The Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA) is the only association globally that exclusively represents the driven pile industry. PDCA offers the strength and experience of its more than two decades as an association representing the driven pile industry and provides a forum for members to promote driven piles in all cases where they are effective. PDCA members include contractors, equipment and materials manufacturers and suppliers, engineers, academicians and end-users that take a dedicated and proactive approach to advancing the benefits of the driven pile, such as environmental benefits, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and rapid productivity. PDCA membership gives contractors a larger voice in influencing and establishing procedures and standards for the installation of driven piles. PDCA members meet and work directly with all public agencies to ensure our industry is equally represented in all deep foundations and earth retention design and construction specifications. PDCA members share up-to-date and relevant industry information in the areas of equipment, technology, safety, business and more, so contractors can stay on the cutting edge of efficiency and productivity designed to increase their financial bottom line. PDCA members work with other non-competitive groups on issues of mutual concern to the deep foundation industry. The best way to gain value from your PDCA and chapter membership is simply to get involved. Ask any PDCA member how! PDCA chapters and locations PDCA chapters conduct regular meetings to provide members a local forum to be able to network, while also featuring industry keynote speakers from the driven pile and deep foundations industry. Regionally, the chapters host and conduct technical seminars and conferences to educate contractors, engineers and others associated with the pile driving industry. All PDCA members are encouraged to join a chapter. Find out more information about a chapter near you at www.piledrivers.org/chapters. PDCA of the Northeast Chapter Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont PDCA of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C. PDCA of South Carolina Chapter North Carolina and South Carolina PDCA of Florida Chapter Florida PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi PDCA of Texas Chapter Texas PDCA of the Pacific Coast Chapter Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming PDCA of the Pacific Northwest Chapter Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Alberta and British Columbia PDCA committees PDCA encourages all members to participate on a committee of their choice. Committee participation is voluntary; however, it is a great way to add value to your membership for those who choose to be actively involved. Joining and participating on a PDCA committee aligns you with like-minded industry individuals seeking to achieve common goals. Your industry and personal career will benefit. Contact the PDCA office to find out more about how to join a committee. All interested PDCA members are invited to attend committee conference calls at any time to see if that committee is right for you. PDCA committees include: Associate Member Council Chapters Communications Contracts and Risk Education Finance Market Development Membership Safety and Environment Steel Sheet Pile Technical Education PDCA members, especially those who serve on the PDCA Education Committee, have developed many educational programs aimed at ensuring the long-term sustainability and safety of the driven pile industry. PDCA's current education programming includes: PDCA Annual International Conference & Expo Design and Installation of Cost-Efficient Piles Conference (DICEP) Deep Foundation Dynamic Testing and Analysis Workshop Pile Load Test Options Course Pile Driving Inspectors Course Pile Driving Professionals Development Course Steel Bearing Piles & Sheet Walls in Infrastructure Engineers' Driven Pile Institute (EDPI) Professors' Driven Pile Institute (PDPI) International Foundations Congress & Equipment Expo (IFCEE) Portable training programs about piling equipment, testing and more Communications PileDriver is published six times annually and features PDCA member companies and project stories; industry articles related to technical, legal and safety issues; and other relevant topics dedicated to the pile driving industry. www.piledrivers.org is PDCA's official website, containing a broad base of information about PDCA, its members, industry resources and other industry news. The PDCA e-Letter is emailed monthly to PDCA's subscriber list to provide up-to-date information on PDCA's activities, events, seminars, workshops and member news. The PDCA Membership Directory is an annual directory that includes contact information for all categories of PDCA members in good standing for the year. The PDCA Wall Calendar is published annually in October and distributed with Issue 5 of PileDriver. The calendar includes important PDCA dates to keep on your schedule for the following year.
