This year’s ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition, held at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla., was sponsored in part by the NPCA Foundation for the third consecutive year. However, the impact of the Foundation and NPCA was more than just exposing the students to precast concrete careers this year. The learning was much more, well, concrete at this year’s competition.
At a previous competition, a wood-frame structure and tarp were used to swamp test the canoes, a required test all canoes must pass prior to the competition. Quinn Duffy, a student member of ASCE at the Florida Institute of Technology, was leading the 2019 competition and was interested in creating a precast concrete swamp tank. Thanks to the work of the NPCA Foundation and its network, a precast tank was custom-made for the ASCE Concrete Canoe competition on FIT’s campus.
Throughout the past year, Daryl Burns, of NPCA member Delta Engineers, worked on the design for the tank. NPCA producer member Atlantic TNG agreed to fabricate the design and donate it to the competition, and Richard Isaacson, of NPCA member iwi Concrete Equipment Group, coordinated with Bold South Transportation to donate the trucking needed to get the tank from Atlantic TNG to the competition site. Chuck Piwowarski, chairman of NPCA’s Safety, Health & Environmental Committee, coordinated a forklift rental from Sunbelt Rentals to handle the tank’s delivery to the site. It was a large effort that would not have been possible without the work and donation of materials and time from numerous companies and individuals.
“The precast industry never disappoints when it needs to come together to make something happen. The NPCA Foundation is extremely grateful to all the volunteers who donated their time and all companies that donated their services to make this tank a reality for the 2019 ASCE Concrete Canoe competition,” said Marti Harrell, executive director of the NPCA Foundation.
The tank was placed on a grassy area near the engineering building and presented a great photo opportunity for all the teams and attendees.
“All the concrete canoes were placed in the tank, and all official team photos were taken with the tank,” Harrell said. “It was great to have precast be part of the official photos that will be used by the 24 different universities at the competition.”
Although the tank was designed to hold water at the concrete canoe competition, it is now moving to Volusia County for its secondary purpose, inclusion in an artificial reef project off the coast of Ponce de Leon, Fla.
“This structure will be placed on the seabed at one of our Federally permitted artificial reef construction areas located offshore Ponce de Leon Inlet and immediately become habitat for a wide variety of fish, shrimp and crabs,” said Joe Nolin, coastal projects manager for Volusia County Coastal Division. “The reef will be an excellent fishing and diving site and important marine habitat for decades to come.”