earthquakes california construction Archives - Sheedy Crane


September 13, 2019by Sheedy Crane0

Earthquakes in California

We’ve experienced our fair share of earthquakes and thus realize the importance of seismic retrofitting. Like Florida to hurricanes, earthquakes are a fact of life in California. If you’re a native Californian or have lived in California long enough, you’ll have experienced at the very least a few tremors from time to time. As you may know, Sheedy Drayage Co is headquartered in sunny San Francisco and we have decades of experience going back to 1925, operating in the Bay Area.

 If you the only thing you remember from your high school geology class is falling asleep, here’s a quick recap: California rests on what is called the San Andreas fault—which is a huge fault that runs for about 800 miles. When the Pacific and North American plates begin to move, it creates what we know as earthquakes, and many of them occur near fault lines which were originally created by seismic activity.

What is Seismic Retrofitting?

We’ve established that earthquakes happen in California and they’re going to continue happening. The real question is what can be done about them? The chief concern is that older buildings are much more susceptible to the lateral forces that earthquakes create. Thankfully, skilled laborers can make retrofitting possible. Retrofitting is exactly as it sounds, you take an old structure and add new technologies to it that can increase the building’s durability and longevity.

In the case of California, many important and historic buildings serve to benefit greatly from seismic retrofitting. The procedure not only confers existing structures with more resistance against earthquakes and other seismic activity,  Consider that many buildings exist that are more than 20 years old, the building codes have changed considerably since then and are not only more stringent in terms of materials but include many safety requirements as our understanding of civil engineering and social needs change.

Sheedy Crane Seismic Retrofit Projects

Sheedy Drayage Co has done many successful retrofits on numerous key buildings in California in the past few decades—the most major being the retrofitting of San Francisco’s City Hall, which is the largest structure in the world to be upgraded with seismic base isolators. We’ve had several major retrofitting projects in California for many major City Hall’s such as Pasadena, Oakland, and the aforementioned San Francisco City Hall. The seismic retrofitting work Sheedy has done to the Benicia-Martinez Bridge involved 22 friction-pendulum isolators installed tolerate loads in excess of 3,500 tons—the largest of its time. Many of the concepts involving columnal load transfer and seismic dampening are unique to Sheedy, including a specially designed friction gripping technique.

Seismic Retrofitting Services in the San Francisco Bay Area

Sheedy Drayage Co has been operating out of the Bay Area of San Francisco since the 1920s. We are one of the leading contractors of crane, heavy hauling, and rigging services in California! Our expertise in these domains has contributed to our continued success over the past few decades.

We employ a staff of highly experienced engineers that are experts in designing solutions that ensure the proper execution of all hauls, crane lifts, and any retrofitting needs through the use of the latest modeling techniques in CAD software.

If you have a project that requires these services, you can contact your office of choice here!