The rainbow-painted gas tank you see as you drive along the Southeast Expressway (I93) in Dorchester, MA remains one of the most easily identified landmarks in the Boston area. The colorful rainbow stripes were designed in 1971 by artist
Corita Kent. Boston Gas Co., a predecessor to KeySpan, originally commissioned the artwork. Since 1971 the tank has displayed several corporate names. For the past seven years, Keyspan has had their name on the tank, however when
London-based National Grid acquired Keyspan Corp a name change was in order. DGI-Invisuals was chosen to make that name change happen.
Working on a gas tank that is over 120 feet tall is no small task. For a job of this magnitude project management and detailed planning were critical. The DGI-I team knew that using the correct material and having accurate measurements would be key to making sure the job went smoothly. Our Sales Team worked with 3M to determine the correct
adhesive vinyl to use and what installation technique should be employed to ensure the 3M MCS Warranty would be applicable.
After several site inspections, our team had the dimensions and we were ready to begin printing.
The entire decal measured approximately 96′ x 60′, which was comprised of 81- 4′ x 8′ panels. Printing was easy; it was the installation portion that proved to be the most difficult. Working on a curved surface that was 90 feet off the ground and exposed to high winds was challenging. Once the tiles were printed we devised a labeling system that allowed our installers to be able to put the 81 pieces of this puzzle together in a grid pattern. Keep in mind the installers were not able to see the outcome of their installation until they could get far enough away to make sense of it. Another aspect of the installation was surface preparation. In this case, we had to make sure the surface of the tank was clean prior to installation. If the tank wasn’t clean, the vinyl would not adhere. We worked with an environmentally friendly power-washing company to remove the 7 years of grime from the face of the tank.
Our team completed the job on time and the result is seamless. Be sure to take a look the next time you are
traveling on the Southeast Expressway.