Helical Piles: As American as Apple Pie and the Fourth of July

By Paul Mauer

Capitol Fourth, Helical Piers, Levelift, DanbroSometime in the 1980’s, helical anchors were installed into the ground of the U.S. Capitol West Lawn. These anchors hold down the large, tension-membrane structures (“Band Shells”) under which National Symphony Orchestra concerts and other events take place during the warm months, including “A Capitol Fourth,” the Fourth of July concert and fireworks from the capitol.

Capitol Fourth, Helical Piers, Levelift, Danbro

Every year, the helical anchors must be hydraulically pull-tested to pre-determined capacities ranging from just a few thousand pounds to over twenty thousand pounds. LEVELIFT SYSTEMS, INC. conducts this testing operation every April for the National Park Service (smaller band shell) and Capital Concerts, Inc. (larger band shell).

Capitol Fourth, Helical Piers, Levelift, DanbroIn the spring of 2002, the newer (larger) band shell was created – starting with twenty-nine newly installed helical anchors. LEVELIFT SYSTEMS, INC. furnished and installed these tension anchors to an average depth of 20′ to 25′. They were each subsequently fitted with chain shackles and individual steel housings with covers.

Capitol Fourth, Helical Piers, Levelift, Danbro, Testing

Every spring, these covers must be located, exposed, and removed to connect the test gear. The anchors for both band shells are each pulled to their pre-determined tension load and held at that load for 2 minutes while they are monitored to ensure there is no yield or “creep”.

Capitol Fourth, Helical Piers, Levelift, Danbro

We, the installers, the manufacturers, the distributors, and the customers – that is, we, the people – take great pride in supporting this great nation with our Made-In-America piles, during the July fourth celebrations and everyday.

A Capitol Fourth


Paul Mauer, Levelift Systems, Inc., Maryland, D.C., a Capitol Fourth, helical piers, helical pilesPaul Mauer is the Founder of Levelift Systems, Inc.  Levelift has been creating unique helical solutions in Maryland, D.C., and the surrounding areas for 23 years. To contact Levelift Systems, Inc., call (301) 369-3400 or email admin@levelift.com.

A Capitol Fourth” is broadcast live from the Capitol West Lawn on July 4, 2013 at 8pm (EST).  It is free and open to the public.  For information on attending, please visit the U.S. Capitol Police website.  The live broadcast airs on PBS on July 4, 2013 at 8pm (EST).


  • […] time, I was working with Paul Mauer of Levelift Systems outside of Washington, DC.  They had chosen to switch to CHANCE helical piers […]

  • […] to all of our guest bloggers – Gary Seider, Lee Goen, Dino Vito, Art Koziol, Tom McAuliffe, Paul Mauer, High Rise Industries, Joe D’Angelo, Elizabeth D’Angelo, Michael D’Angelo, […]

  • […] CHANCE® helical anchors were first installed in the 1980s to support the first of the two band shells and, again, in 2002 to support the second of the two band shells.  Every spring, certified CHANCE® installer, LEVELIFT SYSTEMS, INC., tests these helical anchors to confirm there is no “creep.”  To learn more about this helical foundation, read Paul Mauer’s previous blog post, “Helical Piles: As American as Apple Pie and the Fourth of July.” […]

  • Reblogged this on Danbro Distributors and commented:

    Don’t forget to watch “A Capitol Fourth” at 8pm on PBS this July 4th to see the bandstands that are being supported by CHANCE Helical Piles!

    DanbroDistributors 03.07.2014
  • […] Certified CHANCE installer, Levelift Systems, now Levelift Foundations, test and maintain the helical piles every April.  You can learn more about this tradition in Levelift founder Paul Mauer’s blog, Helical Piles: As American as Apple Pie and the Fourth of July. […]