US WICK DRAIN a Leland NC based company has just completed the largest marine barge installation wick drain project that has ever been done in the world. This project is part of the first phases of construction for a new port facility at “Craney Island” in Norfolk Virginia. US WICK DRAIN under direction of president Mark Palmatier installed 12,150,000 lf of wick drains in 6 months using the APE wick drain installation machines.
Now that’s 6 months with 2 rigs 24 hours a day 6 days a week! That’s a lot of wick drains. The longest wick drains were 150 ft. in length. Great Lakes dredging dumped a drainage layer of sand in the proposed wick drain area with hopper barges. The wicks will be placed and more sand dumped on top of them.
In order to place the wick drains in the correct locations on the water 2 barges had to be converted to have a grid all the way through the decks of the barges using steel pipe from the top deck all the way through the bottom. Each barge had a wick drain machine / rig on the deck. The barges would be surveyed into position and secured in position, and then each machine would go down the deck installing a wick drain in each provided hole.
Once these wick drains are installed and pre-loaded the engineers predict they will have about 21 feet of settlement. These wicked areas will support a series of dikes for the new Craney Island port. If wick drains were not used the dikes would constantly be settling and would have to be maintained at a large cost. This project gives US WICK DRAIN the most marine experience in the wick drain industry. APE looks forward to working with US WICK DRAIN on the next phases of the Craney island port. If you have a current or upcoming job contact your nearest APE branch to see just how much APE can offer to you. GO APE.
When “American Infrastructure” was awarded the new highway 15 bridge in Chester Virginia the existing large overhead power lines looked awful low. They scratched their heads as they kept looking at the headroom situation and how they were going to get machinery under them to drive the piles… can’t do anything till the piles are driven… right?
The management staff knew if any company could help them with this situation it was APE / American Piledriving Equipment. They contacted Jimmy Deemer APE’s Mid-Atlantic manager to come to the jobsite and have a look at what the jobsite conditions were and what recommendations he could make. After looking things over with the onsite staff the only solution was using an excavator. Along with APE’s in house engineering staff & head engineer Joe K they came up with a very productive & slick system. They decided to use one of the APE low-head room hammers. They chose one of the 7.5 series hammers the 7.5C
APE designed a self-contained system with the APE 7.5C hammer, 30’ of APE 21” leads with a 2 line headblock and a hydraulic sled that mounts directly to the tip of a 345 CAT excavator. The hydraulic sled that mates up to the back of the leads has tilt cylinders built into it for the side to side batters they needed to drive. It also batters fore & aft. All functions are run off the excavators hydraulic system “plug & play” This system can do it all!
Part of the design incorporated a Gear master hydraulic winch on the back of the sled for hoisting the hammer & piles. This is run with a foot control form inside the cab of the excavator. The piles are a taper tube MONOTUBE style pile. They pre-drill the 1st 15’ and set & seat the pile 17 foot tater bottom. Then they weld the second section a 20’ mid and drive it and then splice & drive the 3rd and last another 20’ mid or top .
They will drill & set about 15 piles in one set-up. This system is extremely quick & productive and all aspects of safety are incorporated into it. The onsite supervision staff said “We had no idea this low head room nightmare could have worked out so well “That’s why APE has a registered trademark “when a piledriver talks we listen”. We wish American Infrastructure’s Highway 15 job a safe & productive project. Don’t wait till your piledriving job has you backed in to a corner, start off on the right foot… contact your nearest APE branch and see all we can offer to you ! GO APE!