Hanson plants support Dallas-Fort Worth’s supply needs

By |  October 26, 2016

One quarry operation after another seemingly lines State Highway 101 heading northward into Chico, Texas.

Photo by Kevin Yanik

From left: Hanson Aggregates’ Jeff Sieg, director of corporate communications; John Themig, plant manager at the Bridgeport Plant; and Kirk Fuller, area manager. The three are pictured in front of the plant at Bridgeport. Photos by Kevin Yanik

A Blue Star Materials plant appears on the left, followed by a Martin Marietta operation. To the right, a decorative stone wall along the road projects a sign for Hanson Aggregates’ Bridgeport Plant, the company’s largest crushed-stone facility and one of the largest of its kind in the United States.

The Bridgeport Plant isn’t the only Hanson operation in the area, though. Within a dozen miles is Hanson’s Lake Bridgeport Plant, which offers complementary construction materials to the company’s top crushed-stone site. The proximity of the two plants provides Hanson the opportunity to move employees and equipment across sites as needed, solidifying the company’s foothold in this aggregate-intensive area that serves the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex.

“I would say the majority of the stone for the DFW area comes out of Wise County,” says Kirk Fuller, Hanson’s area manager, referring to the county in which the Bridgeport and Lake Bridgeport plants reside. “You can visually see the growth of DFW every day.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex grew by more than 700,000 people between 2010 and 2015. That’s the largest population increase in a single U.S. metropolitan area over that timespan. The growth took Dallas-Fort Worth over the 7.1-million mark in population.

More growth is expected in the region in the years to come, and that bodes well for a company like Hanson, whose Bridgeport and Lake Bridgeport reserves are strategically located to support the infrastructure needs of a still-expanding population. In addition, recent investments Hanson made at its two Wise County plants should further support the region’s construction material demands.

The Lake Bridgeport Plant

Photo by Kevin Yanik

This smashed pickup truck, which Hanson Aggregates deliberately destroyed at its Bridgeport Plant, serves as an effective everyday reminder that mobile equipment always has the right of way.

According to Fuller, the property on which the Lake Bridgeport Plant sits was mined ahead of Hanson’s control of it. Hanson likely acquired the site in the mid-1940s, he says, but after some recent years of inactivity the plant was brought back online in 2015.

Hanson approached the relaunch in a big way, commissioning the construction of a high-tech plant that’s capable of producing base stone, concrete stone, concrete sand, asphalt materials and riprap.

“The [production] process begins back at our primary [crusher],” says Walter Norris, Lake Bridgeport’s plant manager. “We haul stone up from the pit and it comes right to our primary, where we go through the crushing process to get it down to a size that’s manageable. From there, we have about a one-mile overland conveyor that brings the material up to our surge pile.”
Three belt feeders underneath the surge pile then feed material to a scalping screen.

“From there, we do a little screening,” Norris says. “Some of the material there goes back to a secondary crusher. It gets some reduction there and makes material smaller. It goes back through that screening until, finally, it clears our scalping screens.”

Material is then directed to a set of McLanahan blade mills, where water is introduced to remove impurities from the stone. A four-deck screen handles material soon afterward. Some material moves to 1-in. stackers while the rest is redirected to tertiary crushers, which grind it into sand.

“That sand material and water is then pumped up to what we call our sand plant, but really it’s our dewatering wheels,” says Norris, referring to a Phoenix Process Equipment innovation. “It puts it out into piles, and we’ve got our sand.”

The Phoenix plant’s style intrigues Fuller.

“It’s not a high-maintenance plant,” he says. “There are two separating dewatering wheels. We think it’s very unique and definitely adding value.”

A system of 17 cameras around the plant adds value to Hanson, as well. For example, the company can easily monitor motor amps and flow meters this way.

“It’s a great advantage from a process control standpoint,” Fuller says.

The Bridgeport Plant

Photo by Kevin Yanik

A Phoenix Process Equipment sand plant is among the valued equipment at Hanson Aggregates’ Lake Bridgeport Plant.

Process control is equally important just a short drive away at the Bridgeport Plant, where a primary crusher takes 48-in. minus feed and produces 12-in. minus material that’s moved into a scrubbing station for clay removal.

“We’ve got the plant designed to handle the material,” Fuller says. “Scrubbers are fairly common down here because our deposit has more concentration of clay.”

