Praxair Richmond Hydrogen Plant

Contract Value: $12,229,409.00
Precast Piles: 14" and 16" sq. PCPS piles

The Praxair Project consisted of pre-drilling and driving 1,857 concrete piles. 16" sq. PCPS piles and 14" sq. PCPS piles were installed in varying in lengths and capacities ranging between 65' to 95' and 340 to 464 kip ultimate capacities. The 14" piles were designed as an end bearing pile and as such were cast with a 5' HP 12 x 84 Stinger at the pile tip designed to penetrate the underlying bedrock. All 16" piles were designed as friction piles and required that the tip of the pile be saw cut to prevent displacement of possible contaminants into the underlying stratum.

The equipment that was used on the job consisted of the following. Foundation Constructors Inc. utilized two Manitowoc crawler cranes to install both the 14" and 16" piles. One was a 175 ton crane and the other was a 140 ton crane. Each crane was equipped with fixed box leads and a D46-32 hammer. A side mounted drill outfitted with 60' of 14" continuous flight auger was used to pre-drill each pile location.

All of the 14" piles had and extra 5' of pile, above production pile length, which was later broke back to expose the rebar and strands for the pile cap connection. Foundation Constructors, Inc. had a hydraulic pile breaker that we call the Pile Beaver to break back the piles. We had a 65 ton Manitowoc crawler crane to pick up the Beaver and strip the 750 piles that needed to have the rebar and strands exposed.

The Praxair Project also required that two sheet pile cofferdams be installed on a T & M basis as extra work. We used the 140 ton Manitowoc Crawler Crane with an Ice 6680 Vibratory Hammer to install the sheet pile cofferdams.

Pile installation, pile cap connection, and sheet pile cofferdam construction were all completed as of May 2010. All piles were successfully installed as per the contract documents and approved design ahead of schedule and under budget.