SIX FIGURES, NO SUITS E2 : DAM MICROPILES


my name is Than we’re on a dam six figures no suits watch & build hi my name is Josh Timmreck
I’m the project manager for Nicholson Construction over here at the Prairie du Sac Dam
we’re installing micropiles across the dam as a means of basically
underpinning and stabilizing the dam from the original wood timbers that is
founded on there’s tens of thousands of wood timbers that the dam was originally
built and basically over time they have deteriorated from the water resulting in
you know potential failure of the dam eventually if they continue to erode we’re installing total 984 micropiles to basically replace all the wooden
timbers and when we’re done the design itself is set to where there’s no need for any soils, timberpiles anything else it can completely be supported on
these micropiles about 18 degrees so challenging today versus our normal working conditions but we’re working through it so a micropile and it’s context is there
several types in this application we’re using soil piles so basically what we’re
doing it’s a duplex method there’s a outer drill string in a casing that gets
drilled down to depth there’s an inner rod basically flushes all your cuttings
back up through the drill and then once it’s down to the tip elevation we we
fill it with a neat cement grout basically just cement and water once
that’s done we set a center bar it’s in this case to #24 so a pretty big
you know three-inch rebar that’s going down the center of a full length once
that’s set we then pull up the casing leaving 20 foot still in the ground check check one two one two You guys gonna bust in some Beasties or something? we drill down we’ll use a 20 foot
starter casing with ten teeth on it continuous teeth cut through the
overburden with a roller bit head we descend down 35 feet until we hit the
bottom of the gallery and we just send another 60 feet after that we’re about
to enter like what we call the gallery which is the inner inside of the dam
we’ve cut a 6 x6 opening into the dam roll way to allow us access so here we are in the gallery on the west side to see where the casing
has come through the roll way of the dam and thence descending down you’ll see a
metal frame that the casing is being guided into the location of the
micropile my name is Joseph Smotherman
I work for Nicholson construction I’m a driller these new drill rigs were getting
nowadays they’re all remote control so you have a whole bunch of switches they
all feel the same not not like a regular drill a good drill it’s got a cab you
can set in we’re out in the elements all day long the remote controls are nice
because you can get closer to where you’re actually working and see what
you’re doing versus the cabs you’re limited to your area you have to work in
with the remotes you can get up there and actually see what you’re doing a
whole lot better you don’t have to trust anybody else but yourself this job in particular is very unique
best of my knowledge and other people involved this has never been done
micropiles themselves aren’t the most unique type of construction but to this
scale you know 984 across the dam drilling through the dam with several
operations across it that’s what really makes it unique versus a typical project barge work poses a couple of different things and obviously you’ve
got fall from heights you’ve got water nearby so you want to wear PFDs
you’re you’re on a floating surface with a very large piece of equipment drilling
through a dam in three different levels you can easily become bound in any one
of those levels 35 feet through those levels but in all total 92 feet in depth
if the barge is to sway or move or be drifted off course different challenges for sure to be watchful the team we have out here at Prairie du Sac
is Nicholson as a GC we have a couple other subcontractors doing small scopes of work I mean we are pretty close family all these guys I’ve
worked with on several projects even in the you know the five years I’ve been
with Nicholson I’ve worked on probably five or six different jobs with with most
these guys so we have you know you get to know each other
it just does become a pretty close-knit group of guys and even afterwards you
know myself and a lot of guys we have campers up in the campground and you
know get together after work make group dinners and talk you know thirty minutes
of work afterwards and then we shut er off and it’s back to you know life
outside of work after work everyone hangs out back at the hotel one we’re staying at now I’ll even give you a beer a night so that’s a nice way to
wind down and everyone get together and talk about what happened you know talk
about life outside of work a lot of us around the road so that’s a good good
way to have a support group with you every day no I don’t think this job is
for everyone I think you got to have a certain toughness about ya
certain resilience about you hasn’t been too bad for myself and definitely opened up some
opportunities for the family that they would not normally have I do own a suit
couldn’t tell you the last time I wore it probably doesn’t fit anymore it was
probably when I was in high school or something or maybe for my first job
interview it wasn’t on the job I can tell you that that’s for sure no I would say last time I wore a suit was probably at my brother’s wedding or my sister’s wedding I don’t know I’ve never worn a suit and I don’t plan to because I don’t need it

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