SALEM — A convoy of 100 cement trucks will roll to the Footprint Power construction site Saturday morning, continuing foundation work for the massive complex.

About 1,200 cubic yards of concrete will be delivered to the construction site starting 2 a.m. Saturday, Footprint President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Silverstein said.

The trucks will travel on Bridge Street to Webb Street, according to Dominick Pangallo, chief of staff to Mayor Kim Driscoll. No road closures are expected.

Planning for the cement truck convoy has proven to be a logistical challenge, according to Silverstein.

“There are a lot of logistics involved with the cement company, the trucking, the contractors and the city,” he said. “Getting it right, and making sure they do everything they can to minimize the disruption of the neighborhoods, is important.”

The process is similar to what homeowners see when a foundation is poured for a future home — except the scale is about 10 times bigger, Silverstein said.

“Think about the size of the site, the size of the machines and the thickness of the pad we need to withstand the weight of the equipment that’s going to be built on it,” Silverstein said.

To pour the foundation, about 600 concrete piles have already been driven 50 to 60 feet into the soil, Silverstein said. 

The foundation work is one of the first phases of the project to impact traffic on Salem streets, according to Silverstein. Most work to this point — including demolition equipment — has taken advantage of the seaside access to the site.

Two loads of structural fill totaling more than 1,000 tons and many of the concrete piles have come in by ship, according to Silverstein. But bringing concrete in that way isn’t practical.

“The contractor worked with the city police department and traffic folks to find the time that provided the least disruption,” Silverstein said. But “when you bring 100 trucks through the city, it’s going to be disruptive.”

This weekend’s delivery is only the first concrete delivery.

“There will be roughly one a week for the next six or seven weeks to get enough cement in to fill these foundations,” Silverstein said. “Each gas turbine will have a foundation. Each heat-recovery steam generator will have its own foundation, and each stack will have its own foundation.”

Construction will continue for the next two years, with the new, 674-megawatt plant coming online in July 2017. When it’s operational, the plant is expected to power more than 600,000 homes in New England.

For Salem news and story inquiries, email dluca@salemnews.com, call 978-338-2523 or message @DustinLucaSN on Twitter.

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