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Case Studies Ram Jack Steel Piles Save Building From Collapse

Ram Jack Supports Apartment Building on the Edge

Marshall Township, Pennsylvania

Watching the signs of foundation damage grow can be nerve wracking. As the cracks in the soil and foundation of a four-story apartment building in Marshall Township, PA, grew so did the fears of tenants and property managers.

A four-story multi-unit housing building within a larger apartment complex sits adjacent to a 30-ft. segmented retaining wall. This location provided nice views for the tenants, but big problems lurked beneath the structure. The building settled 8-12 in. As photos from August 2016 show, large shear cracks were observed in the soil adjacent to the building as well as in the foundation (up to 7 in. in the soil and 1 1⁄2 in. in the foundation). The segmented retaining wall also showed large cracks.
Photos taken one month later showed the extreme growth of cracks.

Ram Jack engineers advised the property managers and engineers of record that the retaining wall would likely fail, and action needed to be taken to secure the
structure. Thankfully, Ram Jack Ohio was contracted to begin underpinning in December 2016. When work began, excessive water observed beneath the foundation tested positive for chlorine, and plumbing checks revealed a multitude of leaks beneath the building.
January 1, 2017 the retaining wall collapsed, revealing the steel piles installed by Ram Jack to be what was holding the structure secure. Excessive rain complicated repairs. The pond nearby was partially drained and a temporary road added to bring in 60,000 tons of gravel to shore the retaining wall. Underpinning would continue on the structure.

During careful excavation and installation, Ram Jack discovered areas where there were no footings below the structure. Interior load-bearing walls also didn’t have footings. In addition to reinforcement and concrete added to shore the exterior sections without footings, the upper three stories had to be shored and footing placed beneath the walls. Ram Jack sideload brackets were incorporated into the new footing so the structure could be lifted after the footing
was placed. The structure was lifted 12 in. Void space beneath the floor slab was filled with poly foam. The property owner and engineer of record were adamant the building would have collapsed had Ram Jack not installed piles prior to the wall failing.

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