GREAT CANADIAN PROJECTS
soil shrinkage will be non-existent,” said Legault. “Using wick
drains will help to expedite schedules, greatly reduce costs
and leave structures standing tall for many decades to come.”
The Blanche River Bridge replacement project has encountered
a number of challenges to date, such as the depth of the
wicks, the need to install them on a benched embankment,
and surrounding earth with low bearing capacity and a propensity
Typically, wick drains are installed in a wide open and
flat area. However, for this project the wick drains needed
to be installed on a bench level, backfilled and then moved
up to another bench level. With only 16 feet of travel area on
most of the bench levels where the wick drains were being
driven, the useable space for the work to be performed was
extremely limited and restricted the degree of motion and
manoeuvrability for the rig. Fortunately, APE’s light and
compact Wick Bottom Drive Rig was able to position and
manoeuvre in the limited space and sensitive soil conditions
offered by the work area.
Overcoming this particular challenge required a high
degree of co-ordination between APE and Facca. Together
they devised a plan of assembling 60 feet of mast and the
APE 200 Bottom Drive Unit to the rig. Then, after walking the
machine down the steep ramp and lowering all 160 feet of
wick leader over the edge of the bank to the machine, they
completed the assembly in the hole. Once this was accomplished,
the project team was able to raise the rig’s soaring
173-foot-tall mast into the air, where it could be seen for miles.
“This project – as with any project – has been a test,” said
Legault. “There are always unforeseen obstacles that will rise
up through the course of completing any job. Finding a way
around these obstacles is what sets APE apart from the rest.
We thrive on challenges and believe that, without hurdles, we
can’t keep getting better and these kinds of projects are the
heartbeat of what we represent at APE.”
Another complication for the project was the frigid climate
of northern Ontario, with temperatures dropping below
-40°C in the wind, combined with copious amounts of heavy
snow which fell on the jobsite throughout the winter months.
good idea into
your job site
reality is our
– Eric “Wiggy” Legault, American
Piledriving Equipment, Inc.
“When the cold temperature is this extreme, its impact on
the equipment needs to be properly addressed,” said Legault.
“But while the cold proved to be a challenge, it was definitely
not a show-stopper for us. APE has established cold weather
procedures that allow our clients to successfully operate our
equipment with minimal downtime.”
APE takes its responsibility to the environment seriously. In
1990, APE was the first to introduce pile driving and deep foundation
equipment equipped with vegetable hydraulic oil and
the company is the one of the largest North American users
of vegetable hydraulic oil. APE has determined that vegetable
hydraulic oil provides a high-quality performance when compared
to even the more expensive petrochemical hydraulic oils.
“We choose to use non-toxic vegetable hydraulic oil
because it makes sense for the environment,” said Legault.
“When you are working with heavy duty equipment near a
main water source up in northern Ontario, it is always a wise
decision to go green when possible. In this, APE’s clients are
always guaranteed some peace of mind that they are doing a
part in protecting our planet.”
The health and safety of its clients and customers is
always top of mind for APE, and the company designs all
of its pile driving equipment with strict safety measures
that go well beyond the industry standard. Everything that
APE provides comes with the appropriate safety manuals,
as well as a team of APE representatives who arrive on site
to train and orientate clients’ crews on how to safely and
efficiently operate APE equipment. The company even has
a pile driving school that offers programming to teach its
customers more about the foundation equipment industry.
“No matter where our equipment is sold – anywhere in
the world – our clients have come to know that APE aims to
exceed their expectations,” said Legault. “All of our equipment
is designed based on our customers’ needs and requirements,
and we always strive to seek out ways to make things better.
We strongly believe that something ‘well said’ has nothing
near the impact as something ‘well done.’”
The completion of the Blanche River Bridge is anticipated
for the end of 2021.
52 Q1 2020 www.pilingcanada.ca