Morris Shea Bridge Company, Inc.: "APB delivers quality equipment."


In 1997 Morris Shea Bridge Company, Inc. purchased his first CPT unit from A.P. van den Berg. At that time Cone Penetration Testing was not quite popular in the United States, so they had a hand in introducing this soil investigation method in the market. Last year Morris Shea commissioned their newest CPT asset from A.P. van den Berg, the Morooka CPT Crawler with a pushing force of up to 30 tons. At the same time they made the transition to the digital Icone data acquisition system with the seismic click-on module. Reason enough to dedicate our Newsletter column “Partners in Geotech” to Morris Shea. We spoke with Mr Richard Shea, Vice-President and the eldest of three brothers working in the company.

Morris Shea Bridge Company, Inc.

Morris Shea, a family-owned company, was founded in 1969 by Richard’s father Mr Dick Shea and a business partner in building bridges. In 1985 Mr Dick Shea took over his business partner’s shares and brought a tremendous growth to the company, concentrating his efforts on deep foundation engineering, design and construction. Today, Morris Shea Company is one of the leading deep foundation contractors in the US, the Caribbean and South America. Safety, efficiency and value creation are the three corner stones of the business operations for Morris Shea. This can be seen in the company’s drive to always provide a safe and high quality product at the right price and with the shortest possible time schedule, but also in continuously developing and improve its construction techniques and foundation design system. The 30 tons Morooka CPT Crawler is a nice example of a system with which Morris Shea maintains his position in the forefront of the industry, as it generates useful soil data that competitors miss by not having an own CPT machine. The Shea family gets motivation from the challenge of competition and the satisfaction of a job well done.

Cooperation with A.P. van den Berg

In our 20 years relationship, we have ensured that Morris Shea was able to move with the times in performing CPTs. First with an existing crawler vehicle in which we installed an A.P. van den Berg pusher and CPT data acquisition system for executing high quality CPTs. This kept the investment low, whilst having their own CPT machine gave them the opportunity to create and manage data to support their piling operation and consequently be more competitive.

Last year the company took into use its 30 tons CPT Crawler. The CPT unit is built on the relatively fast Morooka rig that makes it suitable for longer travel distances and the rubber tracks limit the risk of damaging asphalt or concrete surfaces. “The CPT Morooka Crawler is very suitable, because we do not have to worry about access restraints on a jobsite.”, commented Mr Shea. Morris Shea tends to perform increasingly more work on industrial facilities such as LNG export terminals. As a result the system has been mainly used for CPT jobs on the coasts of Texas and Louisiana and also on the Atlantic coast.

Special about this Morooka CPT Crawler is that the HYSON provides a pushing force of up to 30 tons! It is equipped with the digital Icone data acquisition system with Icones for the standard CPTs and Morris Shea immediately added the seismic click-on module for determining the soil stability by means of measuring the sound propagation speed in the soil. Seismic tests can be performed with one press on the button, as an automatic hammer system is built in. The hammer always creates a seismic signal with a constant energy and from a fixed distance to the trigger module, so it saves a lot of time and work. According to Mr Shea these well-developed innovations reflect one of our strengths: “A.P. van den Berg delivers quality equipment.” Finally, it is much appreciated that our knowledgeable and experienced Service Team is always available for questions or service, even outside of office hours.


The interview ends with the question what the future plans are for the company. Mr Shea replies that they want to continue finding safe and innovative ways to win projects and providing value for their customers. We are happy to support Morris Shea Bridge Company, Inc. with innovative CPT equipment, and wish them lots of success for the future.