DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK
REPRODUCTION 15” RODMAN CARRIAGE PROJECT
PRODUCTION, DELIVERY AND INSTALLATION
REQUEST FOR QUOTE
The purpose of this work is to fabricate, ship and assemble one stainless steel center-pintle barbette
carriage (chassis and top carriage), pintle, and traverse circles for a 15” Rodman gun for exhibition on the
terreplein of Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park.
B. HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE
The 15-inch model of the Rodman cannon was manufactured between 1861 and 1871. Three hundred and
twenty-three Rodmans of this size were produced by Cyrus Alger & Company, the Scott Foundry, and the
Fort Pitt Foundry. There are 25 known survivors; the six at Fort Jefferson represent almost ¼ of the
surviving examples. In addition, cast in 1871, the Fort Jefferson cannon were some of the last Rodmans to
Although there are six 15” Rodman cannon at Fort Jefferson, due to cost considerations, only one will be
mounted on a complete reproduction carriage. The 15-inch Rodman cannon tube weighs approximately
C. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
The Rodman cannon were not part of the original armament of Fort Jefferson. Instead, plans were made
to install the Rodman cannon at Fort Jefferson in 1872, in response to saber rattling from the British over
an attempt by the US Government to compel Great Britain to pay a huge sum for prolonging the Civil
War due to her failure to exercise due diligence in the enforcement of her neutrality. This increase in
international tensions led to a program to quickly modernize the weaponry at Fort Jefferson.
The six 15-inch guns were to be mounted on centre-pintle carriages, one at each of the fort‟s bastions. The
carriages were to be mounted on platforms of timber laid upon a bed of concrete. Platform timbers for the
six huge guns had been ordered through the New York Agency. On February 28, 1872 the Department
inquired of Colonel Newton whether the platforms were being prepared by the Seeley preservation
process. It was feared that, because of the haste, some provisions of the December 15, 1870 circular may
have been overlooked. This stipulation was important, “particularly at subtropical sites, such as the
Tortugas and Key West, where timbers must be cured before being used.”
The concrete foundations for two of the platforms were completed during March 1872 and the rest were
completed by May of that same year. The wooden timbers for the platforms reached Key West from New
York on May 29. When he inspected them, Colonel Blunt was disappointed to see that the timbers had
not been creosoted, and they were not as “well made as one might expect.”
Delays in getting the timber for the platforms meant that they were not completed until June 26, 1872.
The guns still could not be mounted on their carriages, however, due to a problem with the traverse
wheels relative to the height of the platform. The Rodman guns were finally mounted in 1873.
In 1876, a comprehensive inspection report indicated that “the fort‟s big guns were in excellent
condition.” In August 1877, however, Chief Engineer Humphreys noted “the heavy guns now in these
batteries and main works are on wooden platforms which are becoming unserviceable and should be
permanently rebuilt.” It seems that the harsh marine environment of the Dry Tortugas had taken its toll
and the original wooden platforms lasted only five years before significant problems were documented.
On July 1, 1889, the Army turned Fort Jefferson over to the Department of Treasury‟s Marine-Hospital
Service for use as a quarantine station. It is safe to assume the remaining armament received no attention
during this period. The Rodmans are not discussed again in the official record until 1898, when the
Spanish-American War broke out and the Army again became interested in Fort Jefferson.
The Marine-Hospital Service was required to turn over operations at the Dry Tortugas to the US Navy in
April 1900. The Navy, however, had already begun constructing a coaling station in August 1898. From
1901 to 1916, Garden Key functioned as a Naval Coal Depot. A Marine guard, to guard the coaling
station, was also placed at Dry Tortugas from 1901-1906.
Also in 1900 the Ordnance Department auctioned ordnance stores from Fort Jefferson. This sale included
the gun carriages, which became scrap iron. As a result, when Fort Jefferson National Monument was
established as a unit of the National Park Service (NPS) in 1935, there were no extant carriages remaining
for the Rodman guns. Fort Jefferson National Monument was re-designated Dry Tortugas National Park
in 1992. The park‟s 75th anniversary is in 2010 and the cannon mounting project is conceived as part of
the park‟s anniversary celebrations.
Location and Description of Park
First discovered in 1513 by Ponce de Leon, the Tortugas islands are located c. 68 miles west of Key West,
in the Straights of Florida. A cluster of seven islands, composed of coral reefs and sand, along with the
surrounding shoals and waters, comprise Dry Tortugas National Park. The area is famous for its bird and
marine life, its legends of pirates and sunken gold, and as the location of Fort Jefferson, the prison for Dr.
Samuel Mudd and the other “Lincoln Conspirators” following their convictions for involvement in the
assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, among others. In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt set
aside Fort Jefferson and the surrounding waters as a national monument. The area was redesignated as
Dry Tortugas National Park in 1992 to protect both the historical and natural features. For additional
information and images of the park, visit www.nps.gov/drto.