PDCA of the Pacific Coast ChapterDermot Fallon, Foundation ConstructorsOakley, CAPhone: firstname.lastname@example.org PDCA of the Northeast ChapterErich Kremer, R. Kremer & Son Marine Contractors, LLCBrick, NJPhone: email@example.com PDCA of the Pacific Northwest ChapterBill Marczewski, BSM EngineeringAstoria, ORPhone: firstname.lastname@example.org PDCA of South Carolina ChapterJohn King, Pile Drivers, Inc.Hollywood, SC Phone: 843-763-7736 email@example.com PDCA of the Gulf Coast ChapterMichael Kelly, Gulf South Piling and ConstructionJefferson, LAPhone: firstname.lastname@example.org PDCA of the Mid-Atlantic ChapterMarty CorcoranPhone: email@example.com PDCA of Florida ChapterChair open Contact the PDCA office for more information PDCA of Texas ChapterChair open Contact the PDCA office for more information Members are encouraged to contact PDCA if, for whatever reason, you are unable to contact any of the above chapter representatives or want to enquire about more than one chapter. PDCA Orange Park, FLPhone: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the parched Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there's precious little that is made of wood. When the designers of a new park in the Saudi port city of Al Jubail needed help with wooden pilings for walking piers, they found their answer with a unique product made in the U.S.A. Manufactured by American Pole and Timber, gun barrel pilings are specialty milled poles that, unlike other round wooden pilings, have a uniform diameter from tip to butt. This past summer, 187 of them, each measuring 12 inches in diameter and ranging from 24 to 40 feet in length, were sent by container ship to Saudi Arabia, where they'll be driven to support three 150-foot long wooden bridges being constructed to provide access to an island within the park in Al Jubail. Eric Lincoln, senior vice-president of sales for American Pole and Timber, maintains the project is the first of its kind in the Middle Eastern country. The designers, he says, were seeking a highly distinctive look and they determined that wood was the way to go. "They wanted to use something that looks really nice," said Lincoln, adding that an obvious barrier was the scarcity of lumber in Saudi Arabia. "They don't really do any wood construction at all over there. Everything is always done with concrete because there are no trees," he said. "They are not traditional users of wood, so this is going to be a very new thing for them." Lincoln says the project contractors sent a small group of engineers and Saudi government officials to American Pole and Timber's headquarters and manufacturing facility in Houston, Texas, for three days in May so they could see first-hand how gun barrel poles were made and learn the basics of wood construction. According to Lincoln, the crash course included looking at the characteristics of wood, how various treatments affect its longevity and what kinds of treatments are available for different types of applications. For the Saudi Arabian project, the timber pilings were made from southern yellow pine (gun barrel poles are also available in white pine, western red cedar, white cedar and oak). Because they were being installed in salt water, the pilings were treated with a 2.5 pcf CCA wood preservative and they were also treated with a special polymer coating to provide additional protection. Gun barrel pilings are purported to be excellent choices in applications in or near water. American Pole and Timber maintains that because they have no exposed heartwood as many square timbers have, the poles are less susceptible to attack by termites and marine borers, and their round shape also enables them to withstand storm surges better than square timber pilings. Importance of aesthetics According to Lincoln, the gun barrel poles are often used in applications where aesthetics are a primary consideration, which is why a growing number of zoos, theme parks and vacation resorts are now using them in the U.S. and other locations around the world, such as Hong Kong, Jamaica and Belize. Lincoln says the pilings are not only visually impressive, but they also provide strong support and are usually easier to install than regular, tapered wooden poles. "A traditional wooden pole is a tree that's just been peeled so it has all the normal things that you would find in a tree, but a gun barrel pole is a perfect shaft," he said. "It's perfectly straight, and it's dimensionally sound the entire way." Lincoln notes that gun barrel poles are most frequently used in place of square timber piles and he maintains there's not much difference in price between the two options. Lincoln describes gun barrel poles as a signature product for American Pole and Timber and he says he's not aware of any other businesses producing the specialty milled, uniform diameter poles in the same sizes that his company can provide. "It's one of those things that people know us for. They know that we can do them and that we can do big ones," said Lincoln. "We've manufactured some specialty equipment and machinery to be able to make them as big as we make them," he said, pointing out that gun barrel poles can be made from five to up to 20 inches in diameter and up to 52 feet in length. "We can even make them 60 feet long if we can find the tree," Lincoln said. American Pole and Timber was founded 27 years ago by William Plant and Dorian Benn, who is now the sole owner following Plant's death earlier this year. The company offers extended life building materials, distinctive manufacturing services and building materials solutions for a wide range of marine, industrial and commercial builders and manufacturers. According to Lincoln, approximately 50 percent of the company's customers are in Texas, with the rest of the U.S. adding about 30 percent of their market and international clients accounting for the rest. t Photos courtesy of American Pole and Timber
The new Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge is a steel arch bridge spanning the Willamette Slough, connecting the downtown Riverfront Park to the park on Minto-Brown Island. The new bridge provides access to over 1,300 acres of parks on both sides of the Willamette River for the community while, also linking more than 30 miles of off-street trails. The main span of the bridge is a 304.5-foot tied-arch span with four total approach spans, three at 50 feet and one at 35 feet. Combined, the bridge is a five-span bridge, totaling 489.5 feet long. The deck consists of cast-in-place components as well as precast panels for the main span. The supports are made of cast-in-place tapered columns that used a form liner for aesthetics. The foundation for the bridge consists of a combination of driven pile and drilled shafts. There are 12 driven piles for the end bent; eight for the Observation Platform and four for the East Approach. The Observation Platform piles were PP 12.75 x 0.500 x 35-feet in length, closed ended, and the East Approach piles were PP 12.75 x 0.375 x 40-feet in length, open ended. The Observation Platform piles were driven to 350 kips and the East Approach pile were driven to 134 kips. There are six drilled shafts for Bents 1-6. Legacy Contracting, Inc. was required to install a temporary work bridge as well as temporary support towers that supported the arches in place prior to installing the precast concrete panels. The temporary work bridge consisted of 46 driven piles and the temporary support towers consisted of 12 driven piles, all of which had to be removed once the construction of the bridge was complete. The work bridge piles were PP 22 x 0.375 x 60 feet in length, open ended, and the support tower pile were PP 18 x 0.500 x 100 feet in length, open ended. The work bridge piles were driven to 518K kips and the support towers piles were driven to 395K kips. For the cast-in-place deck portions of the bridge, Legacy Contracting also drove piling for the falsework. Sixty 12-foot wood piles, two 22 x 0.375-foot and six 18 x 0.500-foot piles were driven for the falsework. Legacy Contracting had to pull all the steel piling as well as the wood piling they could reach after concrete was poured. All of this work was completed in an environmentally sensitive area and done during stringent in-water work timeframes. The existing material that the piles were driven into had a rock shelf that required Legacy Contracting to drive the piling in a matter that didn't cause the piling to cave in on itself. Challenges The Minto Island Bridge is a one-of-a-kind structure from the foundation up. Although there are only 12 permanent piles in the finished product, many more were required in order to build this beautiful bridge. Driving the work bridge, support tower and falsework piling in a very sensitive area and completing the work within the in-water work window was challenging. Legacy Contracting was able to use a vibratory hammer and impact hammer to drive the pile through the difficult subsurface conditions.
