Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2012, Houston, TX, USA, (DFI)

Driving and Extraction of Steel Pipe Piles in Nearshore Environment
Nihal Bohra, Ken Been, Anthony Rice, Juan Lopez and Jim Rix

A temporary bridge, supported on steel pipe piles, was built to expedite the construction of a breakwater structure off the western coast of Peru. The bridge provided access for dump trucks to the breakwater across a 342 m (1122 ft.) wide navigation channel from a liquefied natural gas (LNG) loading facility, at the end of a 1.3 km (0.82 miles) long permanent trestle, in 15 m (50 ft.) water depth. After the completion of the breakwater, the temporary bridge was removed, and the piles were extracted approximately one year after the initial driving. The bridge deck was typically supported on pairs of 914.4 mm (3 ft.) diameter, 18 mm (0.708 inch) wall steel pipe piles spaced at 7.5 m (24.6 ft.) across the bridge width and 18 m (60 ft.) along the bridge length. In an attempt to reduce the driven pile embedment, an inner closure plate was installed at 2.7 to 7 m (9 to 23 ft.) from the pile toe to force closed-end behavior. The piles were designed to carry 3400 kN (383 tons) axial compression load, and a minimum of 8 m (26 ft.) embedment was specified to provide sufficient resistance to the lateral loads. The subsurface conditions consisted of cemented conglomerate of sand, gravel, pebbles and some boulders, locally known as the Caņete Formation. The driven pile embedment varied widely, between 8 to 24 m (26 to 79 ft.). A significant portion of each pile was above the seabed, passing through seawater and up to the bridge deck, and was therefore unsupported. The extraction of the piles was challenging due to the subsurface conditions, presence of significant water column, pile weight, and the inner closure plate. Several different approaches were attempted before the piles could be successfully extracted. This paper summarizes the difficulties encountered and observations made during the driving and extraction of these piles.

 article #1849; publication #99 (AM-2012)