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Condon-Johnson & Associates Wins the ISM Fourth World Cup of Micropiles

Condon-Johnson & Associates (CJA), representing North America, was selected as the winner of the Fourth World Cup of Micropiles by the delegates of the 15th International Workshop for Micropiles, hosted by the International Society for Micropiles (ISM) on May 31 – June 2, 2023, at The Sebastian in Vail, Colorado.

CJA was named the winner for its project to build the top station and tower foundations for a new tram at Big Sky Resorts in Montana. The presentation, “Battling the Elements with Helicopters at Elevation 11, 260 Feet,” was delivered by Ty Jahn, P.E., of CJA.

“This is the highest elevation that we are aware of that micropiles have been installed at in North America, so we were in sync with the workshop theme of Taking Micropiles to New Heights,” says Jahn.

CJA was hired as the general contractor to build the top station and tower foundations, which consist of micropiles supporting the axial loading of the structures with 300-kip tiebacks installed to support the top station from rotation and the tower legs from sliding off the mountain. All access to the tower location was with a helicopter or by taking the tram to the top of the mountain then a descent off the top of the mountain while repelling down 1,000 feet of rope.

CJA delivered innovative solutions for numerous challenges during the installation, including using four different helicopter companies due to the size of different loads, seasonal storms, diesel equipment operating at 11,260 feet, drilling micropiles in completely frozen ground with ice layers and dealing with grout setup in freezing conditions, working off rappelling ropes, threat of wildfires, massive amounts of snow removal to start and during work, working on a talus cliff with vertical faces, and more.

Watch the video of this incredible project produced by CJA.

The World Cup of Micropiles is an international competition to seek out a micropile project that stands above all others. Five regions of the globe compete to bring home the Micropile World Cup: North America, South and Central America, Europe, Africa and Central Asia (Russia, Middle East and India) and Australasia.

The other finalists on the competition were:

  • Australasia: Total Ground Engineering and Earth Stability, New Zealand — Micropiled Cell Towers for the Rural Connectivity Group
  • Europe: AARSLEFF, Poland — Reconstruction of Railway Bridge in Old Town of Cracow
  • Africa and Central Asia: Bullivant Arabia, Saudi Arabia — Remedial Works to Arrest the Differential Settlement of Foundations of Sabic Building
  • South and Central America: Ischebeck, Colombia — Installation of Micropiles for the Foundation of the New Furnace at the O-I Peldar Zipaquira Plant

About ISM
The International Society for Micropiles (ISM) is a consortium of international representatives involved in the design, construction, research/development and instruction/promotion of micropile technology. ISM provides an international forum for debate, advice, problem-solving and support to micropile specialists and nonspecialists throughout the world. Members of the Society can actively seek advice and experience from other members within this international group. ISM aims to be respected internationally as the preeminent center of knowledge for the development, advancement and promotion of micropile technology.

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