Sheeting Guide Frame Helps Contractor With Utility Work

Wed November 18, 2009 - Southeast Edition
James McRay

The sheeting guide frame can be set-up on the ground rather than in a pilot hole. And, without separate independent corner posts, there is much less gap between sheeting at the corners.
The sheeting guide frame can be set-up on the ground rather than in a pilot hole. And, without separate independent corner posts, there is much less gap between sheeting at the corners.



The Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) recently let a job to widen almost 3 mi. (4.8 km) of State Route (SR)-50 in the heart of Orlando, between the SR-417 Toll Road and SR-456. Lane Construction Co., headquartered in Cheshire, Conn., was low bidder on the project.

Even though this is primarily a road building project, invariably underground utilities are encountered and need to be diverted, replaced or upgraded in some capacity.

Lane recently installed a 60 in. (152 cm) steel casing for an interconnection line underneath SR-50 at a depth of 15 ft. (4.6 m). The 80 linear ft. (24 m) line connects two lift stations that will provide an emergency redirection of the sanitary sewer system. One of the lift stations is owned and operated by the city of Orlando, the other by Orange County.

Coordinating efforts between three public entities — state, county, and city — is no easy undertaking. Making it more difficult were the presence of overhead electrical lines that power the two pump stations. During the course of installing the interconnection line, the power lines needed to be deactivated and the pump stations run on generators, and then the electrical lines recharged at the end of each day. All this gave Lane ample motivation to work as quickly as possible.

Because Lane was working in the state right-of-way, it was critical to keep disruption of traffic to a minimum. Therefore it was advantageous to keep the excavation as tight as possible, with as little over-excavation as necessary, and no sloping. That challenge required Lane to come up with a very specific, specialized shoring system.

Innovative Installation Technique Needed for Overlap Tight Sheeting

In the cramped quarters next to the road, Lane knew that tight sheeting would be the best shoring solution. But, sheeting can be installed in many different ways. Typically, sheeting is installed with a vibration machine or sheet driver; both requiring additional onsite machinery and equipment.

Basically, Lane needed a no-extra-equipment-work-in-tight-spaces-install-with-regular-excavator sheeting installation system. The solution? A swing-in-place sheeting guide frame provided by Professional Shoring and Supply, Florida’s newest trench shielding and shoring experts.

Professional Shoring and Supply’s new sheeting guide frame has “mitered” corners with overlapping pockets that pin together like a door hinge, creating a 4-sided “picture frame” system that can be set-up on the ground rather than in a pilot hole. And, without separate independent corner posts, there is much less gap between sheeting at the corners.

“Unlike slide rail that would have eight pieces, this guide frame system only has four,” said Dale Ellis, Lane Construction’s projects superintendent. “It took us only an hour to install the sheeting, rather than three hours.”

The 4 ft. (1.2 m) tall, 24 in. (61 cm) wide guide frame has a 7 in. (18 cm) slot in the center where 20 ft. (6 m) tall KD-6 sheeting can be stood up and overlapped, then pushed down with an excavator bucket. Professional Shoring also supplied pin-on pushing caps for the top of the sheeting, which protects the top and provides more surface area for pushing, according to the manufacturer.

Lane installed the 60 in. steel casing with a John Deere 450 excavator, supported with a Volvo L90 front loader. The pipe foreman on sight for Lane was Paula Davis.

Lane Construction began the approximately $66 million road widening project 18 months ago, and are about halfway through to completion in 2010.

The Lane Construction Corporation is a privately held company founded in 1890 by railroad engineer John S. Lane. The company was incorporated in the state of Connecticut in 1902. Today, Lane completes more than $800 million of work each year in more than 20 states. The company is ranked among the top 50 contractors in the nation by ENR (Engineering News Record) and consistently ranks among the top-five contractors specializing in transportation projects.

Professional Shoring and Supply is an official Efficiency Production Inc. trench shielding and shoring equipment distributor. Efficiency’s products are designed specifically for installation of utility systems and infrastructure improvements. All products are P.E. certified to meet OSHA standards.

For more information, call Professional Shoring and Supply 888/777-8307.