Fox Creek, AB


How do you get a 100-ton load across a bridge with a 20-ton capacity? That was the question faced by one of Almita’s energy sector clients. The client needed to transport a 100-ton compressor across a small private bridge that was only designed to carry 20-tonnes and their timelines were tight. Presented with a thorny problem, the client contacted Almita Piling. Several factors combined to make the project a challenging one. First, the bridge deck was 15 feet above a frozen creek bed so it went without saying the project required an unusually long pile. Next, there was no geotechnical data available on the soil under the creek bed, so the pile designers would need to make a number of assumptions. The greatest challenge of all however, was time. The client asked that the bridge be reinforced and ready for use by 2:00 p.m. on Saturday of that week. It was already Wednesday afternoon but the Almita team is not used to walking away from a challenge. Almita agreed to take on the project and immediately set to work.


Almita’s custom-engineered solution was rolled out on two levels. In collaboration with the client’s engineers, Almita’s engineering team determined that the bridge could in fact handle the 100-ton load if it was sufficiently reinforced in the center of the span. Working with the assumption that the soil bed was composed of stiff clay, Almita’s engineering team then used its proprietary software to develop a set of piles and provided the stamped designs to the client for approval. The moment the design was approved, Almita’s shipping and receiving department immediately sourced and purchased the necessary building materials. By this point it was already Thursday. On Friday afternoon the pipe material was delivered to Almita’s Ponoka-based manufacturing facility and fabrication began. While the fabrication team built the piles, an installation team was dispatched to Fox Creek to assess the installation area. The moment the forty-foot long piles were finished they were inspected by Almita’s quality assurance team. Upon passing inspection by the quality assurance team, the piles were loaded on a truck and began their five-hour long journey to Fox Creek.


By noon on Saturday morning the piles had been installed on either side of the bridge to a depth of 27 feet. Racing against the clock, Almita’s installation team capped the piles, installed a cross beam and welded the beam into place. By 2:30 p.m. all 100 tons of the load had crossed the bridge and were safely parked on the other side of the river. All totaled, the entire project went from initial client contact and needs assessment to design, fabrication, and installation in less than 72 hours and without compromising safety or quality. Without its skilled team of in-house engineers and a dedicated fabrication facility, there is no way that Almita could have met this demanding deadline. Although the piles had initially been intended as a temporary fixture, the client was so pleased with the result that they decided to leave them in as a permanent upgrade to the bridge.