Last month, I shared a few stories I found interesting. This month’s installment takes us from Britain to Florida to Poland.
File this one under “oops”: An underground train driver’s quick thinking averts a disaster. Muddy water was pouring onto the roof of his train. A second, empty train carrying investigators approached and hour later. As they neared, two piling augers plunged through the ceiling of the tunnel. That train stopped just in time. Apparently, the contractors working on an office building above the tunnel went a little too far. Fortunately, no one was injured and it didn’t take long to repair the tunnel and return the train line to service.
Still in London, file this under “wow”: This site delves deep into the process of remodeling Victoria Underground Station in London. Anyone who’s visited London knows what a marvel of engineering “the Tube” is. Updating a tube station looks like it takes a fairly high level of engineering prowess. This project not only goes through a buried ancient beach, but that sandy stratum is chock full of other buried utilities, like gas, sewers and water mains. Keller, the contractor, is using jet grouting to strengthen the area in preparation for drilling of the tunnels for the project. And you thought your job was tough. This is a long read, but well worth it. Check out the rest of the site, too. They plainly know their niche.
I also want to mention a story by David Rogers in the Palm Beach Daily News. Rogers’ reporting of public records shows discussions between the Florida Department of Transportation and the contractor building the replacement for the Flagler Memorial Bridge that connects West Palm Beach, Fla., to Palm Beach. Apparently, drilling of shafts for the new bridge is causing settling of the existing 75-year-old bridge.
A January update on the website for the bridge said contractor PCL Civil Constructors, “will use an impact hammer to drive template piles for the bridge foundations when they encounter hard rock conditions. The impact hammer will be used infrequently and only as needed.”
A PCL representative told the Palm Beach Daily News that vibration levels were within FDOT allowances, adding that “either the existing structure has a latent defect or the specifications provided by FDOT are defective.”
No one likes it when a project gets complicated, but it sounds like engineers are doing all they can to stay on top of the situation as the $94 million replacement gets built. FDOT recently announced the current bridge will be stabilized using micro-piles and would remain open for now.
Lastly, we wrote last month about Trevi’s new depth record for slurry walls through its Soilmec subsidiary. Now, it seems people are already thinking of ways to put that technology put to use in the wild. The New Civil Engineer reports that Soilmec’s new Hydromill rigs could go to work stabilizing a dam in Poland. Nearby copper mine activity and the subsurface geology left by the glaciers have combined into a shaky future for the dam. Sounds like an opportunity.
That’s all I have for now. Share interesting foundation sector projects or other challenging drilling jobs by sending an email to email@example.com.