Silver Sands State Park is located on the Long Island Sound in Milford, Conn. During low tide, visitors can walk across to Charles Island, famous for being the site where Captain Kidd supposedly buried his treasure after he visited the island in 1699, before traveling to Boston where he was captured and later hanged. The island connects to shore via a tombolo (sand bar) at low tide. The park is an area of approximately 300 acres of beach, sand dunes, marsh, woods and the 14-acre bird sanctuary of Charles Island. The State of Connecticut acquired Silver Sands after hurricane Diane came through in 1955, destroying 75 homes in the area. Today, the park is used for picnicking, saltwater activities, field sports, nature programs and more. Blakeslee Arpaia Chapman, Inc. (BAC) was contracted by the Connecticut State DOT to provide the foundation work for the park's phase 1B improvements. The improvements consisted of the installation of raised, pile supported bathhouse and concession area, several handicap accessible ramps to and from parking areas, boardwalks along the beach and a walkway across wetlands connecting to an existing boardwalk. Challenges Wildlife The project included many obstacles. The first of which was the sensitivity to the indigenous species and the need to minimize any impact on them. In late March, Connecticut beaches become the nesting ground for piping plovers, a small, sand-colored shorebird. Piping plovers are on both federal and state lists of threatened species. These migratory birds don't make nests, but rather use small depressions in the sand as their place to roost and incubate their eggs. In order to minimize any disturbance to the birds, it was determined all pile driving activities within 160 feet of their breeding ground (the beach) needed to be complete before their migration into the area. Approximately half of the 250 piles on the project fell within the buffer zone. Due to delays to the start of the project, BAC was left with just over a week to complete this first phase. A walkway over the wetlands A second challenge in the project was how to install an eight-foot wide timber pile supported walkway through 290 feet of wetlands to meet and attach to another existing walkway. The walkway consisted of two pile bents every 14 feet with a split cap and cross bracing. The specifications precluded any equipment from entering or bearing upon the wetlands. The solution was to have the pile driver drive the piles from on top of the walkway. The eight-foot walkway was neither wide enough nor sufficient to support the pile driver. To make a safe platform, the following changes were made: Added temporary piles outside the permanent piles. Increased the size of the split cap and extended the split cap out to the added temporary piles. Increased the size and quantity of the hardware connecting the split cap to piles. Added longitudinal cross braces to the specified transverse cross braces. Installed steel beams across pile bents. Laid crane mats on top of the steel beams. Installed safety railings for protection of all personnel working the temporary platform. Since the walkway connected to an existing walkway, the team worked their way out two bents at a time. Once all the piles, caps and braces were in, they backed their way out, removing the temporary piles and cutting the extended split caps back to the eight-foot permanent walkway width. This was an efficient method and BAC was able to complete the project on time and under budget, despite the numerous challenges encountered.
