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Michels builds secant walls for underground substation

Big things are happening on a small site in Milwaukee, WI's  Historic Third Ward. Michels is installing 214 30-inch-diameter secant piles and 200 driven pipe piles, and excavating more than 7,000 cubic yards of soil to house a power substation, extending 13 feet below the ground and under a to-be-constructed seven-story mixed-use development near the Summerfest grounds. The substation will strengthen downtown Milwaukee’s power grid without interfering with tenants of the building above it.

The crew is sequentially drilling the secant piles so they intersect with one another to form a water-tight concrete wall that will also serve as the permanent foundation wall of the substation. Driven pipe piling extending more than 140 feet deep will then support the large mat slab of the substation and apartment building.

Most of the work is being completed in a 140-foot-by-140-foot job site, requiring careful coordination of equipment, personnel and materials.

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