Once clear of the scrubbing station, the plant discharges material over three 8-ft. x 24-ft. screens that produce 1/4-in. minus material. That material is transferred to Hanson’s sand plant.

“Going to our primary surge pile we have a 1/4-in. plus, 12-in. minus material,” Fuller says. “Once it lands in our primary surge pile, we have five vibratory feeders that take that material up into what we call our [first] screening station. From there, we’ll take a 12-in. minus, 2 1/2-in. plus material into our secondary crusher and crush it down to about 2- [to] 2 1/2-in.”

That material then returns to the plant’s first screening station, where it’s separated into 1 1/2-in., 1-in., 3/4-in. and 5/8-in. products.

“From there we’ll take a 1/2-in. minus product and send it to what we call screening station [No.] 2,” says Fuller, who adds that 95 percent of the Bridgeport Plant is automated. “That separates a 1/2-in., 3/8-in. and 1/4-in. minus product.

All three stations – the scrubbing station and the two screening stations – produce a 1/4-in. minus material slurry for the sand plant, where concrete and manufactured sand are made.
Like the plant at Lake Bridgeport, the plant at Bridgeport, which came online in 2006, incorporates high-tech components.

“When we first started the plant up it shows you parameters on tons per hour,” says Fuller, who adds that the plant can be operated remotely. “If your tons per hour fall below a certain rate, you’ll get an email.”

High-tech components are also incorporated into the Bridgeport Plant’s load-out area, which features eight silos.

“All customer trucks have RFID tags on them,” Fuller says. “A light is an indicator of where a truck should go. We don’t provide any [active] assistance to drivers. They pull a cord, and that indicates the load.”

Once trucks are loaded, drivers receive a printout that lists the truck’s weight. Drivers then navigate toward the scale house, where data is recaptured.

“It’s very self-service oriented,” Fuller says. “Typically our industry has been based on front-end loaders loading, but our customers tell us they like this system.”

Another recent development at the Bridgeport Plant is a tunnel system that connects two pits. Canada-based Redpath Mining, which offers services related to underground construction, mine contracting and mine development, handled the entire project. Redpath embarked on the project in April 2014 and completed it later that summer.

“We could have gotten to the reserves without the tunnel,” Fuller says, “but it provides more efficient access.”

Photo by Kevin Yanik

A Cat 777D haul truck works alongside a pair of Cat 992G loaders.

Welcoming the community

The Bridgeport Plant, which has been in operation since 1956 in Chico, Texas, opened to the public for the first time this year when Hanson Aggregates hosted a one-day open house.

According to area manager Kirk Fuller, between 1,000 and 1,200 residents of Wise County, Texas, and surrounding communities attended the four-hour event, which gave attendees the opportunity to learn more about the quarry and its role in the community.

“The participation level was very great,” says Fuller, who adds that Hanson mailed promotional fliers to area residents. “It was very nice to see the public was receptive.”

Hanson offered quarry tours, employing a bus service to show attendees the grounds. Attendees also had the chance to get up close with Hanson equipment, and refreshments were provided.

Hanson regularly reaches out to the surrounding community in other ways, as well. The Hanson Helps initiative, for example, is designed to encourage safety, educate young leaders and empower youths.

“I try to get our hourly people more involved because they live in the surrounding communities,” says John Themig, plant manager at the Bridgeport Plant.

Equipment breakdown

At the Lake Bridgeport Plant:
▪ Pit equipment: Two Cat 990 Series II loaders; two Cat 775D haul trucks, one Cat 775F and one Komatsu HD605; one Cat D7R track-type tractor; one Cat 14G motor grader; and one Cat 330CL excavator.
▪ Shipping equipment: One Cat 980G wheel loader, one Komatsu WA500 and one John Deere 844K-II.

At the Bridgeport Plant:
▪ Pit equipment: Three Cat 992G loaders and one 992K; 10 Cat 777D haul trucks and two 777Fs; one Cat 775D water truck; one Cat 16H motor grader; and one Cat 330CL excavator.
▪ Stripping equipment: One Cat 390L excavator; four Cat 740B haul trucks; one Cat D8L dozer; and one Cat D400D water truck.
▪ Shipping equipment: Two Cat 980K wheel loaders, two 980Hs and one 980G.


Photo by Kevin Yanik

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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