Better than Robotics: Dam Drilling

What do the Blue Stone Dam and remote-control drilling have in common? 
Editor: Ashley Steele

For over 20 years, the 1949 Blue Stone Dam has been an extensive repair project due to a 1998 Dam Safety Assurance (DSA) Report showing that this dam was hydrologically deficient. The construction project to repair this deficiency broke ground in 2001 and is currently in phase 5 of this renovation.

Located in West Virginia approximately one and a half miles upstream from the city of Hinton, The Blue Stone Dam is a conventional concrete gravity dam measuring half mile long and stands 165 feet in elevation. This 70-year-old dam has reduced flooding that causes casualties and property damage in the Ohio River Valley. It has been surveyed and shown this Dam preserves more than $5.9 billion (that is about $18 per registered citizen in the United States) in lives, livelihood, and property.
This larger-than-life project must be completed in 4 stages to ensure all safety measures are protecting not just those members on-site but for those who live and work below the dam. In 2019, phase 5 was underway. The team at Brayman Construction has been instrumental in this project and already completed work during Phase 3. The $22M phase 5 will include a new cofferdam, with connecting arches and up- and down-stream transitions.

As Brayman Construction began the planning for this newest phase, they determined the professionals at ICE ® would have the equipment to get the job done without downtime. This team chose to work with the Comacchio MCE80 drill rig due to its expansive operational functionality. Due to confined spaces and personal crew safety on the jobsite, Brayman asked ICE® service team to adapt the rig for full remote operations. Many understand that there is more to remote functionality than on and off for drilling operations.  ICE® service team not only enabled all functions to the remote but also added specialized counterweights to help make this specific job easier on the Brayman Team.  The counterweight specialization enabled the MCE80 to pick up the carousel, fitted with different attachments and quickly move between many different tasks on the job.

ICE® is known for its highly customized equipment and tooling variations proving no job is too big or too specialized.   We are proud to have our equipment building dams with the highly sought-after team at Brayman Construction.  Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this life-saving venture.

Media Contact-   
Pollyanna Cunningham, MA, MBA   
Director Marketing, Brand and Media Relations   
ICE® - International Construction Equipment, Inc   
Office - 704-821-8200   
Email -   

Posted in Comacchio Drill Rigs. Tagged as Blue Stone Dam, Comacchio, Drilling, Drilling Foundations, MCE80 Drill.

Post a comment (* required field)

Name *
Email * (will not be published)
Comments *