Fiberglass Offers a Drop-In Solution for Concrete Covers
Due to the tropical savanna climate, a major global satellite service corporation needed a more durable replacement for its worn-out concrete trench covers at a communication facility in Hawaii. The material of choice for this installation was Strongwell’s UTILICOVER® panel system, replacing traditional concrete covers spanning over a tunnel 285’ in length. This particular utility tunnel is vital to operations because it connects two communications buildings on that facility. As a global deliverer of information and entertainment worldwide, the communications corporation required the installation be quick and efficient to ensure ongoing operational status. Strongwell’s UTILICOVER® offered a strong and durable, yet lightweight solution. For comparison, each panel can typically weigh as little as one fourth of its concrete counterpart, greatly simplifying installation and reducing the possibility of injury.
Unlike concrete, UTILICOVER® panels can also be individually cut to accommodate inconsistences in tunnel width. With this particular installation, Strongwell’s fabricators and designers were able to produce panels which accommodated the multiple bends within the walking path. Trench spans, which typically measure 24” in width, while utilizing UTILICOVER® can generate a 500 lb. point load at mid-panel with as little as 1/8” deflection.
The new covers for the 285’ long utility tunnel were instantly popular. When delivered, the panels had been pre-fabricated for a custom fit and immediate installation. The use of UTILICOVER® also allowed quick access to the tunnel upon job completion without the wait of concrete curing or the use of heavy equipment or nonessential personnel to finish the job.
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