How Boston's Longfellow Bridge Was Reborn

The historic restoration of Boston's Longfellow Bridge is now complete! The large-scale granite restoration project included onsite blasting by United Stone, as well as dismantling the bridge’s iconic Rockport granite “salt and pepper” towers piece-by-piece, and then transporting them to nearby workyards in Charlestown via barge for offsite restoration. The now pristine towers were reassembled using a mix of modern and historic construction technology. Skilled masons at United Stone were able to clean ornate granite carvings as well as the large granite blocks using the same equipment and media.

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Military Vehicle Maintenance with Sponge-Jet

Sponge Media™ abrasives are currently being used to help the US Military keep their amphibious hovercraft in fighting shape. These vehicles are known for their versatility, facing deployment in different climates all over the world. Naval hovercraft vessels have coatings that must hold up in environments ranging from the arid desert to the freezing arctic. To prevent corrosion from damaging these costly vehicles, surface preparation must be perfect.

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Bronze Restoration on the USMC Memorial

In the late 1940s private funds helped launch the development and construction of the United States Marine Corps War Memorial near Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC. The iconic flag raising over Iwo Jima was sculpted by Felix de Weldon then cast from plaster into bronze. The giant bronze pieces were assembled on site. In the nearly 70 years since the memorial was constructed, it’s never had a major restoration — until now.

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Concrete Restoration at the Guggenheim Museum

After 50 years of exposure to the elements, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum on New York City’s 5th Avenue needed help.

The art museum’s exterior concrete rotunda wall, which corkscrews outward as the building gets taller, was beset by hundreds of cracks ranging from hairlines to those that exposed steel reinforcement bars buried in 5-inch-thick (12.7 cm) concrete. And that’s just what Guggenheim’s team of architects, engineers, and restoration experts could see! Who knew what else lie beneath 12 layers of coatings applied over the decades?

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Abrasive Blasting inside Cofferdams

Damage from corrosion is one of the largest threats to the safety and integrity of a ship. Without proper safeguards in the form of coatings, surface preparation, and cathodic protection, ships and boats of all sizes will eventually rust and deteriorate. While materials used to build ships vary, most types of metals corrode, especially in chloride-rich environments like sea water.

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Historic Restoration at the Breakers Mansion

Conservators frequently turn to Sponge-Jet for help on historic restoration projects when there is a need to control dust, clean masonry substrates, or remove hazardous lead paint from steel and masonry. Some restoration projects include all of these challenges. Contractor R.J. Forbes faced this kind of multifaceted restoration project at the Breakers Mansion basement, tunnel, and boiler room in Newport, Rhode Island (USA). The project had several phases, including cleaning whitewashed brick and removing lead paint from steel beams all while visitors toured the property above the restoration site.

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Sponge-Jet Used at Food Processing Plant to Remove Salts, Grease, and Corrosion

Many food processing plants have used Sponge-Jet to avoid contaminating equipment while cleaning their facilities. At a food processing plant in Georgia, many different kinds of substrates were cleaned, from concrete and steel to conduit and galvanized pipe. Layers of rust, salts, grease, and flaking paint were removed without water or chemical cleaning - a requirement of the facility owner.

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Architect of the Capitol Celebrates the Completion of the U.S. Capitol Dome Restoration with Sponge-Jet

The work contractors and facility owners do using Sponge-Jet is often rewarding. Being a part of so many different applications and industries, from the building of battleships to returning fine art back into it’s gilded glory, our work is often hard to top. Perhaps this has been achieved on a project as important as the restoration of the U.S. Capitol.

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Sponge-Jet Cleans the Old Face of Longfellow (Granite Restoration)

Time is of the essence for any public bridge project. Missing deadlines can be costly to bridge owners, operators and contractors, and ultimately to those who rely on them for daily transportation. For example, 118,600 cars and mass-transit passengers rely on timely passage from Cambridge to Boston, MA (USA) each week over the historic Longfellow Bridge. In the summer of 2013, the clock started on a $255 million project to replace structural elements and restore the bridge’s historical character.

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Restoring Engine 19 to a Well-Oiled Machine

Sponge-Jet is pleased to have been used as the method of choice for the restoration of the 1906 Baldwin Locomotive Works’ Steam Engine 19. Engine 19 has a notable history including being the only engine manned by an all African-American crew in the Carolinas. Through much of its service life, Engine 19 would transport blue granite and crushed stone throughout the region. The steam engine was first acquired by The Railroad Historical Center, located in Greenwood, SC, in 1970. With recent funding support, its preservation became a priority to the museum.

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