Fort Jefferson, one of the largest coastal forts ever built, is a located on Garden Key and is the main
visitor destination for the c. 90,000 visitors to Dry Tortugas National Park each year. The fort has a
concrete and coral rubble core, with a brick façade. A moat surrounds the fort and protects its walls from
direct impacts from the ocean‟s waves. A bridge over the moat provides access to the fort‟s only entrance,
the sallyport. The fort is hexazonal in shape with c. 50 foot tall walls. There are two levels of gun
casemates (i.e. two „storeys‟), capped by the terreplein. The terreplein is a lightly-vegetated sandy surface
covering the brick structure of the fort. It is the exposed roof, if you will, of the structure. The Rodman
cannon to be mounted in the reproduction carriage is located on the terreplein of Fort Jefferson, along a
self-guided visitor interpretation trail. Access to the terreplein is from interior spiral staircases located in
each of the six bastions.
In addition to the location constraints, additional constraints are presented by the location of the cannon
on the terreplein of the fort. All materials entering the fort must first pass over a wooden bridge which
runs across the moat. There is a single entrance to the fort via the sallyport. The sallyport is an archway
that has a maximum height of approximately 121 inches and a minimum height of 102 inches. The width
is only 70.5 inches. The NPS has a tractor, bobcat and forklift that can fit through this entry to unload
Commercial air service is available to Miami International Airport (c. 4.5 hours from Key West by car) or
directly into Key West International Airport. From Key West, transportation to Dry Tortugas is via NPS
supply boat (the MV Fort Jefferson) or commercial ferry. The NPS supply boat will be available to
transport the Contractors and reproduction carriage and other supplies necessary. However, because the
boat only goes to the park every other week, it will be necessary to schedule delivery of the carriage well
in advance. Also, given the time it will take to assemble the carriage, it is likely that at least the return trip
for passengers would require return via the commercial ferry. Reservations will be required and the
project dates must be flexible around available transportation unless the Contractor wishes to use
commercial services at his/her expense.
Other transportation is available through commercial services at commercial rates. For ferry schedules,
prices, and reservations, contact:
Sunny Days: phone 800-236-7937 or 305-292-6100; on the internet at www.drytortugas.com.
Yankee Fleet: phone 800-634-0939 or 305-294-7009; on the internet at www.yankeefleet.com.
Both of these services are for passengers only. The carriage and its pieces will need to be shipped to the
park via the NPS vessel MV Fort Jefferson. Dry Tortugas National Park can only be reached by boat.
There is no seaplane service to the park. There are no roads to Dry Tortugas National Park or inside the
park. However, NPS fork lift, electric carts, etc. will be available to move supplies and equipment from
the dock to the work site.
Please note that all pallets and other items must be below 2,000 lbs as that is the limit of the crane on the
MV Fort Jefferson, which is necessary to unload the materials at the fort.
The carriage and associated parts must be shipped to Key West, FL for transport on the NPS MV Fort
Jefferson by park staff. Prior to shipping anything, the Contractor must contact the Contracting Officer‟s
Representative (COR) to verify a correct shipping address in Key West.
Housing & Food
Shared housing accomodations within Fort Jefferson may be available to the Contractor and crew at the
standard NPS housing rate, at the Contractor‟s expense (currently $20 per night, for cost estimation
purposes). Accommodations consist of bunk beds, communal kitchens and communal bathroom/shower
facilities. The rooms are minimally furnished with tables, chairs, dishes, cookware, etc. Bed linens and
towels need to be brought for each person. The kitchens have refrigerators, stove, microwave and coffee
maker. Only the Crew‟s Quarters has a television. Wi-fi access is available. Water is available on site but
all food must be purchased by the Contractor and brought into the park. Limited trash disposal and
recycling is available. To facilitiate recycling, glass containers should be avoided whenever possible.
Individuals are responsible for ensuring that the housing unit is clean upon check-out, including food
disposal, dishes, floors, restroom, etc. or a cleaning fee will be assessed.
Note that housing is limited and must be reserved in advance. As with transportation on the Fort Jefferson
is limited and availability may affect project scheduling. Due to housing limitations it may be necessary
for the Contractor and/or his staff to camp in the campground outside Fort Jefferson. If that is the case,
the Contractor will have access to the facilities inside the fort (showers, kitchen, etc.).
The Tortugas were marked on mariners maps as “dry” to signify the lack of fresh water on the islands.
Drinking water is available today through the reverse osmosis treatment of rain water. Non-potable water
is used for toilets, etc. Water supplies are limited, however, and need to be conserved appropriately. Both
the potable and non-potable water is chlorinated.
