Chester Engineers’ Project Engineer, Mark Mellott said, “We were all very impressed with Graciano’s work. They filled all the voids so the integrity of the surface would not compromise the liner and I believe it was the fastest expedition of a project I have ever seen.”

Graciano Corporation, a recognized leader with over 80 years of structural concrete, masonry and terra cotta restoration and repair experience, was selected as the Restoration Team for the Lanphor Reservoir located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Originally constructed in the early 1900s, the Reservoir holds nearly 130-million gallons of water. The Reservoir’s basin was built with a challenging 30° pitch. According to Graciano Project Manager, Dave Sinclair, “The most difficult part of the restoration project wasn’t the steep slope of the Reservoir, it was the timeframe. The Reservoir concrete had to be repaired, resurfaced and ready for the liner in just three weeks.”

Graciano’s Restoration Team made repairs to surface cracks and spalls using the high-pressure pneumatic application of wet mix mortar (100-90 PSI) shotcrete—the economical alternative to poured-in-place concrete for curved structures.

Chester Engineers, construction managers to the Pittsburgh  Water and Sewer Authority, specified shotcrete application as the repair method for the Reservoir. The US Army Corps of Engineers, City Engineers, Municipalities, Port Authorities and Dam Operators routinely specify shotcrete across the country for concrete rehabilitation projects—particularly for structures with constant exposure to water.


Dave Sinclair explained, “Low-cost and high-strength shotcrete can be adapted to meet the demands of virtually every rehab project in which concrete is used. Graciano’s technicians are highly skilled in nozzle operation and control. Shotcrete’s physical placement/installation is more rapid than traditional methods, further reducing the overall labor cost. It also reduces structure downtime and all of the associated interruptions.”

Project Details

Name: Lanphor Reservoir
Completion Date: 7/1/1996
Owner: Water and Sewer Authority, City of Pittsburgh
General Contractor: Graciano Corporation
Engineer: Chester Engineers


Project Included

  • Wet & Dry Shotcrete
  • Water Control Injections
  • Pressure Washing
  • Partial Depth Concrete Repair
  • Full Depth Concrete Repair
  • Expoxy Injection

Glossary Terms

Traffic CoatingsTraffic coatings protect concrete surfaces from wear and tear caused by automobiles, machinery or pedestrian traffic. Most commonly formulated from an epoxy base, these coatings seal out moisture and damaging materials such as salts and oils. They are frequently impregnated with fine aggregates to improve traction and to minimize slipping hazards. Structural RepairsMost concrete structures are reinforced by reinforcement rods (“rebar”) or structural steel. If the concrete skin of the structure has been damaged or has deteriorated, it is frequently necessary to restore or replace the steel substructure. In cases where the building has been built with little steel in the structure, it is frequently necessary to employ and anchoring system to stabilize the building before repairs can be made. ShotcreteShotcrete is a material that combines concrete with compressed air. The mixture is pumped through a hose at high pressure, and is then applied to the desired surface. The force of the air pressure consolidates the material on the surface. Shotcrete can be formulated in one of two ways. The wet method premixes the concrete with water before it is pumped through the high–pressure hose. The dry method involves sucking the dry materials into the application system, combining them with water within the hose, and then apply them to the final surface. SealingSealing effectively closes the porous surface of concrete and makes it more impervious to damaging substances, such as gasoline, oils or melting agents. Sealants are available in clear formulations, for high visibility, high aesthetic areas, or in urethane formulations for high–traffic areas, such as parking decks or industrial floors. Polymer-Modified Mortar RepairsPolymer-modified mortar repairs involve the addition of plasticizers to traditional mortar. These additives improve the mechanical performance of the mortars by improving adhesion qualities, extending working times and improving hot weather workability. Polymer-modified mortars can also offer improved chemical resistance, higher flow, increased flexibility and better levels of compressive and tensile strength. Parking Deck RepairParking deck repairs frequently involve repairs to both the deck surface and to overhead concrete structures that may have been damaged by water infiltration or exposure to melting agents. Repairs can take the form of partial–depth repairs, where a damaged area is filled and sealed, or through–depth repairs, where concrete is removed through to the other side of the damaged surface and then replaced. Repairs may also be made to vertical surfaces clad in concrete or masonry materials, or to overhead surfaces, such as ceilings. Façade RepairsFaçade repairs involve removing damaged or degrading concrete from the surfaces of a structure, stabilizing the repair site, and filling any voids or cracks with new material that has been formulated to match the color and texture of the existing material that surrounds the repair. Façade repairs can also demand the creation of customized forms to allow for replication of cast–in–place detail. DemolitionDemolition entails the removal of damaged or undesired concrete. It is most frequently accomplished with a jackhammer or another piece of pneumatic equipment. Cementitious CoatingsCementitious coatings are generally comprised of Portland cement that has been combined with a vermiculite or perlite premix. These coatings are used to provide fire protection on steel or concrete surfaces, and are typically sprayed on while a structure is under construction. Balcony RepairsBalcony repairs typically involve structural stabilization and replacement of damaged or missing components. In many cases, due to water infiltration or damage from the environment, it is necessary to remove the facing surfaces and decking materials from a balcony, stabilize the steel framework that ties the structure to the building, and then replace the facing surfaces with new or recovered material.