Landmark Series: Placement of Tremie Concrete


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Title: Landmark Series: Placement of Tremie Concrete

Author(s): Ben C. Gerwick, Jr.

Publication: Concrete International

Volume: 26

Issue: 1

Appears on pages(s): 41-52


Date: 1/1/2004

Placement of concrete under water using a device called a "tremie" can be traced back to experiments done by a Corps of Engineers officer named Robert E. Lee in 1848. While Lee went on to other pursuits, successful placement of tremie concrete remains a mainstay of many large civil engineering projects. The procedures and concrete mixture recommendations have been developed over the years on projects as diverse as sunken tunnel sections in 1910, dry docks constructed under water with stay-in-place forms during World War II, and numerous bridges built around the world. Bridge construction evolved to use tremie concrete as a seal material for cofferdams or as reinforced structural concrete in the bell-pier technique. In 1964, Ben Gerwick contributed the landmark paper published in this issue of CI. For the first time, engineers and contractors had a concise set of recommendations written by an engineer who was also a contractor and who had helped develop and perfect the technique. Ben’s laboratory was the field of practice and he was not afraid to share his failures as well as his successes. You can compare what is written in this paper with the three-part series, Underwater Concrete, by Ben and Sam Yao starting in this issue to see how well the earlier paper defined the process that is used today.