Flagler Beach Wall

Flagler Beach, Florida

State Road A1A (SR A1A) is a north-south Florida State Road that runs along the Atlantic Ocean, from Key West at the southern tip of Florida, to Fernandina Beach, just south of Georgia on Amelia Island. It is the main road through most oceanfront towns. This is a major strip of road that runs the entire length of Florida along the Atlantic Ocean, thus it has great importance to the surrounding areas.

In October 2016, a category 4 hurricane, dubbed Matthew, made his appearance with torrential rain, massive storm surges, and winds up to 145 MPH. Matthew hit Haiti, moved past Cuba and the Bahamas, and then destroyed the coastal areas of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Among the cities impacted by Hurricane Matthew was Flagler Beach, Florida.

Flagler Beach is a seaside community along this coastline that was majorly impacted. There are 6 miles of open beaches, many wonderful fishing spots, oceanfront dining, and endless recreational activities- a true beach town. The coastline took a hard hit.

The extensive damage needs to be fixed and the Florida Department of Transportation hired Malcolm as a sub-contractor to Superior Construction out of Jacksonville, Florida for the job.

Paul Kaminski is a Senior Project Manager for Malcolm with 40 years of experience under his belt and is the Senior Project Manager on site. Paul shared some insight about the scope:

The project is for the protection of the roadway from the harsh environment. Being alongside the Atlantic Ocean creates a very corrosive environment due to the saltwater.

The equipment for this particular job is unique in that it is a Dual Rotary Drill Rig. The rig is set up with two rotary drill units mounted one on top of the other. One controls the advance of the temporary casing, while the other drives the drill string (which is a CFA (Continuous Flight Auger)).

The machinery was modified and completed by Malcolm in the Los Angeles yard. They took an existing drill rig (Bauer BG40), purchased attachments, and assembled it to achieve the setup they needed.

The stretch Malcolm is working on is about 1-mile long. MDCI is installing a secant pile wall– a series of interconnecting drill shafts that are 36 inches in diameter with a grand total of 1,847 being placed. What is interesting about the rebar is that there is no steel reinforcement going in these. The rebar is called ‘GFRP Bar’ (Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer). It is the largest application of its kind for this type of rebar in drill shafts.  A combination of 40 footers (reinforced) long and 20 footers (not reinforced) are being used. The GFRP Bar represents about 25% of the cost of the wall build.

This is the 1st application of its kind in the state of Florida- if all goes according to plan (which it is thus far) there will be potential for more opportunities of this nature.

Check out this quick video of the crew hard at work:

To learn more about this project please visit our project page, or contact Paul Kaminski at PKaminski@malcolmdrilling.com