Electrical power to offices, housing units and public areas on Garden Key is provided through diesel
generators. There is no direct access to electrical power on the terreplein of the fort where the cannon is
located. The NPS can provide access to a small portable generator at the work site, if necessary. Specific
details of the generators should be discussed before the site work.
Dry Tortugas National Park only has c. 14 employees on site. Staff and resources are stretched to the
limit. Only minimal support can be provided during this project from maintenance staff or others. The
museum curator for Dry Tortugas National Park is duty-stationed at the South Florida Collections
Management Center (SFCMC) at Everglades National Park, in Homestead, FL. The curator will be on-
site for the carriage assembly and cannon mounting and will be available to assist as needed.
The NPS has other contractors who are conducting the conservation treatment of the Rodman cannon
which will be mounted on the reproduction carriage. Those contractors will be responsible for moving the
cannon and lifting it above the area where the carriage will be installed. The carriage contractors only
need to be involved with moving the cannon to facilitate sitting the cannon onto the carriage after it is
E. NPS PROVIDED WORK
As noted above, mounting the 15” Rodman cannon is a project being planned as a celebratory event for
the park‟s 75th anniversary in 2010. The park has a separate contract with metals conservators to conduct
conservation treatment of the cannon to be mounted on the reproduction carriage described in this RFQ.
The goal is to have the cannon conserved and then placed onto the reproduction carriage while the
conservation team is still present (to facilitate any “touch ups” to the cannon which may be needed after
mounting). As a result, close coordination will be necessary for the various phases of this project to be
The NPS will be responsible for ensuring that the bastion is ready for mounting the cannon. This work
historical and archeological research to provide information regarding the platform for the
legal compliance, including National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental
Policy Act consultations;
design and installation of the platform for the carriage. Note: this reproduction platform will not
include timber as the historical one did (for obvious reasons). Instead, it will be a concrete
platform, made to look like wood;
via a separate contract, conservation treatment of the cannon prior to mounting; and
construction of a reproduction gun-lift to mount the cannon on the carriage.
F. GOVERNMENT FURNISHED PROPERTY
As part of this project, the government will provide the Contractor with copies of the cannon carriage
drawings, as follows:
Barbette carriage for 15-inch Rodman Gun, Center pintle (2 sheets)
Barbette carriage for 15-inch Rodman Gun, Details of Chassis for center pintle
Barbette carriage for 15-inch Rodman Gun, Details of Top Carriage for front and center pintle
Manual of Heavy Artillery Service for the use of Army and Militia of the United States by John C.
Tidball (1891) which includes information on mounting and dismounting the 15-inch Rodman
from its carriage, as well as how items were historically lifted to the fort‟s terreplein (electronic
copy only to be provided).
Digital copies of various historic photographs which provide examples of the center-pintle
carriage for the 15-inch Rodman gun.
In addition, the government will provide the following services for the Contractor:
Use of MV Fort Jefferson to transport the carriage pieces, equipment and supplies, personnel,
etc., in accordance with existing boat scheduling. The boat‟s crane will also be used to remove
the carriage pieces, equipment, etc. from the boat to the dock at Dry Tortugas National Park.
NPS staff will operate forklifts/bobcat tractors, electric carts, etc. to move carriage pieces,
equipment and supplies from the boat dock to the ground area outside Bastion 5 (where the
carriage will be installed on the terreplein). Note that the lifting capacity of the forklift is 2,000
SCOPE OF WORK
1. Prior to beginning work, travel to Dry Tortugas National Park to meet with the NPS‟s
representatives to discuss the project, clarify answers to any questions, take and/or verify
appropriate measurements, review access constraints, etc. to ensure that the project proceeds
smoothly. This work will include examining, drawing, etc. in situ and other available examples of
the pintle and traverse circles which need to be fabricated.
2. Prepare and submit a safety plan for the carriage installation work. Safety plan must be approved
by the NPS prior to installation.
3. Using copies of the original plans (to be provided by the NPS), fabricate a reproduction centre-
pintle barbette carriage for a 15” Rodman gun. This carriage shall be made of stainless steel to the
greatest extent possible (i.e. some pieces may require casting). The carriage must be historically
accurate in appearance.
4. Fabricate traverse circles and pintle based on measurements, historic examples, etc. observed at
the Fort during the site visit. (Historic plans to do not exist for these elements).
5. Each piece shall be primed and painted with the following products:
Primer: zinc-rich Amercoat 68HS 1 coat [3 mils /75 microns], brush applied. This primer
is an epoxy-based paint with a high concentration of powdered zinc designed for an
outstanding resistance to severe weather to combat oxidation. The primer should cure for
three hours at 70°F before applying topcoat paint.
