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A challenging CFA jobsite for Keller Foundations in Canada

By Celete Wilson

 

What is the definition of a challenging jobsite? Some features of the Aurum Road project certainly make it a contender.

Keller Foundations is involved with the jobsite and is represented by Steve Klein as project manager, Scott Jones as site supervisor and Fazli Shah as design engineer.

The Aurum Energy Park is strategically located in Edmonton, Alta., a major metropolitan hub of more than 1.2 million people. Aurum Road is connected to major transportation corridors, including Anthony Henday Ring Road, Highway 16 east-west and Highway 63; the major truck route north. Furthermore, there is direct access to both a heavy haul route and Highway 21, a vital north-south commercial transport artery.

The first challenge the crew faced at this jobsite was weather, particularly temperatures that fall below -20°C during Alberta’s winter. The second challenge was logistics, with impervious access/egress and with a Soilmec SR-90 rig working on benches up and down the slope. Finally, there also were many technical complexities, from the pile design that must conform to bridge specifications, to the execution of the work itself.

In fact, the SR-90 is a large rig and on this jobsite it has been required to work at its maximum diameter/capacity in CFA configuration. On their decision to use this particular rig Klein said, “The Soilmec SR-90 played a vital role in the success of this project. The relatively high stability gained by the large footprint of the tracks made navigating the difficult benched project layout possible. The large power capability and down crowd ability made drilling with continuous flight through the stiff soils with the large diameter achievable. Moreover, a large concrete volume per pile and per shift has been necessary and is delivered to the rig by a Soilmec concrete pump.

Two different stages of work are required. First, Keller Foundations is executing 124 piles with a diameter of 1,200 millimetres and a maximum depth of 15 metres for slope stabilization and shear key. These piles are used to stabilize the slope and tie it into a Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Wall that is going to support a new access road into the Aurum Energy Park. Second, the crew is installing 154 piles with a diameter of 600 millimetres to a depth of 24 metres for the foundation of a culvert, designed to allow wildlife access to continue with minimal impact to environment and habitat.

“When tackling a large scale project like this, many things need to be considered,” said Klein. “With the high risk associated with any miscues in execution, all systems need to flow seamlessly, especially when installing piles this large during the coldest months of the year in northern Alberta. The team came together with an effective design and seamless execution in difficult conditions. None of this would have been possible without being able to rely on the right equipment for the job. Keller Foundations is always trying to push the boundaries and being able to rely on the broad capabilities of the Soilmec equipment in our fleet enables us to take it to the limit!”

 

 

 

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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.