Pikes Peak Summit Complex
Updated: Mar 29, 2021
Straight Line Construction
Project Type: Micropiles
General Contractor G.E. Johnson began construction on this high (literally) profile and exciting project in June of 2018. The project consists of the construction of the new 38,000 square feet Summit Complex which includes over 2,000 ft of elevated boardwalks and viewing platforms. Construction is occurring at the summit of Pikes Peak at an elevation of over 14,000 feet. The unique challenges associated with performing construction work at this extreme elevation are as demanding as the views from the summit are extraordinary.
Straight Line Construction was selected to install the micropiles for the project. Straight Line Construction is under contract to install 201 micropiles for the elevated boardwalk and viewing platforms as well as 9 micropiles for the building. Currently, 81 micropiles have been installed for the center elevated boardwalks. Construction is expected to continue for two more years due to the extremely short season associated with working at this altitude.
The micropiles have a design load of 40 kips (40,000 lbs). Micropiles are being installed with 6” diameter drill bit and No. 9, Grade 75 reinforcing steel. The upper portion of the micropiles have steel casing to resist lateral loads and to provide a bond breaker between the permafrost and the micropile. The bedrock encountered in the bond zone is granite from the Pikes Peak Granite Formation. The reinforcing steel was acquired from Nucor Norfolk in Nebraska to meet the LEED requirements for recycled materials for the project.
Straight Line Construction is proud to be working on this exciting and challenging project on top of Pikes Peak – “America’s Mountain”. Some of the unique challenges associated with construction at the site include:
Extremely short construction season
Design of micropiles and micropile grout as it applies to the permafrost encountered at the summit
Long commutes associated with the daily drive up Pikes Peak Highway
Contact our Commercial Team to learn more.
During the process, we installed Micropiles to help support the boardwalk, the landing, and several other areas inside and outside of the new visitor center.
The team worked through some very challenging conditions.
Tough environment for the crew and equipment to run with an elevation of 14,115 feet. Limited crew time of approximately six hours to perform physical work at elevation then we needed to head down the mountain in order to limit the amount of exposure to oxygen deprivation.
Some other obstacles we had to work with were an hour commute each way to the summit from the base gate without snow/ice conditions on the roadway. Some days took a couple of hours to reach the summit following the plow equipment. Extreme climate conditions with sub-zero temperatures on several days and dangerous winds chill. Dangerous lightning storms were also very common on most summer afternoons. Also, a short season to work each year with about 6 months to try and get work accomplished before the weather got too severe to work safely.
We will be back at it soon and will update our progress.