It’s been an interesting week here at Atlas Geotechnical World Headquarters. Our project in Seattle is standing down while Equipment Operators Local 302, who struck last week, continue negotiating a fresh labor agreement with the Associated General Contractors. Three timezones to the left, our project supporting new friends WW Clyde Company in Hanapepe is shut down by Hurricane Lane.
The hurricane, and attendant drenching rains, are on my mind because this afternoon’s task is analyzing hydraulic rise caused by installing bulkhead walls that allow driving access out to the in-water bents. Crane loads during demolition and foundation drilling are legitimately heavy, and the site is crowded, so getting equipment into position has turned into a significant effort.
I include some snapshots from my visit to the site last week. The existing bridge is a graceful reminder of classic Corps of Engineers construction. Built in 1938 for the Territory of Hawaii government, it’s provided reliable service for more than 8 decades. The replacement bridge will be higher, wider, and safer. Plus it’ll be free of the weight restriction that is causing difficulties for the re-opened aggregate quarry just a couple of miles up the road.
The temporary bridge is already in place, courtesy of Hawaiian Dredging Company, though the connecting diversion embankments remain for WWC to install. Our good friend Gary Coover at Pryzm Consulting has the lead on geometric roadway design and utility relocation onto the temporary bridge. We’ll lend a hand with a very narrow MSE embankment design, but we’ve also got our hands full with crane access designs for demolition and construction.
One last note: The pipe piles in the photo at right, which support the temporary bridge, were intended to drive 40 or 50 feet into the “compact mud-rock” stated on the 1937 boring logs (I do so love the very effective diction in older plansets). The existing bridge is supported on untreated timber piles 35 to 40 feet long. Surprisingly, PDA testing during of the pipes showed very low capacity through that known bearing layer. The pipe pile in the photo is 140 feet long, as long as the planned new bridge shafts. Work in the Islands is just filled with surprises.
Everyone stay safe through the storm, please, and we’ll pick up where we left off once the floodwaters recede.