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Arapahoe County News

Posted on: November 14, 2019

Innovative use of Jaws-of-Life means repairs take minutes instead of hours

Jaws of life used to repair culvert

Designed to pry or cut the steel from mangled automobiles, we’re probably the only government organization to use the Jaws-of-Life to straighten the crushed ends of steel culverts. Arapahoe County Road and Bridge partnered with Byers Fire Department and together they were able to turn an ingenious idea into a time- and cost-saving reality.

This innovative plan enabled Road and Bridge staff to hydraulically straighten damaged culverts in a fraction of the time and expense it normally takes. Repairing these culverts in a traditional manner required approximately 4-6 hours of labor and cost around $1,000 per culvert. With the Jaws-of-Life, it takes only one employee under 30 minutes to make the repairs and the work can also be completed without disrupting traffic.

So unique was this solution that the Colorado Chapter of the American Public Works Association recognized the Road and Bridge staff for their innovation. And subsequently, the Arapahoe County Board of County Commissioners approved the purchase of the Jaws-of-Life. The equipment has already paid for itself in cost savings with the first dozen repairs and it’s expected that $300,000 in savings will be realized over the life of this equipment.

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