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Pier-installation process to begin on student center construction project

RELEASED: March 17, 2011

EAU CLAIRE — Installation of approximately 700 Geopiers that will support the foundation of the new student center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will begin March 28.

The installation of the rammed aggregate piers will take approximately four weeks to complete, depending on the weather and soil conditions, said Christopher Hessel, construction project coordinator for UW-Eau Claire Facilities Management.

The piers will be installed strategically under the building foundation and provide additional support by distributing the building load, Hessel said. The piers will be constructed by ramming aggregate into 24-by-36-inch diameter holes ranging from 6 feet to 14 feet in depth. The ramming force will drive the aggregate downward and laterally into the sidewalls of each hole.

"Due to the nature of this type of pier construction, there will be noise and vibration associated with the ramming of the aggregate," Hessel said.

Occupants of UW-Eau Claire's Nursing Building, Phillips Science Hall, Davies Center and McIntyre Library, all of which are on the perimeter of the construction site, will be most affected by the noise and vibrations from the Geopier installation process, Hessel said.

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JP/AH

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