New invention designed to help break ice jams in Fremont

Helicopter pilot Brent Wulf has spent the last year working on “L’Hexagone”. It’s a tool

For him, it is a common sense solution.

“The idea of ​​a wrecking ball is not a new idea,” Wulf said.

Wulf started thinking when a team was sent out last winter to clear an ice jam.

“I was told it was $50,000 to get the blasting crew here a year ago and they didn’t even throw dynamite,” Wulf said.

He knew there had to be a faster, more affordable way to get the job done.

The Hexagon is a 500lb. metal weight kept afloat by two barrels. It was used to break up ice almost a foot thick.

“It was just enough to break off a piece the size of this building,” Wulf said.

After being dropped, the Hexagon is lifted into the air by an electromagnet and a sturdy rope that can hold over a thousand pounds.

Tuesday was the second time Wulf used it.

“Just putting the weight on the ice was enough to break it,” Wulf said.

As of Wednesday, the Platte River jam has been mostly slush and chunks of ice, so Wulf dragged the Hex instead of dropping it. It can be tricky to get the magnet in place and this method has worked for moving the slush.

Wulf sees his invention as a handy tool when you need a quick fix.

“If it’s a smaller one or something it’s capable of, we could probably fly for two weeks straight for $50,000,” Wulf said.

The Papio NRD is usually responsible for clearing jams. Six News is told they may see Hexagon as a useful tool, but they don’t plan to break the impasse themselves.

The jam is seasonal and average. Instead, they said the focus should be on repairing levees.