Blount Island Sill Removal

We were tasked to remove a concrete sill (14’H x 32’ W x 430’ L), which was impeding the Marine Corps’ ability to fully load resupply vessels to their maximum available draft at USMC Support Facility – Blount Island, FL.

Diamond Wire Rail Saw


USMC Blount Island, FL


Manson Construction


Department of Defense


Once given the green light to proceed, we were on a tight schedule. In less than 3 months our engineering and operations teams had to design, repeatedly test a full-scale prototype in a test tank, and mobilize to the job site. As is often the case for the type of jobs Bluegrass takes on, the scope of this project demanded a bespoke saw, uniquely engineered and built to address the dimensions and circumstances of this cutting job. The Bluegrass team, including engineers, welders and machinists in our in-house machine shop, focused on completing the diamond wire rail saw on schedule.


On site the saw performed precisely as designed: the cuts were consistent and precise, and the self-aligning frame proved easy for divers — operating at depths of at least 50’ and minimal visibility — to set up and transition between cuts. Cut blocks sized for removal by crane to a maximum of 360 tons determined the cut plan: 27 vertical cuts (325 sq. ft) and 28 horizontal cuts (495 sq. ft). The average cut block was 32.5′ W x 15’L x 10′ H, with cut times averaging 12-15 hours/cut.


The expertise of the Bluegrass technicians teamed with the reliability and efficiency of the rail saw reduced our cut time by 60%. They averaged 40 sq. ft/hour and cut approximately 25,000 sq. ft of heavily reinforced concrete without breaking a single diamond wire.

Patented Diamond Wire Saw
Our innovative rail saw design with self-aligning frames has been patented.