Orlando International Airport Case Studies
Immediately following a Lunch and Learn presentation at a well-known Florida
engineering firm, Ram Jack Foundation Repair was approached for remediation
of a structure used as a taxiway bridge at the Orlando International Airport.
The presentation contained a brief case study of a prior installation
of helical piles for remediation of flood water control structures in
fast moving waters. The case study piqued the interest of AVCON, Inc.
representatives who recognized similar settlement in a box culvert at
Problem: A large box culvert and abutment structure essential to flood water control
at the Orlando International Airport, installed at least twenty years
ago, experienced settlement over the past ten years. The settlement became
evident in the overlying taxiway which would require permanent closure
if remediation could not be achieved.
Soil boring data indicated low blow count soils not well suited for any
shallow foundation solution. The engineers requested further consultation
with Ram Jack to develop a permanent deep foundation for remediation and
support of the large structure as well as the substantial live loads encountered
during daily operations, often compounded by flood waters.
Proposed Solution: The engineers ultimately agreed upon a deep foundation solution consisting
of 44 Ram Jack helical piles, each configured in a 10”/12”/14”
helix arrangement on a 3.5 in. diameter pile shaft. These piles were to
be installed at a depth and torque appropriate for an ultimate capacity
of 84.4 kips in axial compression. Ram Jack arrived on-site February 5,
2015 to begin installation of a load verification test pile in the area
of anticipated work. The test pile was of the same 10”/12”/14”
configuration on a 3.5 in. pile shaft. The test pile achieved target installation
torque at an embedment depth of approximately 94 ft. Four reaction piles
were also installed to facilitate a live load test of the pile. The following
morning, successful tension and compression load tests were performed
in the presence of the Parsons Brinkerhoff engineers and relevant airport
personnel. Work commenced February 7 and progressed at the rate of approximately
five completed pile installations per day. The powered equipment required
for this installation consisted of one Takeuchi TB1140 excavator equipped
with a Pro-Dig V55K drive head and Pro-Dig Intelli-Tork wireless monitoring
system. Additional equipment included two Bobcat mini-excavators, used
to facilitate preparatory soil work.
Outcome: Ram Jack Foundation Repair completed the installation in a 10-working-day
period while contending with live airport operations in an extremely high
security environment. Aircraft continued to operate uninterrupted at all
times during work despite several challenges and frequent site visits
by the various agencies involved. The diligence of a dedicated and professional
crew resulted in an immediate reopening of the taxiway and permanent support
of the culvert structures for all future operations.
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