A design/build expansion of the Port of Cristobal on the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal presented numerous challenges for the contractor. The age of the existing structures was a constant issue: the port dates to 1851, where it was used for the Transisthmian Railroad construction. The reconstruction of Berth 10 was designed around existing drilled shafts over a century ago.
AFT performed Unknown Foundation Studies using Sonic Echo Impulse Response (SEIR) and Parallel Seismic Testing (PST) methods. These procedures were to analyze the existing 100+ year old drilled shafts without any destruction. Interestingly, it was discovered that these shafts used leftover railroad tracks as their reinforcement!
For the new berth construction, which AFT was heavily involved, drilled shafts and multiple types of driven piles were used. AFT performed CSL, PDA, CAPWAP®, and WEAP services for the new foundation installations. AFT provided pile driving criteria recommendations and served as expert consultants for various foundation construction challenges.