather permitting, and the project, which included four tunnel tubes at 720,000 square feet, was finished in 30 hours.
"The Holland Tunnel was a very rough road to texture," Tittarelli said, estimating that this tunnel hadn't been resurfaced in six years.
The Blastrac machine is designed for preparation of large concrete and steel surfaces such as highways, airport runways, bridge decks, and ship decks. With a travel speed of zero to 350 feet per minute and a 48-inch blast pattern, this machine strips, cleans and profiles up to 30,000 square feet of concrete, 40,000 of asphalt or 7,500 square feet of steel per hour. The machine's blast head adjusts side-to-side to allow blasting close to obstructions on either side of the machine, giving the operator flexibility in tight areas and single lane closures. It is powered by a 350-horsepower diesel engine, and uses twin centrifugal blast wheels to propel blast media in a controlled pattern and direction. Media is recycled for reuse, while an onboard 3,500-CFM dust collector gathers dust and debris.
"Competitive companies were skeptical that Blastrac's smaller maneuverable machines could handle the productivity requirements. The machine's success ... opens a whole new cost-effective way to texture and improve skid resistance in a way that reduced lane closures," said Matt Shorrock, Blastrac Wheel Blast Product Manager. "The tunnel project gave Blastrac credibility to asphalt texturing work."