As reported in the previous blog post, the turntable installation has begun! On Monday, April 6, the ground was prepped for pile driving to begin the following days. These piles will serve impart as the underground support for the 89,000lb turntable. A pile driving crane was brought in from Savannah, GA to drive steel beams deep into the earth at the site. For roughly two days Bryson City, was treated to the loud echos of colliding steel as a result of driving the 50ft long piles anywhere from 15 to 35 feet into the ground. An engineer from Charlotte, NC was on hand assisting by attaching sensors to each pile so that data could be recorded and signal when the pile had been driven to refusal. A total of 19 piles were installed and secured. Scroll to the bottom for a short video of the pile drive!
With the piles in place the area is now undergoing an excavation of roughly 10ft down into site. This space will allow room for forms that will be used to lay the concrete into exact shapes that the space needs for further support of the structure. The dig was put on hold due to the massive amount of rain the area saw last week. Before the concrete will be laid, the exposed ends of the piles will be cut off and final grading of the pit will be preformed to the exact depth.