Pipe Installation, Repair, Inspection and Rehabilitation

Pipe Installation, Repair, Inspection and Rehabilitation

Traffic on major highway continues unimpeded during culvert replacements

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Bit is a fit for rocky soil conditions

Problem: Josh Rishel with C & R Directional Boring in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, had been working alongside his crew in rocky ground conditions for several months. They have all-terrain rigs set up to handle rocky ground conditions, but switching out takes time and is costly.

Solution: Made for situations such as this, the Eagle Claw SD bit from Melfred Borzall has integrated dome carbide blocks into the body to give greater wear protection and cutting power. Added conical carbides on the upper cutting face add more aggression to the bit’s cutting power. The dome carbide blocks on the opposite side of the body also help transfer more power to the cutting surface as they push against the wall pack during rotation downhole.

Result: The Eagle Claw SD bit not only held up to the unforgiving Pennsylvania soil, but with twice as many carbides as previous generations, it ran longer than anyone expected. “We have three AT drills, and this has saved us a lot of rock drilling,” Rishel says. He continued to explain how they have put a good 30,000 to 40,000 feet on their Eagle Claw SDs, and “I don’t think we’ve had to replace the teeth on one yet.” His crew was able to increase their production speed without fear of breaking or excessive premature wearing on the tooling. The balanced cutting design ensured there was no vibration up the rod and to the rig, so that wear protection extended to the rest of his setup as well. 

800-558-7500; www.melfredborzall.com


Company saves time and manpower with vacuum excavator

Problem: Rock Underground, located in the city of Greenfield, Minnesota, needed a solution to pothole and locate underground utilities safely and efficiently.

Solution: The company chose Vac-Tron Equipment’s LP 873 SDT vacuum excavator, and Adam Rock, company founder, determined that vacuum excavation is the best method of identifying the location and accurate depth of a utility. “Being in the utility business we have to pothole utilities all the time,” Rock says. “Whether it’s a gas line, fiber optic or telephone cable, we use a Vac-Tron vacuum excavator 90 percent of the time to verify utilities so we don’t hit them.” The unit includes a Yanmar 49 hp Tier 4 Final diesel engine with 1,000 cfm vacuum blower for both wet/dry applications. “I chose high cfm obviously for the capability of what it can do sucking up the dirt,” Rock says. “Everybody can buy the water pressure. Everybody can buy the blower. But the technology of the unit itself, the trailer setup, and the power it has, is why we choose Vac-Tron.”

Result: The units have met the company’s expectations. “With a Vac-Tron, you can find it in 2 minutes and there you go. You don’t need five guys on one job; you can take three guys and a Vac-Tron and run a whole job site out in an hour versus a 4-hour day, so it’s more efficient,” Rock says. 

888-822-8766; www.vactron.com


Military reservation rehabilitates four large road-supporting parallel pipes

Problem: Fort Drum, New York, a 25.4-square-mile U.S. military reservation and census-designated place, includes several towns and villages. Its aging infrastructure supporting military and residential activities requires ongoing maintenance and rehabilitation programs and projects. One such project focused on four large parallel 142-by-91-inch arched corrugated metal pipes, supporting a roadway over a trout stream, with a separation of 3 feet between each barrel for a total span of 56.3 feet. Meeting the existing structure’s military loading classification for wheeled and tracked vehicle traffic was a project requirement. Two other complications applied: The buried bridge is set in the Black River, a recognized trout stream, and the military roadway needed to stay open. The structure couldn’t be torn out and replaced, and river diversions had to be limited and carefully managed.

Solution: CentriPipe, a centrifugally cast concrete pipe solution from AP/M Permaform, was selected and designed for the key arc elements. The design intricacies and the material properties ensured a structurally sound, watertight, rehabilitated buried bridge structure that meets the military load classification. Following dewatering and pipe preparation, the spincaster was pulled through each pipe a total of nine passes to spray thin layers of Permacast PL-8000, a fine aggregate composite concrete. The total thickness applied to each pipe was a little more than 2 inches over the corrugations, resulting in smoothly finished rehabilitated concrete arch pipes that look brand new.

Result: Rehabilitation of all four pipes, plus the installation of a specified fish ladder was completed in a month and a half. 

800-662-6465; www.permaform.net


Airport stormwater drainage improved and expanded

Problem: The original reinforced concrete pipe at Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport in Jackson, Mississippi, had been in the ground for more than 60 years. Joint failures caused sinkholes, which were safety risks for the maintenance crew, and could cause damage to an aircraft if it left the runway. Additionally, if drainage could not be maintained, it would allow water to pond, attracting birds and increasing the potential for bird strikes to planes.

Solution: For the drainage system, the designer wanted to use pipe with as few joints as possible. The key to that requirement and for maximum installation efficiency was 13,000 feet of thermoplastic HP pipe from Advanced Drainage Systems in diameters up to 60 inches. The Federal Aviation Administration-approved pipe was used to replace the failing reinforced concrete pipe and also for new runs. 

Result: The pipe in 20-foot lengths had fewer joints than other pipe and was easy to move and install. The project met the airport’s budget and needs to immediately address the worst areas. In addition to meeting long-life and other performance criteria, the polypropylene pipe provided an efficient means of installation. Speed was a critical factor because the airport could not shut down one of its two runways for an extended period of time to install the pipe. 

800-821-6710; www.ads-pipe.com


Traffic on major highway continues unimpeded during culvert replacements

Problem: Two culverts on Highway 125 near Sainte-Julienne, 45 miles north of Montreal, Quebec, had failed almost entirely. Dirt and sediment accumulations had obstructed more than three-quarters of their flow capacity. Water seepage and pooling was jeopardizing the highway substructure’s integrity. Opencut replacement was out of the question since digging up the pipes would require blocking off well over half a mile of roadway. Quebec’s Ministry of Transportation contracted Loiselle Excavation to replace the culverts using the pipe bursting method.

Solution: For this project, Loiselle rented HammerHead Trenchless pipe bursting tools through HDDPlus of Les Cedres. The first culvert required upsizing the existing 98-foot-long, 24-inch-diameter concrete pipe with 28-inch IPS HDPE pipe. The second culvert, a 140-foot-long, 28-inch-diameter concrete pipe was to be upsized to 32-inch IPS HDPE pipe. For this bursting operation, Loiselle Excavation used a 24-inch pipe bursting tool and 20-ton winch. Full power from the pneumatic hammer was never required during either culvert’s bursting operation. Loiselle Excavation used a 20-ton HydroGuide HG20 winch from to provide a constant forward tension on the pneumatic hammer. This maximized forward progress of the bursting head, hammer and product pipe by preventing swim.

Result: Although time at each bursting site was two to three days, the pipe bursting operations took less than two hours each from start to finish. 800-331-6653; www.hammerheadtrenchless.com


Closing off a 60-inch penstock with an inflatable plug 

Problem: Grace-Titan DVBE was asked to remove a 5-foot section of the penstock that supplies Pacific Gas & Electric’s Potter Valley hydroelectric plant in California. But it was a 100-year-old, 5-foot-diameter penstock, and Grace-Titan was told to expect flow leakage as high as 1,200 gpm and to account for this in the preparation and design of the repair solution. Instead, a physical block was needed and an existing 18-inch manway presented the best opportunity.

Solution: With pipeline diversion ruled out due to its danger to workers and high cost, Petersen Products went to work fabricating a plug specifically to fit through the 18-inch manway. The plug was made to be folded for insertion through the manway, then inflated with water to fill and block the penstock.

Result: The plug was successfully inserted and blocked the water flow for the entire seven weeks of the project. 

800-926-1926; www.petersenproducts.com



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