Coronavirus Safety Best Practices
PDCA members could be our best resource to determine what is working on the jobsite and in the office to combat the potential spread of the COVID 19 virus.
Please take the time to list your Coronavirus Safety Best Practices and post them to this blog. We are hoping this will serve as a resource for all PDCA members.
This blog is intended to provide PDCA members an opportunity to share their thoughts with their fellow members and is NOT intended to provide legal advice or serve as a fiinal source. In all cases where safety is involved employers must use their best efforts to provide for the safety and health of their employees.
Thank you for your interest and support. Please contact the PDCA office if you need any assistance.
PDCA member and current DFI President Michael Wysockey (r) will present PDCA Technical Committee Chair Dale Biggers (l) with DFI's prestigious Distinguished Service Award on October 14th in Las Vegas. The two posed for a photo (above) during IFCEE 2021.
Dale Biggers, P.E., a vice president at Boh Bros. Construction in New Orleans, is the recipient of the highest award bestowed to an individual by the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI), the Distinguished Service Award (DSA). This award recognizes individuals who have made exceptionally valuable contributions to the advancement of the deep foundations industry. The award is being presented at the Awards Banquet on Thursday, Oct. 14, during DFI's 46th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations in Las Vegas.
"Dale truly embodies the essence of the DSA," says Theresa Engler, executive director of DFI. "During his storied career he has shown exceptional leadership, technical innovation and dedication to the advancement of the deep foundations industry as well as the young engineers and students who are the future of the industry."
Biggers has worked with Boh Bros. for 53 years and was previously the manager of the pile driving and marine construction department.
In addition to his work at Boh Bros., Biggers also devotes time to industry associations. He is an active member of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), DFI Driven Pile Committee and ACI 543 Concrete Pile Committee. He is chair of Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA) Technical Committee and chair of the GeoCoalition Code Committee. He is also a mentor to the Capstone Project teams at the University of New Orleans.
As thoroughly documented in a three-issue series in PileDriver magazine in 2021, readers learned how Biggers was the chair of the task force for the International Building Codes (IBC) revisions, a nine-year effort involving monthly meetings of a 35-member committee comprised of structural engineers, geotechnical engineers and contractors from across the country. He served as chair of the 2017 DFI Annual Conference on Deep Foundations held in New Orleans and was awarded the ASCE Outstanding Engineer New Orleans in 2006.
Hailing from New Orleans, Biggers attended Tulane University, where he earned bachelor's degrees in both mathematics and civil engineering. In addition, he graduated from the U. S. Coast Guard Officer Candidate School.
There is still time to register and attend the DFI Annual Conference in Las Vegas coming up October 12-15, visit the CONFERENCE WEBSITE.
If you haven't already, carve out 30 minutes to view the broadcast on YouTube; you'll hear Dr. Petek explain a fascinating driven pile project on which she worked to design a foundation for large diameter piles to be driven to depths of 120-140 feet. She recalls that despite the contractor installing the piles with a hammer smaller than specified, the dynamic testing was near-perfect.
It's an enjoyable segment in which she also describes her unique entry into the deep foundations industry while at the same time disses on the University of Michigan (that house ain't so big!) To access the full podcast in it's video version, please CLICK HERE.
As much of Louisiana is still recovering from Hurricane Ida which brought Category 4 storm intensity to the region in late August, PDCA has moved the 22nd Annual Design and Installation of Cost-Efficient Piles Conference (DICEP). Originally scheduled as a live technical conference running September 15-17 in New Orleans, DICEP is now a virtual event on the same days. The storm is said to be the second most damaging hurricane to strike the State of Louisiana and has left significant portions of New Orleans in disarray, thus negating its viability as a desirable conference destination.
DICEP registrants are still able to attend the original lineup of presentations, however those will be delivered through the Zoom webinar platform. All sessions for Virtual DICEP 2021 take place Wednesday through Friday (September 15 - 17th) between 1:00 - 5:00pm ET each day. Please visit the online registration page for Virtual DICEP 2021 to secure your spot at the Conference and obtain the necessary Zoom credentials for access to the content spread across three days. PDCA has proudly elected to earmark half of each registration fee for contribution to Hurricane Ida recovery efforts in Louisiana. If you too are interested in sending aid to the area, the City of New Orleans website has lists of local charities to consider.Meantime, several PDCA Members in Louisiana and beyond are assisting in ground recovery operations in parts of the impacted region. As pictured above, a photo from a LinkedIn post from Baker GCI depicts their crews which are committed to rebuilding efforts in hurricane-ravaged areas. Patriot Construction & Industrial (pictured below) has made available operational space at its Duson office for use by out of state power restoration crews; it has also mobilized personnel in the field to support power restoration efforts across South Louisiana through its civil, hydro excavation, and deep foundations capabilities.
