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Ohio Contractor Utilizes Jack and Bore to Install Utilities

Tue November 22, 2011 - Midwest Edition
James McRay

Proactive Safety. That is Columbus, Ohio-based, McDaniel’s Construction Corp. Inc.’s standard operating procedure whenever they have personnel working in a deep trench or pit. Such was the case when McDaniel’s installed 1,300 lf. (396 m) of conduit casing for electrical, communications and other utilities at the Ohio State University Medical Center (OSUMC) in Columbus, Ohio.

For a typical excavation project, McDaniel’s would open cut to install the underground utility. But the OSUMC project was hardly typical. The utility casing needed to be installed in some very tight spots, practically right up against the Center’s buildings, and in spots as deep as 32 ft. (9.7 m)

So McDaniel’s planned out a series of jack and bore pits to push 24 and 36 in. (61 and 91 cm) casing below the many surface obstructions, and in some places even under other existing underground utilities. But as advantageous as jack and bore was for the project, it posed one great challenge: shoring the pits in several locations and provide fall protection.

“Normally, we’d just use enclosures made with trench shields where we couldn’t open cut,” said Steve Betsko, McDaniel’s project superintendent. “But at a certain depth, trench boxes can become unsafe for our personnel. So we went with the best shoring system available, which is Efficiency Production’s slide rail system.”

Based in Mason, Mich., Efficiency Production Inc. is a leading manufacturer of slide rail systems and other trench shoring equipment.

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. In addition to the obstruction-free ClearSpan configuration, Efficiency’s universal slide rail can be configured into small four-sided pits; or in a Multi-Bay configuration to install large tanks and structures; or lengths of pipe over 40 ft. (12 m)

As the name suggests, the panels slide into integrated rails on the posts. Both the panels and posts are pushed incrementally down to grade as the pit is dug; a process commonly referred to as a “dig and push” shoring system. Slide Rail is considered “active shoring,” which means that personnel and equipment can be safely in the hole throughout the entire installation and removal process.

The slide rail system’s individual component pieces can be handled with a midsize excavator, which means that excavation contractors can usually install the shoring system themselves. McDaniel’s used a Cat 345 excavator to install the system.

“In total, we excavated and shored five bore pits; two doubles and one single,” explained Betsko. “All the (slide rail) parts are reusable over and over again, which saves time and money. Plus the equipment is clean and in good shape when it arrived from Efficiency, and it comes with all the tools in one box ready to use.”

McDaniel’s rented a two-bay, four-sided multi-bay configuration, which provides a larger unobstructed area for installing tanks, vaults, and other structures; or in this case, a bore jack rig. McDaniel’s system was 12 ft. (3.6 m) wide, 41 ft. (12.5 m) long, and 24 ft. (7.3) deep.

“The ground conditions were trash, and we needed to dewater each pit,” said Betsko, but McDaniel’s was able to install the system in just two days, and have it out again in only one day.

Mostly, the jack and bore pits were right up against the buildings and other structures at the medical center. Unlike tight-sheeting, slide rail can be installed even if access is limited to one or two sides of the excavation.

“Another reason why Slide Rail was a good fit,” added Betsko.

Incorporated in 1985, McDaniel’s Construction Corp. Inc. (MCCI), is an equipment-intensive heavy and highway union contractor. Currently in its 18th year of operation, MCCI maintains a full-time staff of about 15 project managers, project coordinators, engineers, superintendents, and administrative staff; supporting more than 60 union operators, laborers, and carpenters. Projects include publicly-bid site work, underground utilities, heavy and highway construction and airfield construction.

Efficiency Production Inc., provides a wide selection of standard and custom trench shielding and shoring systems. Efficiency’s products are designed specifically for safe and cost effective installation of utility systems and infrastructure improvements. All products are P.E. certified to meet OSHA and MIOSHA requirements.

James McRay is the Director of Marketing & Media for Efficiency Production, Inc. He can be reached at 800-552-8800; [email protected]

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