The Piers

This was a fun day for me - it was the day we really broke ground. Tim is using his backhoe to drill the holes for the piers. I got to help by guiding the augur back into the hole each time he brought it up to dump a load of dirt. The bit is 16" in diameter and the extensions make the pole 16' long. We used the entire length to dig the 16' holes. Each hole took over 30 minutes to drill. We finished 6 holes in the afternoon I worked. There were only 96 more to do after that. Each hole went through about 6' of dirt, 9' of bedrock (sort of shale like stuff) and about 1' of "refusal" - rock that is too hard to drill through. As it turns out, this is ideal. The bedrock is good for holding the piers from sliding, and the refusal will keep them from sinking.

For all 102 piers, Devin and company tied the cages by hand. There are four pieces of rebar (16' long) with these square pieces approximately every foot. The tying took about a week for two people.

This shows how much steel they delivered for the foundation. In the foreground are the square pieces for the cages. In addition to 102 piers, the cages are used in the forms for the walls as you can see in the next page of this story.

This is Devin hard at work on the day the concrete piers were poured. Here he is wielding a shovel to dig a trench from one pier to the next. It was a hot day and Devin had a lot to manage. His estimate of 63 cubic yards of concrete to fill the pier holes was accurate. It took 7 concrete truck loads!

Because the site is on a hillside and the piers are scattered, Devin hired a concrete pump with a large boom. As you can see in this picture and the next, each concrete truck backed up to the pump truck which stayed at the site all day. Two workers moved the boom from pier to pier and filled them. It took most of one day to fill all 102 holes.

This is another view of the concrete truck, pump and boom. As you can see, the boom was quite large!

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