MacMillian Pier, Provincetown MA
TAPERTUBE® PILES used for foundation support
by Jack Dougherty

Artist rendition of replacement Central Terminal Building

LGA  Proposed Central Terminal BuildingThere are three major airports in the New York metropolitan area.  JFK (John F. Kennedy), LGA (LaGuardia) - both located in Queens County NYC and EWR (Liberty International) located in Newark NJ.  LGA has been called by some, the worst airport in the country. 

LGA first opened as a commercial airport in 1939.  The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey took over operations in 1947.  The original main terminal was replaced in 1964 by the present facility that was designed for the passenger loads of that era.  Today the passenger volume has substantially increased making the terminal inadequate and in need of replacement. There are presently four terminals, “A” the Marine Terminal, “B” considered the main terminal, and “C” & “D”.  The reconstruction will eventually include changes to the entire facility including new roadways, parking garages and many changes to the air-side to accommodate larger air equipment.  In addition there will be a water taxi servicing Manhattan.

There has been talk of a light rail service from the airport to the public rail system.  In this writer’s opinion, it would be a great service to the traveling public to connect this new line to the present Air Train that moves passengers from JFK to mass transit at Jamaica Avenue via the Van Wyck Expressway.  The Light Rail could be extended via the Grand Central Parkway to LGA.  This would give the traveling public the ability to travel to and from LGA and JFK. This is something many must do to take different flight from the other airport.  It would also give travelers from LGA the option to use public transit to travel to Long Island or to Manhattan.  Presently, from JFK one may take the Air Train to the Howard Beach Station to connect with NYC Mass Transit.  This would give air passengers traveling from LGA many more options for travel and possibly reduce vehicular traffic at both airports and the always crowded roadways between.

Another view of an artist's rendition of replacement Central Terminal Building

LGA CTB reconstruction actually started in 2013 with the construction of the East-End Substation/Heating and Refrigeration Plant Contract LGA 124.191 where 210 ea. 8” x 18” x 25’ x .312” TAPERTUBE® PILES were installed. Following that project was the East-End Parking Garage Contract 124.201 where 454 ea. 8” x 18” x 25’ x .312” TAPERTUBE were installed.

Skanska / Walsh Joint Venture were awarded the LGA CTB contract to construct the New Central  Terminal and West Parking Garage an Automated Tram, Retail and Hotel Complex, a reportedly four billion dollar project.  It has also been reported that DELTA Airlines, who owns and operates terminals “C” and “D” will replace both terminals and connect to the New Central Terminal.

The work underway, as far as the pile foundations is concerned, is the construction of the West Parking Garage where 800 ea. 12”x 18”x 15’x .375” TAPERTUBE PILES have been ordered.  Also ordered are 325 ea. 12” x 18” x 15’ x .375” piles for a new Central Heating & Refrigeration Plant.  The Roadway Piles ordered to date have been 1,612. All Roadway Piles are 12” x 24” x 25’ x .438”.  The TAPERTUBE PILES will be extended by butt welding straight pipe to the large end of the TAPERTUBE before installation.  There has been an additional request for 1,300 TAPERTUBE PILES for the Head House (the terminal building). This will bring the total number of TAPERTUBE PILES to date to about 5,366.

With very good results from load tests, the original estimated quantities of 3,700 ea. 18” piles and 4,200 ea. 24” piles are likely to be reduced and allow each pile to carry additional load.

We have, to date, not received any official results of the load tests at LaGuardia Airport. We have heard through the “grapevine” that they did a 1,000 ton load test that was taken to 980 tons successfully on the 12” x 24” x 25’ x .438” wall TAPERTUBE roadway piles. If true, that could result in a tapered soil supported pile with a service load of possibly 490 tons.

The TAPERTUBE PILES are supplied by DFP Foundation Products, LLC of Franklin Lakes, N.J.  DFP supplies the tapered section of the pile along with the conical driving point.  We usually deliver the product to a pipe supplier who attach the point and butt weld the pipe extensions to the TAPERTUBE.  This allows the pile contractor to receive the piles to full installed length.  If additional length is required, a drive-fit splice or weld fit splice also manufactured by DFP can be supplied.

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