Commencing in September of 2018, Hardman Construction mobilized to the Spartan Cheese site in St. John’s, MI to begin assembling equipment and installing test piles. The General Contractor, Shambaugh & Son, L.P. out of Fort Wayne, IN, had high demands when it came to both scheduling and tolerances.
The job consisted of 10 load tests to be performed on 18” augercast piles that ranged from 45.5 to 50.5 feet in length. Once load tests were approved, we were to start drilling the 1456 piles we had laid out in front of us and install a reinforcing cage and full-length center bar in each one. Due to this large volume of piles, Hardman opted to mobilize 3 drill rigs to the site, so we could run 3 separate crews and complete more volume each day. It also allowed us to adhere to Shambaugh’s stringent schedule on wanting the first 500 piles completed in the first two- weeks so they could begin forming concrete.
Going into the load testing phase in late September, we had high expectations for how the piles would perform, and our expectations were far exceeded. All 4 static load tests and 6 dynamic load tests were performed, submitted and approved on time, and most of the piles tested were proven to 2.5 to 3+ times their design capacity! It was excellent to see this performance out of these piles since it was Hardman Construction under the advisement of a geotechnical design firm we work closely with that suggested Shambaugh go with an 18” pile instead of a 20” pile. This one switch from 20” to 18” piles saved the GC nearly $140,000 – a great cost savings for them.
The agreed upon start date for Hardman was October 1st, and we hit the ground running. It was critical to Shambaugh’s schedule that we finish all the piles in the “Utilidor” in the first two weeks of drilling, which was around 500 piles. Hardman Construction blew this number out of the water by installing 679 piles in the first 11 working days, with a single day high of 83 piles.
As with most large jobs, there were many site coordination issues that came up due to the number of contractors on site performing various tasks. Weekly coordination meetings and planning amongst the contractors alleviated most of these issues.
As the work progressed, Hardman gradually began taking drill rigs from the job. It was clear that we were out in front of our schedule, and as the drilling area became smaller and smaller it was becoming difficult to keep more than one drill rig busy all the time. In the end, we had just one drill rig on site to complete the job.
Through rain and snow, and after leaving the site for several days and coming back due to scheduling issues, Hardman Construction finally finished up on December 4th. The final number of piles on the job was 1446, which equated to 66,828 lineal feet of drilling; that’s over 12 ½ miles!
Throughout the entire job, we were able to work safely and effectively with many new employees that had never worked around a drilling rig. Spartan Cheese was a fantastic learning experience for young employees on site and an exciting job to be a part of for many veterans of the work that had knowledge to share. After our experiences we had at Spartan Cheese, Hardman Construction is looking forward to working with Shambaugh & Son, L.P. again in the future.
In the spring of 2018 Hardman Construction was selected to install deep foundation piles for the new Studio Park complex located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. Owned by the Loekes Family, The Studio Park complex consists of a 12-story parking garage, new Hilton Hotel, and a Celebration Cinemas Theatre.
The team installed 326 total 20” diameter augercast piles. Piles were drilled down to refusal where the augers tip was drilled into shale. Average lengths consisted of 35’-60’ total and full-length center bars and resteel cages were inserted. Hardman performed a compression load test of up to 550 tons to verify the capacity of the piles were adequate. Six dynamic pile tests were also performed on production piles to verify piles that hit refusal short of the required tip elevation were adequate. Hardman successfully met and exceeded the schedule presented to them for the production piles on the project.
REO Town Place Power Plant is a multi-million-dollar facility and originally required the installation of approximately 919 ea. 50 Ton Driven H-Piles with an average depth of 42’. At bid time we offered an alternate to perform a design build to install an equal number of Augercast Piles that was accepted. This offered a savings of over $400,000.00. The change to augercast piles saved the owner significant money as well as eliminating the risk of noise & vibrations to the neighboring houses. Ultimately this saved additional money as there was no disruption to the neighbors that were across the street in all four directions. Our contract was a direct contract for the Augercast Piles which was held by The Christman Company. Augercast Piles were selected due to their ability to be vibrationless during installation and at a significant reduction to noise vs. driven piles, & the cost advantages over other deep foundation systems. The scope of services was the installation of augercast piles around the existing site and drilling a minimum of 5’ into the dense hardpan that was on site. The project required that we work 5 or 6 days a week, with multiple mobilizations in order to meet the delivery schedule. Due to the site conditions, weekly meeting with project managers were held throughout the project, and daily activity meetings with the site superintendent were required. The project included the installation of 1,064 Augercast Piles for a total length of 45,475 LFT. We performed 2 Compression Pile Load Tests, 2 Tension Load Tests, and 2 Lateral Load Tests to verify the differing design loads. The project was started in the Fall of 2011, and our services were completed on time, within the original schedule, and contract value for our work.
This multi-million-dollar upgrade to the Existing D.E. Karn Plant required the installation of approximately 1,000 Augercast Piles ranging in depth from 40’ to 85’, with capacities ranging from 140 to 270 Kips of Compression Force and 70 to 120 Kips of Tension force to resist building loads anticipated upon final completion of the project in 2013. Our contract was a direct contract for the Augercast Piles which was held by Consumers Energy. Augercast Piles were selected due to their ability to be vibrationless during installation, cost advantages over other deep foundation systems & the low headroom piles that needed to be installed inside the building. The scope of services was the installation of augercast piles in and around the existing structures at the plant along with the excavation, soft dig, & protection of existing plant property. The project required that we work 5 or 6 days a week in order to meet the delivery schedule inside & outside of the building. Due to the site conditions, weekly meeting with project managers were held throughout the project, & daily activity meetings with the site superintendent were required. The project included approximately 70,000 lineal foot of 18” Diameter Augercast Piles, and 582,000 Pounds of Resteel Cages & Center Bars. The drill depths were up to 85’ deep. We performed 4 Compression Pile Load Tests, 4 Tension Load Tests, & 2 Lateral Load Tests to verify the differing design loads. The soil conditions are typically a mixture of fill material at the surface followed by loose clay and underlain by rock/sandstone material in the borings. Hardman Construction started in the Winter of 2011 and our services were completed on time and within the original schedule & contract value for our work.