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BAUER Foundations Canada Inc. - Bridge foundations in extremely hard rock


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Montreal – In Quebec, a Spanish-Canadian consortium is building the Nouvelle Autoroute 30 highway, bypassing Montreal at the South towards the A20 and A40 in the West. BAUER Foundations Canada Inc., the local subsidiary of BAUER Spezialtiefbau GmbH, Germany, is constructing the foundations of the Beauharnois Bridge, a contract worth about 30 million Ca-nadian dollars (some 20 million euros). The bridge runs over the Beauharnois Canal, a bypass of the St. Lawrence Canal. The waterway forms part of an international network linking the great lakes around the industrial region of Detroit, Milwaukee and Chicago with the Hudson Bay and the Atlantic. The Beauharnois Canal was blasted out of hard rock back in the 1930s, in order to make the St. Lawrence Canal passable for shipping. Downstream, the two canals converge at a lock, which is where the Beauharnois Bridge will be located.
Bauer Foundations Canada has been contracted to build a total of 138 bored piles: 60 on land for the bridge thrust blocks, and 78 in the water, from a pontoon, for the pillars. Five drilling rigs are being deployed: three BAUER BG 40 and two BAUER BG 28 units. To ensure pinpoint accuracy of the actual drilling, an IB 10 rig is being used to pre-drill down to four metres into the rock. The tips of the drilling buckets will then ultimately take over from there. The two metre diameter piles must socket four and a half to five metres into the rock, sometimes more, depending on the rock quality.

geotechnical investigation

During the geotechnical investigation the rock was proven to be extremely hard. Some rock cores compressive strength was above 300 Mpa. Bauer has a track record of hard rock drilling in Canada with the dam project of Peribonka. Also a leading example in piling in hard rock is Bauer Hong Kong, where the initial contact was made with the client back in the spring of 2007. A key factor in subsequent developments was the rock drilling expertise of the local Bauer unit's Managing Director, Egon Stahl. "So Bauer Hong Kong played a major role in helping Bauer Canada win the contract in March 2009," says Lars Richter, Managing Director of Bauer Foundations Canada. "But other Bauer units around the world have been involved too, providing us with equipment, technical support and staff, to ensure the project is handled optimally. It is a great illustration of the Bauer network in action."

40 rigs mounted

To date, 60 of the 138 piles have been installed. The greatest challenge posed by the project will come in May, when the piles are driven into the canal itself. The plan is to use two BAUER BG 40 rigs mounted on pontoons to drive 1.80 metre piles down to a depth of four metres.



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