How bridge piling is installed

Piling for a residential or commercial building is not without its obstacles. But what happens when the obstacle you are facing is building a huge bridge over a watercourse? Placing piles into solid ground is a challenge. So how do companies find a way around the problem of installing piling foundations underwater into the soft silt of a riverbed or lake?

Construction of a bridge over a body of water has been a slowly evolving area of construction that has had engineers scratching their heads for generations. Without stable foundations, a bridge can soon become a very dangerous place to be.

But over the years, engineers have found new ways of installing piling for bridge systems that is safer, more economical for construction companies and quicker than ever before. Constructing over water has always had its own unique challenges; for example, waterbeds have a tendency to shift and change quickly, and increased rainfall can cause watercourses to become much stronger than usual. These are all key aspects that have to be taken into consideration, but the biggest obstacle of all is figuring out a way to install the piles underwater in the first place.

Types of underwater foundation construction

  1. Battered Piles

This approach to piling is generally reserved for small bridges built over shallow water. Before the piles are driven they are constructed to the correct size before being placed. Instead of a single beam, battered piles use numerous beams twisted together. When this is driven into the soft mud they are able to distribute weight in several directions.

  1. Cofferdam

A cofferdam is a temporary structure that is as watertight as possible. When lowered and drained, they create a dry area for construction to take place. Some cofferdams will not be completely watertight but restrict waterflow enough so that any water that does enter the area can be pumped out safely. The dams themselves are constructed of numbers of sheet metal fitted together.

  1. Slurry Drilling

The soil needing to be drilled into will be extremely weak due to the saturation of water. Therefore, drilling will, more often than not, result in the hole caving in before the piles can be set. To counteract this, a mixture of mud is poured on top before drilling commences.

For piling in Chester, contact the team at Rhinopiling now.