A contractor was performing a sanitary sewer line repair within a wastewater treatment plant in Southwest Florida. The repair required a 16’ linear run, with a width of 20’ and an excavation depth of 11’. The contractor’s Competent Person had classified the soil as type C-60 sandy mixture.
The contractor’s primary consideration in selecting a protective system on this project was the unstable soil. While addressing the poor soil conditions, the excavation would also need to accommodate a 48” line that would cross through the excavated area. The system would need the flexibility to accommodate the location of those utilities as well as support the excavation walls around those utilities.
After reviewing a few protective system options the contractor selected a Steel Sheeting Guide Frame System for the project. A Steel Sheeting Guide Frame System is composed of steel panels threaded along corner rails in much the same manner as slide rail systems are configured. The Steel Sheeting Guide Frame System introduces open channel panels that allow steel sheets to be inserted through the channels and pushed to the excavation depth. The steel sheet is pushed below the excavation depth a few feet according to manufacturer’s tabulated data and provides soil support to the full depth of the excavation. The system is installed in what is commonly known as a “dig and push” method to maintain soil stability.
The system’s utilization of steel sheets also helps to accommodate crossing utilities, such as the 48” line that would cross this excavation. Sheets can be pushed around the utility according to the product’s tabulated data to achieve the necessary soil protection while also addressing the presence of the utility.
The Steel Sheeting Guide Frame System is a relatively new system that provides contractors with one additional tool to meet the trench safety needs on their projects. The contractor was very satisfied with the system, its ease of use and quick installation process.