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Bermingham Foundation Solutions upgrades Port of Oshawa

78 years after the company installed the existing wall

Bermingham Foundation Solutions carried out significant upgrades to Port of Oshawa.
Bermingham Foundation Solutions carried out significant upgrades to Port of Oshawa.

The Port of Oshawa, Ontario is the region’s gateway to world markets through the St. Lawrence Seaway. This national deep-water port has handled over 500 vessels and shipped more than three million tonnes of cargo over the past decade. On average, the port handles $23 million worth of cargo annually, from salt and steel products to asphalt and grain.

Oshawa Port Authority awarded the contract to Hamilton, Ontario-based Bermingham Foundation Solutions (BFS) for the Major Consolidation Project at the port. This challenging project involved relocating the heavy industrial uses of the west wharf to the east wharf and would require a significant upgrade to the east dock face. This was not the first time Bermingham has worked at the Port of Oshawa. In 1937, Bermingham installed the existing wall which had been in place for 78 years.

This time, the project had two main items; the removal of the existing wall which consisted of a 60-metre-long sheet pile wall and 160-metre-long armour stone wall, and then the installation of 226 metres of Combi-Wall. The new wall is a combination of 98 pipe piles, alternating with 78 sheet piles.

The resulting dock face held back 8 to 10 metres of soil, and supports the docking of ocean freighters. High strength tiebacks were installed to hold back the top of the wall. Finally, the piles and tiebacks are cast within a concrete cap and receive a series of bollards, fenders, ladders and backing curbs along its length.

The installation of the Combi-Wall required strict and accurate placement to avoid compounding error building over its length. Bermingham developed a template that enabled accurate placement of the pipe piles and minimized the compounding error.

BFS undertook the excavation of giant armour stones (some the size of compact cars), and the backfill of granular material. Vibratory hammers were used to drive large diameter pipe piles, small and slender H-piles, and sheets of varying sizes. Conventional crane-mount drilling and high-end, lead-mount reverse circulation drilling, using a BHD-80 drill, were done to remove the soil and rock, respectively. The welding team showed their skill in handling complex welded elements while dealing with difficult field alignment and rough, wet working conditions. Despite the early onset of winter, large diameter tiebacks were accurately drilled off a barge – buffeted by winds and waves – to maintain the owner’s schedule.

The Port of Oshawa is pleased to have a new docking facility that is longer and capable of taking larger vessels.

“Bermingham completed the project on time, and at all times were professional and innovative, even suggesting a money saving alternative to the original design,” said Donna Taylor, President & CEO, Harbourmaster, Oshawa Port Authority. 

Bermingham Foundation Solutions carried out significant upgrades to Port of Oshawa.

Company info

600 Ferguson Ave. N.
Wellington Street Marine Terminal
Hamilton, ON
CA, L8L 4Z9


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