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Helical Piles for Boardwalks, Pedestrian Bridges, and Bat Boxes in Environmentally Sensitive Areas
To build off our previous article entitled “Foundations in Environmentally Sensitive Areas”, we wanted to provide an example of a project where this occurred. Our Techno Metal Post Hamilton-Durham team in Ontario, CANADA, whom has been installing helical piles in the greater Toronto area for over 15 years, has completed many projects successfully in sensitive areas. Here is a project that had a mix of structures needing foundations throughout an environmentally sensitive area.
The East Humber Trail, in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, is a 2.9 km recreational trail made up of four (4) boardwalks, four (4) pedestrian bridges, and four (4) bat boxes. In September 2012, this nature trail opened to the public to enjoy walking, hiking, jogging and the natural landscape. The area covers several topographies such as woodlands, meadows, and wetlands, providing diverse habitats for many wildlife species, especially a wide variety of birds, which can be observed.
After making a presentation to local City Officials and Engineers, Techno Metal Post Hamilton-Durham (TMPHD) was contracted to install helical piles for all the boardwalks, pedestrian bridges, and bat boxes along the entire trail. TMPHD clearly demonstrated this project could be completed in less time than other options considered and save the municipality significant money. This ultimately was the determining factor in TMPHD securing the project.
The Techno Metal Post Engineering Department reviewed the project requirements and confirmed that P2 and P5 piles with a 24-inch helix, at varying depths of 5-8 feet and up to 17 feet in organic soils, would be the most effective solution for a project of this scope and application. Initially, consideration was given to using a pile with two (2) helices (10” and 12” diameters, respectively) at an average depth of 28 feet. However, it was then decided that using a single helix (20” to 24”) pile was more cost-effective, giving more than double the service area at the desired depth.
Because all installation locations for this project were in open spaces and environmentally sensitive areas, fields, wetlands, and woodlands, TMPHD needed to ensure that all on-site work had the least impact on the environment and natural habitats. With the R2D and EM1 (both of which use vegetable oil as hydraulic fluid), TMPHD was able to install all helical piles with minimal disruption to the environment, including little noise and no vibration. The flora and fauna and their habitats remained protected and undisturbed throughout the work.
If you would like more details about the project, please visit the following link.
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by Nadia Tardif