By Paul Mauer
Sometime 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.
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).
In 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.
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”.
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.
Paul 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
“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).