Crews for the contractor, Oscar Renda, Inc., were walking the crane from the shore of Lake Lanier onto a floating barge when an anchor cable came loose and the barge shifted allowing the crane (that was partially on the barge and partially on the shore) to slide into the shallow water of the inlet used for the construction entrance to the lake.

“Thank goodness no one was injured,” said Lynn Smarr, Gwinnett County acting water resources director. “These things happen with large equipment sometimes. Fortunately, the construction delay should only be temporary.” The contractor reported the incident to the National Response Center because of the oil sheen caused by the loss of some diesel fuel from the crane fuel tank into the water. The contractor blocked the small inlet to prevent boats and other traffic from getting close to the site. The contractor quickly installed oil booms and absorbent material to contain the small amount of leaked diesel within the small area of about 60 feet by 60 feet. The fuel will be cleaned up as quickly as practical, and the crane will be removed from the water. The US Army Corps of Engineers was also notified of the incident, according to Smarr.

“We do not believe the small amount of diesel will be a threat to our water supply, to the lake or to others downstream,” said Tyler Richards, deputy director for water resources operations. “When we were notified of the accident, we took the extra precaution of making sure that all raw water is taken from our Lanier intake, which is over a mile from the construction site, until the situation is stabilised and operations are back to normal at the construction site.”

According to information provided by Oscar Renda, the $25m project consists of approximately 5,800 linear feet (lf) of 72in offshore reuse steel pipeline, and a range of other pipelines and appurtenances.