Foundation work begins for Downtown Crossing overpasses


by News release

Posted on September 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 10 at 9:15 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (September 9, 2013) – With work underway on the new Downtown Crossing, more activity is being seen on the streets of downtown Louisville.  The project includes 62 new overpasses.  One of the major items of work underway is pile driving.  Piling is driven into the soil to provide foundation support for the overpasses.  Over 538,000 feet of piling will be needed for the project.

The piling will eventually be covered by the concrete footings, piers and abutments of the overpasses. 

How it Works:

  • Walsh Construction crews are using a Delmag D36 diesel pile hammer, supported by a Link Belt 248 crane
  • Pile driving is started by raising the weight (the piston)
  • Air is drawn into the cylinder and diesel fuel is added
  • The weight is dropped using a quick release
  • The weight of the piston compresses and heats the air/fuel mixture
  • The mixture ignites, transferring the energy of the falling weight to the pile head and driving the weight back up

Pile Driving by the Numbers:

  • The downtown portion of the Ohio River Bridges project requires over 538,000 feet of piling under a total of 62 new overpasses
  • This overpass on the south side of Main Street will require 16 individual piles, 150 feet in length, driven into the bedrock
  • The piles are 14 inches wide and weigh over 100 pounds per foot
  • The Delmag D36 diesel pile hammer has a piston weight of nearly 8,000 pounds and generates up to 90,000 foot-pounds of energy per blow
  • The guides holding the pile hammer and piling in position are 130 feet long
  • The Link Belt 248 crawler crane has 150 feet of boom and a capacity of 200 tons