Corman Kokosing was awarded the Naval Academy Cyber Security Studies Building Concrete Piles contract in Annapolis, Md. The proposed building was constructed on a site that had undergone significant changes. Various bulkheads, building foundations and sea walls were constructed on the site over the years as the site had been expanded. Also, various miscellaneous buildings had been built and demolished at the site. Piles remained buried within the footprint of the proposed building. The land at the site was reclaimed from Dorsey Creek and has since required stabilization. The overall scope of this project is to deliver the latest addition to the campus of the United States Naval Academy. This $114 million Center was a design-build of a 206,400 sq. ft. academic building dedicated to the education of midshipmen in all areas of cyber warfare and will include classrooms and lecture halls, teaching and research laboratories, a research and testing tank to support the engineering and weapons laboratories, an observatory, offices and multi-purpose collaborative space for students and faculty. Situated between Nimitz Library and Rickover Hall, the Center will be surrounded by elevated hardscape terraces continuous with those of the adjacent buildings. Corman Kokosing Pile's experience and Atlantic Metrocast's SlickCoat piles process was the perfect combination to provide the pile foundation to build the premier educational and research facilities for the government's unique project. The design began immediately and construction on the Center for Cyber Security Studies began in late 2016 with an anticipated completion in the third quarter of 2019. Techniques and equipment Since the piles needed to be 140 feet long, a mechanical splice (Emeca Splice) was used on all piles. A 200 TN Manitowoc would offload the piles from a barge and feed the 70-foot pile piece into the leads of the pile driving 165 TN Terex, which put the crane booms within a few feet of each other twice for every pile. Unique application of piles Augering and probing was required for the 369 pile locations to locate potential obstructions, and concrete piles were driven (14-in. x 140 LF) with a slick coat application. Design of the proposed building and foundation was coordinated to allow for continued access to the Nimitz Library foundation system. The contractor evaluated slope stability. Slope stability analysis was performed as part of the geotechnical investigation by the Geotechnical Engineer of record, in accordance with UFC 3-220-01 Geotechnical Engineering and EM 1110-2-1902 Slope Stability. Methods of slope stabilization included land-side solutions only. Loading the site was limited prior to and during construction in order to avoid adversely impacting slope stability. The evaluation and subsequent remediation of the site ensured slope stability prior to construction, during all phases of construction and for the long term following construction. The pile fabricator's design team indicated that the concurrent tension/bending moment were well outside of what would be considered acceptable for a standard 14-inch concrete pile. It was necessary to maintain 14-inch concrete piles throughout the site so a superior concrete pile was engineered that would be able to withstand the stresses during driving. The information used was based on the provided: Axial Compression 180 Tons (522 kips) Axial Tension 40 Tons (128 kips) Bending Moment 120 ft-kips Construction problems and creative solutions The site location was in proximity to the U.S. Naval Academy's Nimitz Library and Rickover Hall. Limited space in and around the project site required the piling delivery be supported by the marine group's tugs and barges, which required installing spud wells to protect the Naval Academy waterfront promenade. The presence of bulkheads, seawall, piles, slope instability and miscellaneous buildings previously constructed at the site impacted the construction of the foundations. Available historical design documents from past construction projects did not accurately show actual conditions. The team prepared for many types of buried obstructions to be excavated and removed to make way for new construction work. Alternatively, it was permissible to locate deep foundations to clear existing obstructions and construct bridging over the obstructions. This alternative complicated the foundation construction, but permitted some obstructions to be left in place. Also, the piles had to be driven in a specific order so cranes could crawl out without interference. Cost saving measures Due to the extreme length of pile required, value engineering was used to incorporate the Emeca splice, which encouraged the use of concrete piles as a cost saving measure to the owner. Innovative project management The piles were coated offsite to reduce down drag with Slickcoat, which allowed for a faster coating due to the limited space onsite. The piles were all loaded onto barges already coated and ready for use. Corman Kokosing chose to use a hydraulic hammer rather than a diesel hammer due to the close proximity of subcontractors. A special tray that the power pack could sit on attached to the crane and took the place of counter weights was fabricated. This kept the hydraulic hoses close to the rig and away from potential hazards. Design changes Corman Kokosing deep foundations included provisions for locating equipment in areas that remained underwater. Buildings adjacent to the proposed site conduct research using equipment sensitive to vibrations. Vibration monitoring and coordination of work restrictions was paramount during foundation construction activities. Management or mitigation of environmental considerations The upper strata soils at the site (approximately 100 feet thick) were fairly weak and prone to settlement. A deep foundation system extending in excess of approximately 120 to 150 feet was required to support the building structure. The soil at the site was not suitable to support a slab-on-grade. Noise and ground vibrations caused by construction equipment was monitored. All work met required compliance with Anne Arundel County noise ordinance and ground vibrations did not exceed the project's established threshold value. Corman Kokosing Construction is proud to have been a part of this project.
The new Terminal 3 Headline Dolphin is a concrete structure supported by steel piling with a mechanical capstan for vessels to use for their headline mooring line. A new 200-foot-long, two-span gangway was installed on the new dolphin to the existing terminal with one intermediate concrete cap supported by steel piling. Logging vessels that load on Terminal 3 can now utilize the new headline dolphin to keep the forward part of their vessel against the dock during loading operations. With the location of the dolphin being more than 200 feet from the existing terminal, Legacy Contracting was required to preform the work on a modular float barge. Eight 24 x 0.625 x 123-foot piles painted with a marine grade coating system supports the concrete dolphin. These piles were driven full length at a 3:1 batter slope out from the center of the dolphin. With the steep batter, Legacy Contracting fabricated a driving template that was supported by one center pile and used to achieve correct spacing and batter to meet the tight tolerance required. The template also had to be designed so it could be easily disassembled to remove it after all the piles were driven. The piles were PDA tested to ensure they met specified bearing capacities of 600 kips in compression and 440 kips in tension. Two 24 x 0.625 x 104-foot piles painted with a marine grade coating system supports the concrete intermediate cap, which in turn supports the gangway mid-span. These piles were driven at a 4:1 batter sloped out from the center of the cap. Legacy Contracting fabricated a different template to meet the tight tolerance required. Challenges This project had strict marine mammal monitoring and the permit only allowed a certain number of blows per day from impact driving, which proved challenging during the course of the project. Having to construct a template to drive within allowable tolerances while also making sure not to damage the coating was an added difficulty. Legacy Contracting also drove the pile full length without splicing them, to minimize construction time and environmental impacts. Legacy Contracting, Inc. was able to overcome these challenges and deliver the owner a great end product.
