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Adventures in Bridge Excavations

The Absolute
Worst Time/Place
to Run Out of Gas


Stonewall, Texas
1965

by Bob Mohel
Adventures in Bridge Excavations

Drilling rig on job in Brownwood
General Telephone Building Job in Brownwood
In 1965 I was on a bridge-widening job in Hye and another bridge job nearby at Johnson City. The bridge contractor was Shandell Construction of Dallas and I was working for Contractors Foundation Drilling of Fort Worth.

Each abutment got one pier on each side of the bridge and each interior bent got one pier. The wing walls also got a 18" pier under them. Some of the holes drilled ok, but some of them had small caves. The rock was hard so I had to put a lot of down pressure on the auger, but when I broke through the rock, the machine would drop, and scare the hell out of me. But that was ok. When it was quitting time we all went to Kline's bar in Stonewall and had a few, some times a few too many.

One day my helper would not go in the hole to see what we had to do, so I let the boss lower me down in the hole. The hole was taking on water and I was about 20 feet down, when the rig ran out of gas. By the time they got the rig refueled and got me out the water was almost up to my neck. That night was one when I had a few too many.
Derrick on Hwy 183 in Austin
Derrick on Hwy 183 in Austin
Drilling rig with Auger
Contractor's Foundation
Drilling Rig with Auger
(Fort Worth)

Photos & Text Bob Mohel

Mr. Mohel invites any veterans associated with the bridge building trade to contact him at 210-379-2977.

August 4, 2004



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