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Florida DOT Approves Project Switch To Slide Rail
The first step to getting the approved shoring method changed from sheeting to Slide Rail was to submit a Valued Engineering Change Proposal (VECP) to FDOT. “Calculations, tab data, 3D CAD drawings, case studies; the state’s engineers wanted to see everything we had on Slide Rail,” added West.
In the end, after more than eight months of examination, consideration and multiple documentation from Efficiency, Better Roads and Keystone Engineering, FDOT’s contracted engineers on the project, did agree that Slide Rail was a cost savings over sheeting on this project, and could be used as an alternative positive shoring system. “Then it became a matter of paperwork,” said Bosco. “Because not only did the state need to say ‘yes, this is a cost savings’ but because this is a federally funded project, all the correct federal agencies needed to agree that it was a cost savings as well.”
The significance of this determination goes well beyond Better Road’s I-75 project. In the future, any contractors will be able to bid Slide Rail instead of sheeting for FDOT let projects.
Slide Rail is installed simultaneously as the trench or pit is excavated. “We can install it with our own machines and equipment,” said Harrison. “It is a lot easier to just switch out a bucket on your excavator with quick-connect, than having to bring in a hammer or even a crane.”
In comparing Slide Rail to traditional trench shields, again Slide Rail offers the biggest advantages. “Conventional shields are very stationary and once the spreader pipes or arches are in, you need to move the machine to dig out areas under the spreaders,” said George Carillo, Haleakala’s project foreman. “We can install pipe faster by using Slide Rail, due to the fact that Efficiency’s Slide Rail has parallel beams connecting regular trench box spreaders that move up and down in the linear posts so we could dig in and around the moving spreader pipe.”
Haleakala rented from Professional Shoring & Supply more than 300 feet of Slide Rail equipment, enough to configure a long Linear Multi-Bay system to safely shore the pipeline trench along I-75. The system included eight-foot tall, 16-foot wide steel panels that slide down integrated rails on 14-foot linear posts, creating more than 30 separate 16-foot wide “bays.”