WorldWide Drilling Resource

17 JANUARY 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® Record-Breaking Soil Nail Wall Adapted from Information by UMA Geotechnical Construction, Inc. A North Carolina-based geotechnical contractor serving the Mid-Atlantic Region is working on a project set to become the largest square footage of soil nail walls completed under a single contract. UMA Geotechnical Construction, a firm which creates specialized solutions for ground engineering needs, is on track to construct roughly 115,610 square feet of wall along Interstate 26 by April 2022. UMA is working as a subcontractor to a Fluor Corporation-led joint venture with United Infrastructure Group, Inc. The project, formally known as NCDOT I-26 Exit 40-I40 Interstate Expansion Project, will help alleviate traffic congestion, as well as improve the safety and operational efficiency of this vital stretch of interstate in the Asheville area. Work began last year, and will ultimately result in 15 soil nail walls of varying heights, ranging in square footage from less than 1000 to more than 25,000. All are permanent walls consisting of epoxy-coated soil nails, bearing plates, and a decorative cast-in-place concrete finish. Due to the magnitude of the project, UMA is relying on several local material suppliers. The I-26 project was subject to the Federal Highway Administration’s Buy America policy, so UMA secured nearly a half million pounds of domestic structural steel for the epoxy-coated soil nail bars from Skyline Steel. Reinforcing steel is being sourced from Guaranteed Supply Company. Roanoke Cement is supplying nearly two million pounds of Portland Cement required to bond the reinforcing tendons to the surrounding soil and rock, and enough shotcrete to cover a football field with an eight-inch layer. A wider, taller, and more aesthetically pleasing Blue Ridge Parkway Bridge over I-26 is also required for the widening project. UMA was selected to install 35 rock anchors for the new three-span precast segmental bridge. UMA President Brian DeSpain said, “UMA is proud to play an integral part on the Fluor-United joint venture for the I-26 project.” He added, “Our combined efforts will help to improve traffic flow in the area, while also retaining the natural beauty of Asheville.” C&G