NY Steel Fabrication, Hudson River Pier, Direct Transloading, Steel Design & Fabrication


New York Steel Fabrication, Steel Design, Hudson River Pier, Hudson River Shipyard, Steel Bridge Fabrication

National Association of Government Contractors  

National Association of Government Contractors  


845 562 0860 • 401 S. WATER STREET • NEWBURGH • NY 12553

From Swimming Pools to Floating Dry Docks
- Lincoln Electric, Stabilizer, Published: December 1, 1976

How does an erector grow from the small business of fabricating and erecting elevated steel swimming pools in New York City to building large floating drydocks at its Hudson River shipyard in Newburgh, New York? Large hearts, drive, determination and the satisfaction of successfully completing a large project, like the fabricated launch facility for Trident class nuclear submarines, are a major part of the answer. Dave Plotkin and Larry Bedrosian, managing partners in Steel Style, Inc. at Newburgh, are the men who have built the projects that have led to the success of this young Company.

The drydock, now completed, will become an integral part of the Land Level Submarine Construction Facility being constructed by General Dynamics Corporation, Electric Boat Division, of Groton, Connecticut. The facility, believed to be the first of its kind ever built, will be used to launch and drydock submarines. It was specifically developed to launch the giant missile-carrying Trident-class nuclear submarines.

The finished vessel (or pontoon) will measure 500 feet in length, 100 feet in width (nearly twice the size of a football field) and about 20 feet in depth. This represents the largest “ship” ever constructed between New York City and the Great Lakes.

Steel Style, Inc. also constructed a floodable Caisson-type gate for Morrison-Knudsen Company, Inc. to be used for a part of the same Submarine Construction Facility.

The new graving dock, being built by Morrison-Knudsen Company, Inc. of Boise, Idaho, is 583 feet long and 102 feet wide. In addition to the new dock a special-purpose structure is being built for submarine fabrication and erection. Various sections of submarines will be constructed in this enclosed manufacturing area and then moved on transfer or rail cars from the covered assembly area to the open platform adjacent to the graving dock. There, they will be successfully joined to complete the hull of the submarine, which will then be placed on the pontoon or floating drydock.

The pontoon platform will be supported on concrete reinforced columns inside the graving dock and level with the land-level fabrication area. The pontoon is buoyant and watertight. Once the submarine is in position on the pontoon, the dock will be flooded and the pontoon launcher, with the submarine in position, will be floated free and moved off the columns. Next the water will be pumped from the graving dock and the pontoon will go down with the water level until it is resting on the floor of the dock.

The pontoon valves will then be opened enabling it to flood and remain on the bottom of the dock. When the dock is flooded the submarine will float free. When the dock is completely filled, the caisson gate will be opened and the ship moved to an adjacent pier for final fitting out and testing.

The fabrication and erection of the drydock for Electric Boat involved welding 5/8” and _” thick A36 plate and structural sections. There were 3/16” and _” all-position fillet welds required for the watertight flotation tanks and some of the stiffeners. This tank plate was _” and 5/16” thick. However, the largest amount of welding involved hull plate and deck plate all-position butt welds and fillet welds. The butt welds were 5/8” and _” plate with a gap and the flange of the structural beam for a backup. Fillet welds (9/16”) joined the structural members to the exterior of the hull and deck plates. There were about 7,000 tons of steel fabricated, all to the requirements of the AWS Structural Code.

For the downhand manual welding Jetweld®3 was used. However, high deposition Innershield® electrodes were used whenever possible.
The new Innershield electrode, NR-211, was used extensively for out-of-position welding. The ease and welding versatility with NR-211 was a particular advantage for the job, particularly in the overhead position. This increased their welding productivity over three times.

The savings realized in welding time by using Innershield helped Steel Style pay for the LN-8 semiautomatic wire feeders and Idealarc® R3S power sources purchased for the job.

The inspection requirements included visual, magnetic particle and X-Ray inspection. The quality controls that have been practiced by Steel Style since 1959, when their business was started, were once again verified with a very good inspection record.

The success of Steel Style, Inc. started in 1959 in northern Westchester county, New York. Dave had recently graduated from New York University and Larry was in charge of a concrete swimming pool service business. The problems of maintaining concrete pools and repairing the cracks that always seemed to develop were sufficient for both Dave and Larry, long-time friends, to develop a fabricated steel and/or stainless steel commercial line of pools, which they also erected. Their business was largely in the New York City area.

As a result of the construction boom, there was a large demand for elevated pools, particularly in 35 to 40 story apartment buildings. Municipal pools were also in demand. Steel Style is a New York City licensed welding contractor and their weldors are also licensed. The experience, testing and weld quality requirements for this city certification are very tough. This test for weldors requires two successful _” bend tests in each position. Subsequently the quality jobs turned out by Steel Style resulted in their getting a large part of the swimming pool business in New York City. Today, they still maintain their license and the pool business in New York.

Starting with two men, Dave and Larry, with their success in the pool business and with the capability developed from the roof-top erection of these pools, branched out into field storage tank erection in the New York area. Last year they fabricated and erected two 36 million gallon Liquified Natural Gas storage tanks on Staten Island, the largest ever built. Recently, they have employed approximately 230 men and they now have the facilities to construct barges, drydocks and offshore drilling vessels.

Larry and Dave have always gone after the one-of-a-kind type of job. This has required a special effort and certainly a constant challenge. Their facilities aren’t designed for the repetitive type of work associated with plate and structural fabrication. Rather they have specialized in projects requiring ingenuity, flexibility and the stability that comes from a successful job record. Larry said that the projects they seek require “being flexible and in the right place at the right time.” The reality is that these managing partners enjoy the stability of a Company that results from their own determination, ingenuity and personal attention to finding the best way quickly. Nothing less would be acceptable.

The STABILIZER salutes Steel Style for the success of their organization, resulting in their part in a very important project like the Land Level construction Facility.

Congratulations, Dave and Larry, for ringing your Liberty Bell.

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