Several other Bayou State PDCA members were quick to take to social media to convey a sense of shared grief and community solidarity with their fellow Louisianans. See the following posts from Sealevel Construction and Premier Geotech and Testing, LLC as found on LinkedIn.
PDCA 2021 WEBINAR SERIES VIBRATIONS IN PILE DRIVING
THIS VIDEO PRESENTATION IS Available AT NO CHARGE at The PDCA Store
Subject matter expert Dr. Catherine Aimone-Martin has delivered a fresh and insightful presentation on 'vibrations' at two PDCA events in 2021; now you can receive the full, archived video version of the presentation she gave during the PDCA 2021 Education Webinar Series installment entitled Pile Driving Vibrations on August 3rd. You will hear about best practices used to monitor and manage ground and structure vibrations during pile driving. The webinar will address the origins and justifications of vibration limits found in many pile driving project specifications. The use of seismographs to develop a site vibration attenuation model will be explained and illustrated with examples from projects where claims of structure damage were circumvented or easily refuted based on sound measured data.
At the conclusion of the webinar, you will understand the following: 1) Regulated limits placed on pile driving operations measured at structures are very conservative and well below the limits that could possibly cause cracking in structures. 2) The use of seismographs deployed by qualified vibration specialists to record ground and structures motions coupled with a site attenuation model is essential to defend pile driving operations and meet construction schedules.
Dr. Catherine Aimone Martin has more than 40 years experience as an applied researcher in vibration monitoring and structure response for the blasting and construction industries. She has developed specialized instrument systems to measure structure vibrations and environmental influences on structures to develop reasonable project specifications and limits that allow construction to be conducted in sensitive and otherwise restricted environments.
Notable projects include the reconstruction of the World Trade Center, Panama Canal Third Set of Locks, 2nd Avenue Subway in Manhattan, Folsom Dam Spillway, removal of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge piers, demolition of the Lock and Dam 53 gantry crane and Kosciuszko Bridge between Brooklyn and Queens, and pile driving for the Port of Juneau Cruise Ship Berths.
Dr. Aimone-Martin is the author of over 92 publications and conducts training courses for blaster certification in 11 states. She is a Qualified Blasting Consultant for Departments of Transportation in several states and hold a New York City E10 Blaster license.
Click Here to obtain this FREE industry resource.
Here is a quick recap of the projects you will find within the publication:
- Land: Less than $5M - "Holbrook Springerville Highway (US 180), Jim Camp Wash Bridge #1602 & Cottonwood Wash Bridge #1603" by Ralph L. Wadsworth (page 70)
- Land Greater than $5M - "Sierra Point Phase 1 & 2" by Foundation Constructors, Inc. (page 74)
- Marine Less than $5M - "Ravenswood Tower 001/007 Replacement" by Foundation Constructors, Inc. (page 82)
- Marine Greater than $5M - "Port of Alaska Modernization Program - Petroleum and Cement Terminal - Phase 1" by Pacific Pile & Marine (page 90)
- Earth Retention - "Mill Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant High Rate Treatment Facility Diversion Structure" by Richard Goettle, Inc. (page 96)
- Associate/Engineering Affiliate Category - "Harbor River Bridge Project" by ICE - International Construction Equipment, Inc. (page 100)
And the time is now to start thinking about what projects you are completing this year and would become eligible for entry in The PDCA 2022 Project of the Year Program. PDCA will open for submissions in January 2022.
(L-R): Jordan Pile Driving CEO Curtis Johnson, Office Manager Stephanie Baugh, Project Manager Charles Ernest III
Nestled on the edge of downtown Mobile, Alabama sits the home office of Jordan Pile Driving. Here you will find company leadership, project managers and a support staff going about their day-to-day business. That business just happens to be building many of the roads, bridges and other infrastructure installations you probably already saw when you drove through Alabama and Mobile, on the way to visit them. In case you need refreshed, just stroll down the long central hallway that connects all the individual offices. It's lined with dozens of impressive, framed aerial photos depicting completed job after completed job.
