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First Time Slide Rail User Makes the Grade in Wyoming

Wed July 01, 2009 - West Edition
James McRay

Evans Construction Co. of Jackson, Wyo., recently installed a new 8 ft. (2.4 m) diameter lift station in the suburbs around Jackson Hole. Due to the limited space and multiple adjacent structures and cross-utilities, Evans needed a non-traditional shoring system.

Evans was originally contracted to replace the pumps in on overworked 6 ft. (1.8 m) diameter lift station; but upon examining the existing pump station, it was discovered that it was leaking. City and engineers decided to contract Evans to install a new 8 ft. lift station with new pumps. Evans installed two manholes to reroute the sewer line to the new lift station.

Slide Rail System Saves Money

“Because of the tight quarters where we installed the lift station, we had to truck out all the dirt we excavated, and truck it all back in again,” said Brad Shultz, project manager of Evans. “The challenge was how to safely shore the excavation while expending as little money and effort as possible, while also working in some very tight and difficult spots.”

The three traditional shoring methods for four-sided pits: tight-sheeting, welded walers, or four-sided trench shields; were all dismissed at the outset of the bidding for the project because the excavation needed to stay in the utility easement, and there were many mature trees and houses around the site. Plus, electrical utilities were adjacent to the pit within 15 ft. (4.6 m).

Sloping was definitely not an option, according to the company.

Shultz started looking for a shoring solution by contacting Efficiency Production, Inc. — a manufacturer of trench shielding and shoring equipment.

Efficiency’s Slide Rail Systems Manager, Greg Ross, looked at Evan’s project specs and quickly knew that Efficiency’s universal slide rail system would be perfect for the project.

“I knew that our Slide Rail was going to work, because it is designed and engineered to be installed in the tightest of spots, and in all types of soil conditions,” said Ross.

“Dig and Push” System

Fits in Tight Spots

Efficiency’s universal slide rail is a component shoring system comprised of steel panels (similar to trench shield sidewalls) and vertical steel posts. The system can be used in a variety of configurations, such as small four-sided pits; large unobstructed working pits as big as 50 sq. ft. (4.6 sq m) with Efficiency’s ClearSpan System; or in a linear multi-bay configuration to install length of pipe more than 40 ft. (12 m).

Slide Rail is installed simultaneously as the trench or pit is excavated by sliding the panels into integrated rails on the posts — an outside slotted rail first, then an open-face rail on the inside, then pushing the panels and posts incrementally down to grade as the pit is dug; a process commonly referred to as a “dig and push” system.

Efficiency Production is the only Slide Rail manufacturer to offer an open-face rail design on its Slide Rail posts.

“The System is so ingenuous because if installed properly, all the components slide down as the hole is dug, just as the name suggests,” said Shultz. “The panels slide in the post’s rails, then the posts slide past the panels as they are pushed. There is very little binding, and almost no need to aggressively pound on the components.”

Specialized Equipment

Not Needed to Install

Slide Rail System

Evans rented from Efficiency a four-sided configured slide rail system, utilizing a set of 16 sq. ft. (1.5 sq m) long panels, and 24 foot corner posts to install the lift station at a 20 ft. (6 m) grade. To reach 20 ft., Evans installed an 8 ft. panel stacked with a 4 ft. panel stacked on top in the outside slotted rails of the slide rail posts. Evans then installed another set of 8 ft. tall panels into the inside open-face rails on the posts to reach 20 ft.

“Everything went exactly as planned, perfect really,” said Shultz. “With Slide Rail, we could excavate to the exact dimensions of the system without any over cutting. This was a huge cost savings both in time and money. We probably saved as much as what a new trench box would have cost. Slide Rail was a real problem solver, both economically and physically,” Shultz added.

Evans used a Cat 330, and a Cat 325 excavator to install the system and precast lift station.

“We had another project similar to this one, a new 10 foot lift station, but installed in completely different conditions. We had lots of room to work with, so we went ahead with just old-fashioned sloping. By the time we had sloped the hole to the proper angle, we had to get a bigger crane just to reach over the heavily excavated hole. Even in that situation, I think slide rail would have been faster and easier, and saved us money,” concluded Shultz.

Evans Construction Company is located in Jackson, Wyo., and has been operating in the area since 1968. It specializes in heavy civil construction, asphalt paving and aggregated production/supplying, as well as producing concrete.

For more information on Evans Construction Company, call 307/733-3029.

For more information on Efficiency Production Inc., call 800/552-8800 or visit

James McRay is the Marketing & Media Manager of Efficiency Production Inc.

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