Paint: Ameron PSX® 700 is an engineered Siloxane coating designed to resist corrosion,
high humidity, moisture, and graffiti and it can be retreated. This paint system is the
“world’s first weatherable epoxy. It embodies the properties of both high performance
epoxy and an acrylic polyurethane in one coat” and has excellent resistance to salt. The
top coat paint is a black gloss, brushed or rolled in two coats, allowed to dry for three
hours at 70°F before applying second coat of paint.
This paint system is the same one being used for treatment of the cannon and must be utilized for
the carriage, both to ensure appropriate preservation in the harsh marine environment of Fort Dry
Tortugas National Park and to simplify and facilitate long-term maintenance by park staff. The
individual pieces of the carriage should be primed and painted before assembly at Fort Jefferson.
6. Ship the pintle in advance so that it can be set into the concrete platform, prior to installation of
7. Assemble the carriage at the site of manufacture for inspection and acceptance by NPS
representative prior to shipment to Dry Tortugas. Given the issues of getting materials to the park
and the remoteness and lack of materials and facilities on site to correct problems, this is a critical
part of the process. This is also critical because of the coordination with the conservation team
and also the fact that the mounting of the cannon will be a public event central to the park‟s 75th
8. Disassemble, touch up primer/paint as needed (or paint and prime after disassemble if that is
more efficient), crate and ship the carriage and other associated pieces to Dry Tortugas National
Park. Pieces will be shipped to Key West for transportation to the park on the park boat MV Fort
Jefferson. Pieces must be packed, crated, and/or palleted to facilitate loading and unloading on
the MV Fort Jefferson by the boat‟s on-board crane (each crate or pallet must weigh less than
2,000 lbs. to be lifted by the crane).
9. Move pieces of the carriage to the terreplein of the fort for assembly. This process must not
damage the historic structure.
10. Provide all materials, supplies, on-site labor and technical direction to install the traverse circles
and reproduction carriage on the platform supplied on the terreplein by the NPS.
It is the NPS‟s intention to film the various stages of the project, from conservation through carriage
assembly, to mounting of the cannon on the carriage. The Contractor‟s representative(s) may be asked to
be interviewed for the documentary production.
F. PRODUCTS & DELIVERABLES
1. Site visit
2. Design drawings of pintle and traverse circles
3. Production of pintle for center carriage
4. Safety Plan
5. Production of Rodman carriage and traverse circles
6. Delivery of carriage to Key West for NPS transport of Fort Jefferson
7. Installation of carriage and traverse circles on terreplein at Fort Jefferson
G. SCHEDULES AND PAYMENTS
Work Element Completion Schedule
1. Site visit 21 days after contract awarded
2. Fabricate and ship pintle 30 days after site visit
3. Contractor site inspection of carriage & circles January 15, 2010
4. Safety Plan February 1, 2010
5. Delivery of carriage to Key West February 15, 2010
6. Installation of carriage and traverse circles March 2010 (exact dates to be
determined and coordinated)
Schedule of Partial Payments
Partial payments are authorized. Upon completion and acceptance of work and receipt of a proper
invoice, the Contractor will be paid according to the following schedule:
Site visit 10%
Pintle fabrication and delivery 10%
Fabrication of carriage and traverse circles 40%
Safety plan 10%
Installation of carriage and traverse circles 30%
H. SELECTION CRITERIA
Selection of the most technically qualified consultant will be based on the criteria defined below. Weights
are presented in parentheses.
1. Iron manufacturing experience, including casting and welding (25%)
2. Experience making large multi-component pieces such as cannon carriages, machinery, etc.
3. Cost (50%)
I. INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE
The Contracting Officer‟s Technical Representative (COTR) is empowered to inspect and evaluate all
work of this Contract for compliance with terms of this Scope of Work Statement. The Museum Curator
at the South Florida Collections Management Center (SFCMC) will serve as the Contracting Officer's
Technical Representative (COTR) for this project.
The COTR is responsible for: (1) monitoring the Contractor's technical progress, including the
surveillance and assessment of performance and recommending to the Contracting Officer changes in the
requirements; (2) interpreting the Scope of Work; (3) performing technical evaluation as required; (4)
performing technical inspections and acceptances required by this contract; and (5) assisting the
Contracting Officer in the resolution of technical problems encountered during performance.
The Contracting Officer is responsible for and has the sole authority for directing and/o negotiating any
changes in the terms, conditions, or amounts cited in the contract. Increases in the scope of work shall be
approved only by the Contracting Officer.
For guidance from the COTR to the Contractor to be valid, it must: (1) be consistent with the description
of work set forth in this contract-, (2) not constitute new assignment of work or change to the expressed
terms, conditions, or specifications incorporated into this contract; (3) not constitute a basis for an
extension to the period of performance or contract delivery schedule; and (4) not constitute a basis for any
increase in the total contract value.
Acceptance of the work of this contract and any changes to the terms of this contract shall be made in
writing only by the Contracting Officer.