A foundations testing project will begin in the Rouchleau Pit this week. The first stage of work will be to improve the access road used to bring in the larger equipment that will be needed in the pit. This road will take one to two weeks to construct.

The testing will determine the optimum foundation type and load-capacity for the pilings for each of the two bridge alternative routes being considered in the rerouting of Highway 53.

Three or four barges will be assembled in the pit and will begin drilling in mid-to late October. The barges will be positioned near two previously investigated submerged areas. Crews on the barges will drill two–24 inch diameter piles, two–16 inch diameter piles and one–six foot diameter shaft.

The work will continue as long as the weather permits this year and if it is not finished, work may resume in spring 2015.

Minnesota Department of Transportation has contracted with Veit Foundations for this project.

The pilings will be removed from the pit after all testing has been completed.

Read more about the project here.