Balfour Beatty US is the general contractor responsible for the delivery of the Topsail Island Bridge Replacement project on NC 50/210, which is on schedule for completion 300 days ahead of contractual requirements. The high-profile bridge project involves the complete replacement of the existing steel truss swing-span bridge with a two-lane, fixed-span, high-rise bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and associated approaches at beach end. The new bridge is currently under construction just south of the existing bridge. When it opens to traffic in 2019, Balfour Beatty will demolish the original structure. Originally built in 1954, the existing, functionally obsolete bridge is one of two bridges that provide access to and from Topsail Island. Traffic must be stopped and the bridge mechanically turned 90-degrees to allow large vessels to travel the ICW because of the bridge's low clearance a process that can stop traffic for as much as 30 minutes. The new 3,700 foot, 29-span, high-level Topsail Island bridge has a 65-foot clearance to accommodate marine traffic below without disrupting vehicle traffic above. Since the shallow depths of the wetlands and adjacent waters of the ICW prohibit the use of barges for material deliveries to the project area, the team had to put the trestle in place in its entirety to access the 3,700-foot bridge deck. By using drivel piles, Balfour Beatty was able to complete the 4,000-foot-long trestle within the in-water work window of October 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017, to begin construction on the bridge structure. If the team did not complete the trestle prior to the start of the fish moratorium on April 1, 2017, the delivery of the entire bridge could have been delayed by a year. Balfour Beatty made creative adjustments to the schedule to drive the piles and complete the trestle while meeting in-water work limitations. To start, the team worked double shifts seven days each week to drive approximately six 30-inch steel pipe piles per shift and installed the trestle structure to gain access to the next pile locations. With limited storage on-site, the team scheduled pile deliveries for on-time delivery staggering the deliveries of piles sourced from existing projects in Wilmington, N.C., Savannah, Ga., and Milledgeville, Ga., to exactly the right the amount of piles needed each day. In addition to this complex coordinated scheduling effort, the team had to work with the Coast Guard to redesign access across the ICW to solve inadequate access issues present in the original design documents. Balfour Beatty successfully completed the redesign and drove 39,870 feet of piles within the first six months of the project. Working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management, Balfour Beatty was able to complete the work using environmentally sensitive methods. Throughout it all, the team has not incurred any environmental violations, lost-time or recordable safety incidents. Originally contracted for completion by 2020, Balfour Beatty is on schedule to open the Topsail Island Bridge to traffic in 2018 300 days ahead of the contractual schedule. This extraordinary feat would not be possible without the use of driven piles. All eyes are on this critical infrastructure project as the new Topsail Island Bridge winds its way across the ICW. To date, the existing bridge, providing the only southern point of access to the island, is functionally obsolete and structurally inefficient. Its low clearance and swing-span design cannot simultaneously accommodate vehicle and marine traffic as it must be mechanically-turned every hour to allow marine vessel passage. Residents and visitors are anxiously awaiting the delivery of the new bridge, which will increase traffic capacity and allow for safe marine passage without affecting vehicle traffic flow. Special innovation in construction techniques, equipment and/or materials Designing a temporary trestle to support pile driving and bridge construction is no easy task particularly when there are access and schedule restraints, and the trestle provides the only access to the bridge for construction. Upon the award of the project in August 2016, Balfour Beatty immediately recognized insufficient access at the ICW to build the trestle and the bridge. With only six months to complete all in-water work, including the 4,000-foot trestle and its 39,870-feet of driven pile, Balfour Beatty had to act fast. The team worked with the Coast Guard to redesign the access and commence pile driving efforts as quickly as possible. However, delayed right-of-way acquisition and regulatory issues delayed the team's access to the site even further. The team did not mobilize the pile driving and trestle installation effort until November of that year, which cut the already-tight, in-water work window by a third. To recover this blow to the schedule, Balfour Beatty engaged the team of 40 field employees to work two 12-hour shifts each day, seven days each week. The trestle is divided into two parts: one trestle extends to the ICW from the mainland side and another trestle extends from the island side. With the access issues resolved by the team's initial redesign and coordination with the Coast Guard, Balfour Beatty still had to maintain clearance through the waterway. To do so, the trestle does not meet in the middle. This allows marine traffic to safely move through the construction site on its way through the existing bridge. The team coordinates work on each side of the trestle each day to avoid delays associated with crossing the existing bridge to access the other side. The temporary trestle was the only point of access to construct the bridge deck, and the compact work site provided no material storage space. Looking ahead, Balfour Beatty designed the temporary trestle system to support immediate equipment traffic and subsequent use of two 275-ton cranes that would be necessary to set the 180,000-pound horizontal bridge girders in place in March of 2018. Balfour Beatty also devised a complex, staggered delivery schedule for the 90-foot piles to be driven in rapid succession. With daily deliveries of piles, the team had to move the 90-foot piles from the trucks to the trestle quickly and safely to drive them into the riverbed each day. If the team encountered delays in its daily pile driving quota, they would have no space to store additional piles on the compact work site. Construction problems and creative solutions The annual fish moratorium and site access issues contributed to the challenging execution of this pile driving and bridge construction