One of the most interesting projects Paalupiste has taken part in was Fietsen door de Bomen Cycle Path in Belgium which opened in June 2019.
The structure, situated in the Limburg province, provides a unique cycling experience at a height of up to 10 meters amongst the treetops. The cycling path is 700 meters long and it gives the opportunity to experience the surrounding nature from a completely new perspective. In addition to cyclists, the structure can be used by pedestrians and those with restricted mobility.
Because the cycling path structure was exceptionally high and the ground below relatively loose, the foundations had to be carefully designed. In addition, the construction site was in the middle of a forest, which made the ability to transport the installation machinery to the site and the environmental integrity important criteria when choosing the installation method for the foundations.
Over 450 Paalupiste PRO™ series machine installed screw piles were used in the foundations. The installation machine was an 8 tonne rubber track excavator, which moved around the environment almost without a trace.
The sizes of the screw piles used were 114,3 x 6,3 mm and 39,7 x 6,3 mm and the length of the piles 3-4 meters. The piles and a ground drill were delivered from Finland to Belgium, where the drill was attached to a locally hired excavator which was used as the installation machine.
One of the advantages of screw piling is the fact that it is easy to do pretty much anywhere in the world. The piles can be delivered to wherever and the installation machine can be pretty much any kind of excavator, front loader, mobile crane or another type of industrial machine.
U-brackets were attached on top the screw piles, on which the vertical pillars of the structure were installed. The pillars, which symbolise the long straight trunks of the surrounding pine trees, support the cycle path and make sure the structure blends naturally and beautifully into the environment.
The customer was extremely pleased with the speed of the screw pile installation and how little damage it did to the surrounding nature. It was great to be part of this project that represents bold green space design, and it was also great to notice that there’s demand for Finnish quality products and know-how in Europe.
Type of pile: Paalupiste machine installed PRO™ screw pile
Piles used: Approx. 450 screw piles, pile size 114,3 x 6,3 mm and 139,7 6,3 mm with a 250 mm helice
Installation machinery: 8 tonne excavator with a 30 000 Nm screw pile drive head
Main contractor: Dragon Mining