APE Northeast was recently contacted by Helen Godzic of Marcellus, NY. She was involved in a project in Syracuse where they were trying to determine if the driven pile foundation of a 3 story parking garage built in Syracuse at the end of the 1950’s could handle the additional load of the 2 story vertical expansion that the property owner wanted to build.

One of the problems faced in trying to determine pile capacity in an active parking garage was that the testing would have to be carried out on the ground floor of a parking garage that had only 10ft of headroom. Could testing be done in this confined space?

After ruling out a static load test because of cost, GRL was consulted and it was determined that dynamically testing the piles was the best alternative, if a suitable hammer could be procured. This was when APE was contacted, and we came up with a combination of our 7.5 Hydraulic Impact Hammer, mounted in one of our forklift adapters.

It was determined that 1 pile in two pile caps on opposite sides of the garage would be exposed. The piles were mandrell-driven shell piles filled with rebar and concrete. The tops of the piles were about 5 feet below grade, so the contractor built a follower that consisted of a bonnet that sat on top of the pipe, transitioning to an h-pile. Using a 16,000 lb forklift, the 7.5 was positioned onto the h-pile follower, and the test was carried out, producing results better than anyone could have anticipated.

APE takes pride in our ability to offer unique solutions to the unique problems of good people like Helen.

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