project. The team completes daily work on the bridge from two compact site locations and is further challenged by the large volume of vehicle and marine vessel traffic that interacts with the project area on a daily basis. Ranked number two on the ENR 2017 list of Top Contractors in the Southeast, Balfour Beatty regularly delivers complex infrastructure projects in challenging locations. The team used its lessons learned from similar roadway and bridge over water projects built throughout California to develop and adhere to a strict daily schedule of tasks for the Topsail Island Bridge replacement project. By following and adjusting the schedule as necessary, Balfour Beatty has been able to stagger deliveries for all construction materials to avoid storage issues. The team also avoids incurring time delays related to driving across the existing bridge to access the other side. At the start of each shift, after the job briefing and safety discussion, Balfour Beatty ensures that the correct field forces are in place on each side of the divided trestle and equipped with the correct materials to execute the day's work without wasting time traversing the site. This coordinated approach to on-time material delivery and an emphasis on lean construction enabled Balfour Beatty to drive piles as they arrived on site and ultimately expedite the entire project schedule. The new high-level bridge will be almost 4,000-feet long and 53-feet wide. Balfour Beatty is currently completing phase one of the project to construct the 29-span bridge, roundabout intersections, MSE walls and approaches that will connect the new bridge to the existing roadways on the mainland and the island. Once complete, the team will begin phase two, which involves tying in the roadways and switching traffic onto the new bridge. During phase three, Balfour Beatty will remove the existing swing bridge, reduce the roads from three lanes to two and add a new 10-foot-wide multi-use pedestrian path. Constant attention to the short-term and long-term schedules is a key component of the team's successful delivery of these multiple project components. Cost saving measures Expediting the overall project schedule enabled the Balfour Beatty team to avoid unexpected project costs. By meeting the initial in-water work window at the start of the project, Balfour Beatty is on track to open the high-level bridge to traffic nearly one year ahead of schedule. This type of achievement is nearly unheard of in infrastructure project delivery and it stands to infuse millions of dollars back into the local economy. With increased traffic capacity and improved commuter times, the new Topsail Island Bridge will bring tourists to the beach destination more quickly each day. It will make the area a more attractive destination for vacations, events and the retail businesses needed to support the increase in consumer traffic. Innovative project management Led by Balfour Beatty's area operations manager Jay Boyd, superintendent Mike Ewell and project engineer Robert Mann, the team has worked together to coordinate multiple project components to keep the bridge project on schedule. The established team has worked together on many similar marine projects with restricted work windows such as the nearby Wilmington Bypass project in Wilmington, N.C., a previous PDCA Project of the Year Award Winner. These proven team relationships provided a strong foundation to implement similar strategies and methods to deliver a successful bridge project for the residents of Surf City and Topsail Island. Located just 30 miles northeast of Balfour Beatty's southeast region headquarters in Wilmington, N.C., the management team filled other critical staff and production positions with personnel familiar with projects with pile driving efforts of this magnitude. Coupled with the understanding and familiarity with the local subcontracting community, this team continuity has enabled Balfour Beatty to drive 37,980 feet of piles, install 4,000 feet of trestle and nearly complete the structure of the new bridge in record time. Additionally, for the complex operation to put the 180,000-pound horizontal girders in place in the spring of 2018, Balfour Beatty coordinated with the Coast Guard and law enforcement to shut down the ICW to get these girders across the channel. Teammates Mike McDermott, Mike Ewell and Robert Mann contributed to the in-house planning efforts to self-perform the lifts over a meticulously planned two-day operation. Management or mitigation of environmental considerations Balfour Beatty is committed to delivering every project with Zero Harm to people and to the environment. Throughout the delivery of the Topsail Island Bridge Replacement project, the team has maintained that commitment and instilled a strong Zero Harm culture on-site. The team is familiar with the intent of fish moratoria and the adverse effects that large infrastructure construction projects can have on the environment when contractors do not exercise extreme care throughout project planning and delivery. From the moment of project award, Balfour Beatty worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management to learn about the environmental considerations specific to the stretch of the ICW running through the Surf City, N.C., area. They met all of the permit requirements for the six-month window that prohibits bottom-disturbing construction activities in the shallow water of the site's stretch along the ICW, and they have not incurred any environmental citations throughout the project's lifetime. Balfour Beatty has full-time environmental inspectors assigned to the project and the team coordinates monthly environmental inspections from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Carolina Division of Coastal Management and North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. These monthly inspections are instrumental in successfully minimizing delays and ensuring all environmental conditions in the permits are strictly followed. Team safety discussions at the start of each work shift include updates on environmental conditions and considerations for construction activities that could disrupt local wildlife or pollute the water in any way. As part of the project environmental mitigation plan, the team also carefully monitors operations to ensure that materials and trash have not fallen into the water. Together, with this focus on Zero Harm and a consistent attention to detail, Balfour Beatty has met the permit requirements and maintained environmentally sensitive construction practices for the environmental health of the project area.
