When a city has a reputation for being “a little slice of heaven,” public works projects are usually held to a higher standard. That’s why the City of Coeur d’Alene and its painting contractor insisted on a moisture-cured urethane coating from Tnemec when it came time to renovate the metropolitan area’s Northwest Boulevard Bridge in 2002, according to Tnemec coating consultant Torin Mowbray.
“The bridge is the main entryway to this very beautiful resort town, which is known as the ‘Pearl of the Northwest,’” Mowbray explained. “In this case, jurisdiction for the renovation officially belonged to the Idaho Department of Transportation, but the city was interested in making the gateway to their city look prettier than the mundane gray or green that you typically see with bridges. So they went out on their own and spent the extra money to make it look nice.”
“The bridge was last painted during its original construction in the 1970s, so the steel had leadbased coatings in place,” Mowbray noted. “Being a major overpass in the city, lead abatement and sandblasting were not an option. A dependable overcoat system was a top priority. After weeks of evaluating various moisture-cured urethane products, the painting contractor, Dave Stockwell, found a coating that was superior to the one specified by the state and used it with the city’s permission.”
The project required coating all of the ornamental steel, handrails and concrete abutments on the bridge in natural tone colors using Tnemec’s Omnithane, a single-component, moisture-cured urethane containing micaceous iron oxide and zinc. The bridge’s original coatings were covered with a coat of Omnithane at 2.5 mils DFT after being prepared in accordance with SSPC-SP2 Hand Tool Cleaning or -SP3 Power Tool Cleaning.
“Prior to this project, the painting contractor had limited experience with moisture-cured products, so ease of application was an important consideration,” Mowbray added. “Stockwell completed the bridge in May of 2002 and raved about Omnithane’s easy brush-and-roll characteristics when overcoating. Omnithane was the perfect match for this job and its special requirements.”
Located on the north end of Coeur d’Alene Lake, the city is a popular tourist destination, encouraged by several resorts in the area. The “little slice of heaven” reference was made by TV personality Barbara Walters, who included the city on her list of most fascinating places to visit.