Case Studies: HydroDemolition and Pile Cutting Success Stories

January 26, 2024

Aggregate Technologies is a leading provider of HydroDemolition as well as other forms of highly advanced methods of demolition and construction. We take every job seriously, helping to ensure the success and safety of every project. From small projects to larger scope contracts, we work to ensure that every job is completed efficiently, on time, and on budget. With over 25 years of industry experience, we’re committed to your HydroDemolition success, because your success is ours. From the most simple to complex demolition plans, we have it covered. Below you’ll be able to see some of our success stories across various industries, which we hope will highlight the efficiency and superiority of HydroDemolition and Aggregate Technologies.

Hurricane Harvey Emergency Bridge Repair

Humble, Texas

Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast on August 25, 2017, bringing with it not only strong damaging hurricane-force winds but also an astonishing 51 inches of rainfall in just a few days. This is an almost unimaginable amount of rain. This rain resulted in the overflowing of local rivers, ditches, dams, and similar. There was mass flooding and devastation like this area has never seen before.  Waterways like the idyllic San Jacinto River, which normally one could use to fish using waders became raging torrents of destruction. This rampant river carried with it trees, debris, and bits of infrastructure as all this access water raced down to the Gulf of Mexico.

After the rain passed and the cleanup began, inspections on the infrastructure also began. From all outward appearances the Highway 59-Interstate 69 Bridge in Humble, Texas, looked as it always had, other than lots of debris on the piers, columns, and piles. However, after a more thorough inspection, it became apparent that the increased water flow and its mighty rate of speed had scoured the river bottom from around the piles. A river that used to be 15-20’ deep under the bridge was now 30-40′ feet deep, this meant that piles that once were well embedded into the river bottom now had less than 50% embedment.

This was a problem that needed fixing immediately. Quotes were tendered for an emergency repair which would involve selectively removing the center three spans of the bridge that were directly over the river channel.  Being a major highway route leading into and out of Houston, this project was very time-sensitive, and the DOT allotted only 113 days for the bridge to be closed to traffic. When Webber, the general contractor was awarded the project, they learned that needed a concrete cutting company that they could depend on. They needed a company that could get the demolition done on time and on budget. They called Aggregate Technologies.

Aggregate Technologies came out and used a wide variety of equipment and technology, utilizing our experienced management, staff, and operators to help support such a monumental task. TX DOT had allowed for liquidated damages should the project go past the allotted time, but they also included a performance bonus for every day under the 113-day time limit up to a maximum of 10 days. With the help of Aggregate Technologies, not only was the bridge completed on time and reopened to traffic, but the full 10-day performance bonus was surpassed as well.

Further, Aggregate Technologies was awarded its fourth Excellence in Construction (EIC) Eagle Award from Associated Builders and Contractors for this project.

Patented Equipment Cutting and Removing 150 Piles a Day

Port Arthur, Texas

We can safely cut and remove up to 150 piles per day with one machine and one operator. Our machine holds the concrete in place, cuts at any angle, and safely removes the detached pieces.

Our custom and patented equipment allowed us to cut and remove 10,000 14” x 14” and 18” x 18” precast concrete piles at Motiva in Port Arthur, Texas, for which Aggregate Technologies was awarded an ABC Excellence in Construction Award in 2009. Other jobs with our pile cutting technology had us cutting and removing 3,500 precast concrete piles in Shintech in Louisiana.

We cut piles all over the US for jobs big and small.  We’re ready to handle any job, even if that job requires 150 piles a day to be removed!  Who can do it faster?

Underwater HydroDemolition 

San Jacinto River, Texas

Torrential rain over Texas from Tropical Storm Imelda flooded the San Jacinto River. Between 11 and 14 barges came unmoored, and some collided with the Interstate 10 bridge. The highway was closed while inspectors surveyed the damage, finding at least one column destroyed and another column severely damaged.

On the damaged 66-inch diameter column, five feet of the column above the water and 10 feet below needed to have the damaged concrete removed while preserving the rebar. Typically, divers below and crews above would manually chip away the damaged concrete. But Aggregate Technologies was called on to use our HydroDemolition process.

The ATI crew set up one of its Hydro-Bot systems, via scaffolds, on the damaged column. The operator adjusted the force of the high-pressure water cutter to remove only the damaged concrete, preserving the rebar and the sound concrete that remained. By utilizing this unique service, Aggregate Technologies was able to do its part in speeding up the repairs to the bridge. They were able to hit their early completion bonus!  The contractor was pleased with the speed and the engineers appreciated the amazing bonding surface that the HydroDemolition process left behind.   TxDot even wrote ATI a letter of thanks afterwards!

HydroDemolition is not only faster than traditional methods, but it does also not cause additional damage to the concrete from vibrations or micro-fracturing, and with the remote-controlled process it is a much safer method. The process also leaves a rough and superior bondable surface for new concrete to adhere to. Even better, repairs using HydroDemolition tend to last three times longer than traditional methods!

Interior Structural Demolition

Houston, Texas

ATI operators completed interior structural demolition work at Baptist Temple Church in the historic Heights neighborhood in Houston, Texas.

The church was established in 1908 and is undergoing renovation to reconfigure the building to fit the current needs of the congregation and add ADA compliance. Doing so will help unite the community, welcoming more attendees than prior.  It will also help to sustain the church for many years to come.

Four structural concrete slab floors are being removed – ground level above basement, 2nd, and 2nd 1/2. To remove the upper floors, several things had to happen. The Brokk robotic hammer had to be maneuvered up the staircase and then used to punch a hole in the center of the second floor. That hole was then used to lift a slab saw up to the second floor. The slab saw was then used to put a relief cut around the perimeter of the area to be demolished to make a smooth edge. Along with removing the flooring, some structural beams had to be supported and protected while the demolition work was performed.

ATI completed the job with efficiency, safety, and speed, finishing on time and on budget. We’re always happy to help serve the pillars in our communities.Aggregate Technologies has many success stories varying in many different industries and project types. From cutting hundreds of piles a day to completing underwater HydroDemolition, to helping lift our community and infrastructure after a natural disaster, Aggregate Technologies is here when you need us most. With the finest technology, and the most elite team, we have the recipe for success, and it probably involves a healthy dash of HydroDemolition. To learn more about our projects, and to enquire about how we can help serve yours, contact us today.

Contact us when you need a contractor with a record of safety and success for your concrete cutting and hydrodemolition needs.

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