Crews handle variety of tough conditions on remote power line project

By Kevin Sharp, Don Henry and John Wilson

Drilling 67-foot shafts and installing large-diameter caissons into solid rock can be a challenge for even the most skilled drilling contractor. Doing so in an extremely remote location nearly 400 kilometres (250 miles) from the nearest town as winter weather quickly encroaches adds a new level of complexity. Steep cliffs, demanding soil conditions and limited equipment repair services meant the project team was forced to adjust the project’s trajectory on the fly. Without cell coverage, crews communicated with each other and the concrete batch plant via two-way radios.

Crews from Sharp’s Construction Services (Leduc, Alta.) and Henry Drilling (Langley, B.C.) joined forces to drill the foundations for transmission towers for the new 344-kilometre (213 miles) Northwest Transmission Line project in B.C. The work was performed under the general contractors’ joint venture of Valard Construction (Edmonton, Alta.) and Burns & McDonnell (Kansas City, Kan.) for the owner BC Hydro.

Courtesy of Soilmec NAA light year’s worth of advancements

By Vincent Jue and Stephen Wilson

Soilmec brought the first European-style drilling rig to the Canadian underground construction market 15 years ago, in 1998. Today, there are around 325 Soilmec rigs in use across Canada. Some people might call us “pioneers,” but we simply consider ourselves to be the deliverers of the best available technology to our customers.

We’ve introduced several new construction technologies to the Canadian market, such as continuous flight auger (CFA) for drilled shafts, cased secant piles (CSP) for diaphragm walls and other full-cased methods of drilling. When Soilmec entered the Canadian market in 1998, most drilling companies were still using old-style telescoping casing to hold open their holes. Today, using these innovative technologies, our customers have improved productivity and gained a competitive edge in bidding and building.

Courtesy of PDIFaster results, complete coverage, ease of testing and information on cage alignment are just some of the advantages of the new Thermal Integrity Profiler 

By Lisa Kopochinski

Living up to its sophisticated name, the Thermal Integrity Profiler (TIP) is embodying a new, temperature-based technology for concrete foundation integrity testing.

The latest development of Pile Dynamics, Inc. (PDI), in partnership with Foundation & Geotechnical Engingeering (FGE), the TIP offers a unique approach in that it uses measurements of the heat generated by curing cement to evaluate the integrity of cast-in-place concrete foundations. (Regions that are colder than expected are indicative of necks or inclusions – a cross-sectional area smaller than intended for the shaft. Regions that are warmer than anticipated indicate bulges – an excess of concrete in a particular location.)

“The heat generated by curing concrete had never before been used to assess the quality and shape of cast-in-place concrete foundations,” explained Gina Beim, P.E., a senior consulting engineer and marketing director with PDI. “Measurements may be taken by a probe inserted into access tubes pre-installed in the shaft or by Thermal Wire® cables attached to the reinforcing cage.”

The Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) published a quick and easy guide to cancer prevention in the workplace in October.

The brochure, Are there carcinogens in your workplace? It’s time to act!, is intended for OHS officers, employers and workers. The Canadian Cancer Society, which is dedicated to prevention, has welcomed its publication.

Developing occupational cancer is a real risk that is often trivialized, as was too long the case with tobacco, partly due to the fact that it may take 10 to 40 years between exposure to a carcinogen and diagnosis of an illness. The brochure, based on the most up-to-date scientific knowledge available, helps identify carcinogens in the workplace, provides examples of preventive measures and best practices for controlling exposure, and proposes a model action plan for eliminating or reducing exposure.

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About Us

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.