The PDCA Project of the Year Awards recognize excellence in driven pile construction projects completed by PDCA members throughout the year. Start thinking now about your entry into next year's Project of the Year Awards. What you can do now: Choose an innovative or interesting project that your company is currently working on that may be worthy of a Project of the Year Award. Any PDCA member is eligible to submit an entry, whether you're a contractor, associate or engineering affiliate member! Take photos and videos of the project site. Using a professional photographer, a drone, your own camera or even your smartphone, snap photos and record some videos throughout the foundation construction process. If using your phone to record videos, remember to take the video in landscape orientation (turn your phone on its side). Write notes during the construction process highlighting any value engineering; challenges related to timing, logistics, the environment or others; unique or innovative techniques; and more. If it seems interesting, write it down! If you start working on your entry for next year, once the call for entries opens, you'll already be ahead! For any questions, contact PDCA: 904-4771-4771 email@example.com www.piledrivers.org
Founded in 1920 as Corson & Gruman Co., the family-owned asphalt contractor in Washington, D.C., paved and operated asphalt plants in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., for its first 50 years. In the 1950s, Arthur Cox, son-in-law of William Gruman, took over operating Corson & Gruman. Arthur Cox, Sr. purchased the company eventually, becoming the new owner. It was during the early 1970s when Corman Construction, Inc. was formed as a new company with an emphasis on utility construction. "Then, in the 1980s, heavy civil road and bridge capabilities were added to our scope of services, along with an opportunity to enter into the pile driving foundation market to support the civil operations," said Corman president Chase Cox. "Soon after, we branched out and formed two new divisions: bridge and utility. The company also moved from Washington, D.C., to Maryland in 1980 where we opened up a new corporate headquarter office in Annapolis Junction." In the 1990s, Arthur Cox, Sr. handed ownership over to his sons, Arthur and Bill, who assumed leadership. Arthur's son, Chase, joined the company in 2003 and, in 2016, became president of Corman Construction and Corman Marine Construction. Two vice president/general managers support Cox, each overseeing an operational group. These two groups are divided geographically: mid-Atlantic, which is between the Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia markets and includes the marine operations group; and Southern, which is between the North Carolina, Richmond, Tidewater and Central Virginia markets. The 2000s and today "In 2003, Corman purchased the assets of the Martin G. Imbach Company, a private marine construction firm who, since 1921, served in the Baltimore Harbor for clients, such as US Army Corps of Engineers, Maryland Port Administration, Exxon, U.S. Coast Guard, Dupont and Bethlehem Steel," said Cox. "This was our entry into the marine pile driving business." Today, the company, which has been a PDCA member for many years, has 400 employees in four facilities corporate headquarters in Annapolis, Md., which houses the main equipment facility and support functions, including finance, IT, human resources, contracts and offices for the mid-Atlantic and marine groups. The southern group operates out of Colonial Heights, Va., with an equipment and yard facility and an office in Chesapeake, Va. The company's marine group has offices, equipment and port facilities in Baltimore, Md., on Curtis Bay. Specializing in bridge, highway, marine, dredging, utility (water and sewer), underground and support of excavation construction, with an emphasis on self-performing pile foundation construction, Cox says the marine group also specializes in marine pile driving and dredging. "We service up and down the mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and North Carolina. Our primary geography is Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.," said Cox. The deep foundation industry has seen tremendous changes over the past century. In the last 20 years alone, Cox says upfront and foremost, safety has become a key value for the industry and PDCA. "The difference isn't only in how we manage a worksite to keep everyone safe, but also enhanced pile testing techniques to avoid the pitfalls of failing piles," he said. "The quality of the materials has improved greatly from better steel to the use of pre-stressed concrete piles. And, environmental sensitivity considerations play a larger, significant role in how we design and construct the work as a means to protect the environment." Cox says safety is Corman's most important core value and implementing safe work practices and ensuring employee and general public well-being is their highest priority. "Our Corporate Safety and Health Program includes policies/procedures that govern safe work practices to prevent injury, occupational illness and property damage, outlines the safety and health responsibilities of all involved, implements plans for safety and health education, training and monitoring to promote identifying and eliminating hazards and/or unsafe acts and identifies and addresses environmental concerns." Corman has an 11-core safety training class requirement for managers, engineers, superintendents and foremen catered to the transportation construction industry, including CPR, first aid, fall protection, excavation, rigging/signaling, manlift scissor/articulating, scaffolding, confined space, OSHA 30-hour, crane safety and guidelines for OSHA Inspection. While the advancements in the industry are impressive, attracting and retaining dedicated and talented employees in all trades at all levels remains