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vinyl sheet piles

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Maybe I am the only one, but this was new to me: vinyl sheet piles. I was doing investigation of an Atlantic Ocean beachside house that was literally on the verge of collapse. Up the beach they were installing a new sea wall, and I went for a closer look. They were made of vinyl, and were probably around 1" thick. I could slightly lift even a one foot wide piece by 30 feet long.The contractor dug a trench in the sand, removed any coquina or other rock, then used water jetting to temporarily push sand out of the way. They would then use a backhoe to lift the sheet into place, and then with the bucket push it down into the sand. You cannot drive it like steel because it buckles under a small load. There are horizontal PT wood beams behind it at a couple intervals to tie everything together and keep it straight. Then at the top they will place a 2x2 concrete cap with dead man ties back to concrete block anchors. They have tongue and groove style ties at the edges that tie them all together.
 
A few days later I saw a similar system installed on the Indian River (intracoastal waterway). Once they get going, a two man crew can supposedly do 30-40 feet a day.
 
Just thought it was neat stuff.....
 
Andrew Kester, PE
Structural Engineering Consultant
Lake Mary, FL