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Pouring basement walls underway at hospital site

Pouring basement walls underway at hospital site
Pouring basement walls underway at hospital site
A crane assists workers in pouring concrete into a form for basement walls at the Harrison County Hospital construction site northwest of Corydon. (Photo by Charles Ewry)

The Harrison County Hospital construction site bustled with activity Friday as excavation was winding down and construction taking over.
Mark Shireman of James L. Shireman Inc., construction manager for the project, provided an explanation of goings on at the property on Corydon-Ramsey Road adjacent to Interstate 64.
Several sinkholes at the site are being dealt with in one of two ways. All are excavated down to solid rock and a breach is exposed. The breach, which causes the sinkhole, allows surface water to drain and takes soil along with it.
Some of those sinkholes are turned into natural filters. Those sinkholes are plugged using rock wrapped in a geotextile fabric and then covered over with soil. The method allows water to drain without removing soil and creating a surface depression.
Other sinkholes will be fitted with concreted pipes while the surrounding surface is filled in and leveled out. Those sinkholes will serve as drains for storm water and also will no longer contribute to erosion.
Construction of the hospital’s foundation is well underway at the site, including pouring of basement walls, cassions and piers.
All 67 cassions are finished. These are load-bearing columns that extended like stilts through the clay until reaching solid rock.
Shireman said engineers drilled through the soil until hitting rock and then continued to drill another five feet. When the auger remained in rock, the engineers assumed they had reached a rock shelf.
The cassions, also called drilled piers, were then tested to make sure they exceeded load-bearing standards.
Foundation piers which will support the basement are also being poured. The metal frames which will reinforce the concrete piers could be seen extending upward throughout the site Friday.
Conduits running under the basement floor have also been put in place and some of that concrete has been poured.
Monolithic rectangles have begun appearing around the 33,000 square feet excavated for the hospital’s basement. These are forms for the basement’s concrete walls.
Despite the sinkholes, depressions and tremendous amount of rock encountered during the excavation, Shireman said things are pretty much on schedule.
When undertaking a project this size in Southern Indiana’s karst topography, ‘the key is to anticipate you are going to have challenges,’ said Shireman, who pointed out there is a quarry just down the road.

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