Atlas Piers & SEMO Win ECP Project of the Year 2019
The employees of Atlas Piers of Atlanta, Inc., and SEMO Mudjacking and Piering had to be busy beavers themselves to best a family of beavers while building a mile-long boardwalk at Lake Bentonville, Arkansas.
The complexity of the project, which included working in wetlands, earned Earth Contact Products’ prestigious “Project of the Year” award for 2019. Atlas Piers of Atlanta, Inc., and SEMO Mudjacking and Piering were honored at ECP’s annual Drive Conference in Kansas City, Mo.
Beavers disrupted plans for cast concrete piers
The mile-long boardwalk project was originally developed for cast concrete piers. However, problems developed when a family fo six beavers built a dam in the upstream creek feeding Lake Bentonville.
In all, the beavers constructed a series of dams that caused flooding in adjacent flatlands. The flooding made it impossible to install a conventional drilled concrete pier boardwalk.
Representatives of the owners of the property looked for alternate solutions that would be minimally disruptive to the environment while not destroying the beavers’ lifestyle along the creek.
Atlas Piers of Atlanta provided helical screw piles solution
Atlas Piers of Atlanta, Inc., was contacted to provide a project concept using helical screw piles as an alternate foundation support system.
The new design used a pair of vertical helical piles at each 10-foot span of the boardwalk.
In addition, ECP Torque Anchors were installed at downward angles in alternating directions at every second support span. The battered anchors provided lateral stability to the structure.
Project featured fishing docks, observation platforms and kayak launching site
Along with constructing the mile-long boardwalk, crews built eight small fishing docks, two observation platforms, and a kayak launching dock.
In total 902 vertical ECP Torque Anchor compression piles and 228 helical anchors were installed on the project.
Atlas Piers of Atlanta joined forces with SEMO Mudjacking and Piering
Because such a large number of placements were required in a short time frame, Atlas Piers of Atlanta teamed up with SEMO Mudjacking and Piering, a high-quality Torque Anchor installer from Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
The two crews, totaling 10 workers, were able to complete the project in only four weeks.
Crews faced unique challenges
In those four weeks, crews faced a multitude of challenges. Governmental agencies were highly involved.
The EPA allowed a wetlands easement that was only 10 feet on each side of the boardwalk centerline. This made logistics and staging of materials very difficult.
Nearby airports requested the FAA monitor and enforce a 12-foot height limit for the equipment in all areas near the runway. The fine for encroachment was $20,000.
One half of the ECP Torque Anchors were installed in a five-foot deep lake. An assembly line system was set up that permitted no backtracking or encroachment upon forbidden areas.
A Marsh Master machine was used along with a sled for staging materials about every 100 feet along the path of the boardwalk.
A second wetlands excavator was used with a three-worker crew for helical pile installation.
After pile installation, benchmarks were set by the surveyor at 100-foot intervals.
A rotating laser was attached on one fo the helical pile shafts. This provided accurate cut off elevations for two workers in chest waders who cut and capped the piles.
Project earned accolades & was on time and under budget
Although this was a challenging project, it also was a great success. In addition to earning the Project of the Year title from ECP, the general contractor for the Lake Bentonville Boardwalk also recognized Atlas Piers of Atlanta, Inc., for doing an exemplary job.
The project was completed on time and under budget.