And yes, Jordan Pile Driving has a significant company history with PDCA. D.R. Jordan served two separate terms as PDCA President in the early 2000's. D.R., now retired, was the second generation Jordan to own the company. Visit the company website for a short, but fascinating read on how this foundation company, itself was founded. Presently, D.R.'s son Don Jordan Jr. is the President as it reaches a milestone anniversary this year.
During a recent visit to meet Don and his team at Jordan Pile Driving, we were treated to a unique story about one of Jordan's major jobs that was completed not once, but twice. As CEO Curtis Johnson tells us, Jordan was selected back in the 1960's by the Alabama Electric Cooperative to install a steel pile foundation for a new coal-fired power plant to be known as the Charles R. Lowman plant. It initially went online in 1969, and once it reached full operation (after subsequent phases), it delivered a total generating capacity of 556MW. For decades, this facility powered many Alabama homes and businesses.
Well, times change. New technologies, social movements and environmental concerns have resulted in a declining demand for coal generated power. Fast forward to today. The once-named Alabama Electric Cooperative has a new name - it's now PowerSouth Energy Cooperative. It still owns the sprawling Washington County property and delivers power to many Alabamans, however, it has retired the aged Lowman facility. In 2019, it pursued plans to develop a gas powered generator on the same property and turned back to their original deep foundation contractor. Yes, it was Jordan who came back to the rural Alabama location near Leroy and again drove steel H-piles for the generating station - 1100 HP in all. The foundation phase was led by Jordan Project Manager Charles Ernest III and is now complete. However, construction continues on the facility and it is expected to go online in a June 2023 commissioning.
Jordan Pile Driving was founded in 1946 which means it reaches its 75th year in business this year. While Curtis doesn't share the secrets to their longevity and success, it is notable that they get repeat customers and that's always good for business. Curtis says at Jordan, the business philosophy is simple; a driven pile is a tested pile. We couldn't agree more!
PDCA extends it's warmest congratulations to Jordan Pile Driving!
(Please note - we have no data or permission to support the following claim): Garrett Smith of the PVE Equipment Texas office sells more equipment when he wears his hat than when he doesn't. He'll be at the Sept. 23rd PDCA 2021 Houston Social; if he's rolls up with the Stetson, you've been advised.
Cowboy hats are optional, but plan to be there for the PDCA 2021 Houston Social. It is scheduled to take place on September 23rd at True Anomaly Brewing (2012 Dallas Street, Houston, TX 77003) from 5:30-7:30 PM CDT. This is a networking event and will include a short program from PDCA discussing the value of establishing a formal, Chapter presence in the South Texas region.
Do you want more incentive to come? Well, it's a FREE event for the entire pile driving industry, PDCA members and non-members alike. Oh, and we will be providing house draft beer and snacks.
Also, PDCA is inviting sponsors for this event, if you are interested, there is room for your company name and logo.
We hope to see you next month for the PDCA 2021 Houston Social. For more information, register and/or sponsor this event, please click the button below:
Attendees enjoyed a social hour prior to a dinner and program. Chapter President Kirt Jackson presided over a short business meeting of the Chapter membership. PDCA Executive Director Frank Peters attended and briefed members on news and upcoming event information for the pile driving industry. The event was sponsored by American Piledriving Equipment (APE) and Nucor Skyline. Andres Buritica, a Business Development representative from Skyline gave a short program.
PDCA thanks the Gulf Coast Chapter for continuing to provide a strong and active, local presence in Louisiana and beyond. Additionally, the Chapter has assisted PDCA in coordinating a special site visit at member company Gulf Coast Pre-Stress Partners (Pass Christian, MS) as an optional field trip during the upcoming DICEP technical conference to be held September 15-17 in New Orleans.
The PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter has scheduled it's fourth and final meeting of 2021 for November 18th; it will take place at Messina's Restaurant in Kenner, LA. More information and registration will be available closer to the event.
PDCA E.D. Frank Peters updates Gulf Coast Chapter during Q3 meeting
Andres Buritica of Nucor Skyline presents technical program to Chapter
- Coronavirus Safety Best Practices
- Biggers to be Recognized With Prestigious, Industry Distinction
- PODCAST of interest: Geotech perspectives on large diameter piles
- Ida Forces DICEP Online; PDCA Members Assist Storm Recovery
- FREE Resource: Access expert webcast on pile driving vibrations
- A Pile of News - September 2021
- PileDriver magazine - See the Project of the Year winners
- Jordan Pile Driving Reaches 75 Years in Business
- Y'all Come Join Us for the PDCA 2021 Houston Social
- Gulf Coast Chapter Hosts Dinner, Program at L'Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge