Pier Workers Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Bricee Sanders and Carlos Dufe had spent the morning relocating boulders from the construction site that is the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier when they found themselves between a rock and a hard place, or at least in a hard place involving a rock.
According to Charles DaBrusco, director of environmental services, reconstruction of the pier had uncovered about 30 boulders, placed on the beach in the 1960s. Now, however, they were impeding installation of the pilings and walls for the pier. The only solution was to relocate them, DaBrusco said.
Enter Friends of the Arboretum. Always looking for ways to enhance the city’s Tree Zoo, that group offered to convert the boulders into a waterfall. The idea appealed to DaBrusco on more than one level.
“I don’t want to bury a boulder. I want to get rid of it,” DaBrusco explained. “These were buried ten feet down.”
Pressed into service were Sanders, of Stiles Construction, the company building the pier, and Dufe, of The BG Group, based in Boca Raton, the company handling demolition. Beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday, the pair drove the truck to Constitution Park no fewer than six times, unloading a total of 30 rocks in the field adjacent to the arboretum. About mid-morning, however, they hit a glitch; one of the boulders became jammed inside the truck.
No matter how they shook the truck bed or banged the rock, it was wedged as solid as a, well, a rock.
“I just told them to make sure the truck isn’t tilted up when they try to move it,” recalled Alan LaFoy, project superintendent for construction with Stiles Construction. “If it came unstuck, you couldn’t get out of the way fast enough.”
Noise of the attempt resounded through the adjacent fruit stand but nothing at the arboretum would dislodge it. That required a trip back to the beach, where a sturdier track hoe with rubber tires was able to lift the rock from the truck and rearrange it inside so it could be unloaded.
At 4 p.m., the job wrapped up and LaFaoy, for one, was philosophical about epic effort.
“I’m just glad nobody tried to get into the back and unstick it,” he said.