a big challenge. "Even with increasing wages, there are not many up and coming individuals interested in pursuing a career in the foundation or construction industry. There is a stigma with many thinking the profession suffers from a lack of sophistication. With constant, major advances in technology, this is clearly not the case. As a group, we are not funneling this vision towards today and tomorrow's high school and college students. Changes need to be made as our industry presents opportunities and promise for tomorrow's leaders." Notable projects Corman has been involved in hundreds if not thousands of projects over its vast history. While all of them are notable for different reasons, Cox mentions two recent projects, the first one being the Main Pumping Station Diversions, Division I in Washington, D.C., which was completed this summer. This DC Water | Clean Rivers design-build project provides control and consolidation of flow coming from combined sewer overflow structures and is immediately north of the Main and O Street Pumping Station. It is comprised of a 100-foot long below-grade surge tank, two sewage diversion structures, flow channels, vent and odor control facilities and internal flow elements inside an existing 100-foot deep tunnel shaft. "We designed most of the excavation support, including 48-inch diameter secant piles and a combination king pile/sheet pile system with three levels of internal bracing," said Cox. "There was also a 72-inch diameter FRP sewer pipe excavated under an active arch sewer inside a liner plate tunnel." Two reinforced concrete diversion structures were constructed atop active 100-year-old arch sewers (16 feet and 12 feet wide). Excavations for these structures were 25 to 30 feet deep. "The diversion chambers take rising stormwater overflows over a series of weirs and into cast-in place concrete channels leading into a 100-foot deep shaft and tunnel for treatment at the DC Water Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant. Existing utilities, including water and electric services, were relocated and protected during construction." The project is on a congested urban site in downtown Washington, D.C. There were strict dewatering standards, which required water to be quantified and tested for pH and turbidity prior to discharge. Designs for temporary excavation support were subject to restrictive load and ground movement criteria and geotechnical instrumentation devices were installed throughout the project limits to continually monitor ground movement throughout the project duration. Another project that Corman is especially proud of is the Reconstruction of Berths 1-6 Phase 2, Berth 4, at Dundalk Marine Terminal in Baltimore, which was completed in October 2016. This Maryland Port Administration project is at the Port of Baltimore, considered one the nation's busiest ports. After 80 years of being subjected to the harsh marine environment, Berth 4 (a general cargo receiver where goods are unloaded and stored onsite until transport) was failing and needed to be replaced. Railroad access to the wharf was no longer available due to weakening conditions, and the docking area needed to be deepened to accommodate the deeper draft ships transporting general cargo and paper pulp products. "The new Berth 4 was constructed near an active storage facility," said Cox. "To keep it in service throughout construction and secure it from ground movements, a new 700-LF king pile retaining wall was driven in front of it. It was installed using 106 HZ10-80M beams placed seven feet apart and interconnected with 105 AZ14 x 770 sheet pile pairs. Ten-inch PVC pipe sleeves were built into the king pile concrete cap to house the 145 soil anchor tendons augered 125 feet deep and grouted into place prior to tensioning to secure the wall. After securing the king pile wall, the old Berth 4 was safely demolished." The new wharf is 70 by 700 feet long and consists of 306 24-inch, pre-stressed concrete piles. Piles were driven in bents of six piles each to support 51 concrete pile caps and 350 precast deck slabs were set on top of caps and locked in place with a 10-inch concrete topping slab. The wharf fascia wall was constructed with cast-in-place concrete and incorporates 12 200-ton ship mooring foundations, new water and electric service and a fender system to protect it from ship traffic. The new wharf includes two new rail spurs and is topped with over 40,000 sq. ft. of 120mm interlocking concrete paving blocks. Before constructing the berth, there were test pile procedures using seven 24-inch concrete piles, which were handled and driven with a 275-ton Terex crane on a barge. Corman dynamically tested seven piles to verify load capacity followed by a Statnamic test to determine the axial compressive load. An explosive charge was detonated in the Statnamic apparatus equal to 880-kips. They then measured the pile displacement and analyzed the deflection versus static load curve to determine failure load. "Pile caps were originally cast-in-place," said Cox. "We proposed precast and worked through the design with the precast supplier and Maryland Port Administration engineers. The concrete pier caps were prefabricated offsite and then transported by barge and installed by Corman's 4100 Ringer Crane. By prefabricating the caps, we drastically reduced the amount of concrete placed in tidal areas and minimized the amount of concrete needing to be barged to placement sites." What's next? As for the what the future holds for Corman, Cox says that in the next two to five years, the company will increase its attention and strength on marine and water/sewer projects, expanding in the types of work within its markets and geographical reach. "We will also continue to focus as a 'Best in Class' general contractor in our core mid-Atlantic territory as we have for nearly a century."
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