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The Link Project - Vancouver International Airport

The Link Project - Vancouver International Airport
Date: 2005

The $117-million Vancouver International Airport Link Building was added to the existing airport structure to accommodate increased airport traffic and host office space, while connecting the airport to the light rail transit system. General contractor Ledcor contracted AGRA Foundations Limited to install 18.3 m deep micropiles/ soil anchors and expanded-base piles, which, in conjunction with existing and new stone columns, would support the new structure. The project was subject to airport regulations and restrictions, and the close proximity to existing adjacent structures posed challenges in regards to spatial restrictions and already densified soil layers.


In the installation of the 508 mm tension piles at two-pile caps, only about 1 m away from the existing building walls, AGRA pre-bored piles to allowable depth prior to driving of tubes and construction of shafts. The balance of piles was installed in a carefully calculated sequence to avoid heaving of previously-installed piles. Extensive quality control ensured that zero-slump concrete met the specified strength, with all results indicating 20 MPa or greater after 24 hours. The micropiles / soil anchors were assessed by two full-scale load tests in compression and tension, which met and exceeded the acceptance criteria. AGRA used its unique drill-water circulation system to eliminate environmental concerns.