IDOT Torrence Avenue
- Location Illinois
MethodsCaissons, H-piles, sheet piling
Michels built caissons and installed H-pipes for the Torrence Avenue Bridge along the Grand Calumet River. Michels used a European-style drill rig to build 14 caissons that measured 4 1/2 feet in diameter and included 4-foot rock sockets. The caissons were drilled dry and filled with free-fall concrete using a concrete pump, and are the main foundations for the bridge. Diesel impact hammers with swinging leads were used to drive 40 H-piles, each approximately 75 feet long, to support the bridge abutments. Michels used an ABI Mobilram and crane-suspended vibratory hammers to install 270 linear feet of sheet piling to provide permanent earth retention along the roadway approaches. Adherence to the construction schedule was critical because work needed to be completed before a moratorium on construction in a fish habitat. Additionally, crews contended with sinking soil under the drill rig as well as rock and concrete obstructions during installation of the H-piles and sheeting walls.