U.S. Federal Building Protected by Reliance Foundry Bollards
On the morning of September 11, 2001, as news reports were released of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon, many individuals who worked in government buildings at the time couldn’t help but wonder if they would also be targeted. An Assistant District Attorney in a Pennsylvania Courthouse stated, "We all gathered around the television and wondered if our building would be next..."
Finding the balance between providing responsible security and functioning in a non-fear-based way is an ongoing endeavour. Recently, U.S. Marshals decided to implement a precautionary measure to protect employees of the Gene Snyder U.S. Courthouse and Custom House in Louisville, Kentucky.
The U.S. Marshals have funded a project in which concrete-filled steel bollards embedded in concrete are being installed around the building perimeter starting in October, 2011. These bollards provide the utmost in security to prevent terrorist activity through the use of vehicles. Each bollard is fitted with a decorative two-piece ductile iron bollard cover (bollard base, c/w ball-shaped bollard cap), which is more aesthetic than a plain steel pipe and also provides even more strength for protection. These bollards are substantial; the bollard covers themselves weigh over 250 lbs., and stand 53” high above the grade.
Vehicle bombs are effective as weapons as they allow a terrorist an easy way to transport large amounts of explosives and flammable material to the site where they want the explosion to take place. U.S. Marshal Jim Clark said that damage increases the closer a vehicle explosion is to a building.
Reliance Foundry provided the model R-7593 ductile-iron bollard covers for this project. Reliance Foundry Vice President, Brad Done, said that they are proud to be assisting the U.S. Marshals in protecting one of the United States’ historical buildings in this way: "Sometimes builders opt to use smaller, less expensive cast iron bollards to provide security - or they weld decorative caps onto steel pipe; Reliance Foundry’s two-piece, ductile-iron security bollard cover is the strongest, largest and most substantial competitive decorative option for this type of project."
“We work constantly with architects and designers who need to maintain the design integrity of a building, while providing security to the people and the building contents. In projects where buildings have a highly public historical significance, like the Gene Snyder U.S. Courthouse Building, this was especially important.”
A few U.S. citizens have expressed concern that a Canadian company was used to provide the bollard covers, even though the major cost items of the secure perimter were sourced in the U.S., and the installation was by a U.S. company. However, what many may not fully appreciate is the longstanding relationship between the U.S. and Canada - and the ongoing joint efforts to protect all of the citizens of both countries. Relations between the two countries have spanned more than two centuries, and the U.S. and Canada represent one of the most successful international relations in the world. Each is the other's chief economic partner, they share the world’s longest border, and there is significant interoperability within the defence sphere.
American defence arrangements with Canada are more extensive than any other country. As a Canadian company, Reliance Foundry views helping protect a U.S. federal building with as much of a privilege as they would if it were a Canadian Government building.
The day after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, which damaged 324 buildings, including 10 that collapsed and 13 that were condemned, President Bill Clinton ordered the Justice Department to assess the vulnerability of all federal facilities to acts of violence. The result was a set of standards for new buildings that required them to be blast-resistant and set back a good distance from streets. For existing buildings that did not meet the distance criteria, the options are to close the street or to erect barriers to protect them from vehicle infringement. Security bollards meet this protection requirement.
Although many may see the added security measures taken as unnecessary - those responsible for safety and security would rather err on the side of protection. Security bollards are used by federal buildings, retailers, convention centers, schools and residential buildings - everywhere to prevent unlawful access, damage and injury caused by vehicles. They are relatively simple to install and with all of the decorative bollard cover options available, they can compliment the building and site design.
The exact numbers of pedestrians, cyclists, and building employees whose lives have been saved because someone made the decision to install security bollards will never be known; but that is the whole point of having them: to prevent the tragedy from even happening - and Reliance Foundry is grateful to be a part of it.
About Reliance Foundry Co. Ltd.
Reliance Foundry has been a family-owned business since 1927. Bike parking products are one of its main product lines, along with bollards, industrial wheels and investment castings. Reliance sources products globally and offers quick and convenient delivery in the United States and Canada from its Vancouver location.
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