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Oscillator piling for a river bridge

Foundations

Caledon
South Africa

Client : South African National Road Agency Limited (sanral)
Main Contractor : Concor Civils
Consulting Engineer : Bks
Works Carried Out: : Oscillator Piling 45 NÂș X 29m Deep
Date Of Works : October 2006
 

Main Quantities

As the flow of the river could not be restricted  during the construction programme, the contract was split into phases. The piling, pile cap and column for Pier 3 had to be completed and removed before the platform for Pier 2 was constructed. This phased approach required careful co-ordination between all parties.

Temporary casing prevents soil collapse in the saturated soil conditions encountered. Concreting is carried out via tremmie pipes in line with standard practice for placing concrete under water.

Unconfined Compressive Strength (USC) tests were carried out on selected samples of rock recovered from the sockets. This indicated very hard rock of up to 100MPa. The combination of a high water table (necessitating the installation of temporary casings) boulders in the alluvium above the bedrock and the very hard rock which had to be penetrated, made the oscillator piling methodology the most suitable for this project. This technology has been used extensively internationally and is a proven approach for river projects of this nature.


The piling project at the new Caledon River Bridge, near Wepener

The piling project at the new Caledon River Bridge, near Wepener in the Free State, was awarded to Dura Soletanche Bachy as a specialist contract, for the installation of oscillator piles. The expected scope of works required careful drilling in ground conditions with rock hardness up to a maximum of 70Mpa, prior to establishing the site. Extensive geotechnical tests were carried out ti determine the geology and optimum piling approach to deal with the anticipated boulder layers and rock sockets.

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