By Jill Bramblett
In the spring of 2012, the City of Norwell, Massachusetts needed a safe solution for the students to move from one school to the other avoiding the heavily traveled and dangerous roadways. The administrators at both schools agreed that a connecting path through the woods would be the best way to achieve safe travel on bike or foot from the middle to the high school.
Most of the woodland area consisted of marsh and wetlands, so the engineering group determined that a raised boardwalk was the best solution for foot and bike travel through the woods. 1500 feet of elevated 8-foot-wide boardwalk was installed along with 1700 feet of 8-foot-wide asphalt pavement.
The helical pile system was chosen for the wetlands portion of the boardwalk due to the environmentally sensitive considerations and the lower cost of the system, maximizing both ease and speed of installation. Snapping turtles and other wetland species of plants and animals had to be protected during and after installation of the walkway. The system the impact during the install with no spoils to be removed, no heavy equipment used, and no vibration during the installation process. The helical piers, which are hot dip galvanized in a zinc coating, do not pose a toxic threat to the earth around them as pressure treated posts and other foundation systems do.
Solid Earth Technologies of Amherst, NH installed 340 helical piers with a 10-foot span between each pile. Solid Earth completed the boardwalk structure using Southern Yellow Pine. The entire project was completed in nine weeks – just in time for school to open! It will serve the community and students of Norwell for years to come.
Jill Bramblett is the Territory Manager for New England for Danbro Distributors. She has been working in the helical pier/construction industry for ten years. Prior to that, she did creative and online marketing in the high-tech industry.
When Jill is not wheeling and dealing deep foundations, she is spending time with her family, hiking, doing yoga, or plotting her next house renovation project. For all New England inquiries, please contact Jill at (603) 766-0422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.