The Tulsa Port of Catoosa has opened a new bulk salt storage facility for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT). Erected by Legacy Building Solutions, the massive tension fabric structure provides 50,000t of storage capacity for roadway deicing salt, nearly doubling ODOT’s available storage across the state.

"ODOT will distribute the salt stored at this new location to maintenance distribution sheds ahead of impending snow or ice events during the winter," said Craig Swengle, P.E. and associate vice-president for Dewberry Engineers, the primary engineer/architect for public improvements at the Port of Catoosa. "Previously, salt was stored in the open and covered with tarps after being off-loaded from barges. The new building will protect the salt supply from being compromised by wind and precipitation."

Measuring 203ft wide by 400ft long, the structure features 16ft cast-in-place concrete walls and a rigid frame roof design that maximizes the usable interior space. To eliminate corrosion concerns, Legacy Building Solutions installed a PVC tension fabric roof with structural steel frame that peaks to a maximum height of 70ft. All of the building’s steel, components and hardware are hot dip galvanized.

"Once the general contractor completed the footings and floors, Legacy installed the fabric building very quickly, in about two weeks," said Swengle. "It was a very positive process with professional communication between Legacy and Dewberry throughout the project."

The new salt storage building is primarily cladded with tan fabric, while also incorporating a white skylight to allow sunlight to illuminate the structure’s interior. The building is ventilated with mesh eaves and is designed to withstand winds of 90mph and hold snow loads of 20lbs per square foot.

The Tulsa Port of Catoosa was strategically chosen as the site for the new facility because it allows ODOT to transport salt to the northern part of the state on a barge via inland waterway. This reduces material transportation costs for the taxpayers and provides an avenue to procure extra salt shipments when road deliveries aren’t feasible.