MacMillian Pier, Provincetown MA
Tapertube® Pile Saves MacMillian Pier Job - Provincetown MA
by Jack Dougherty

Tapertube® test piles being unloaded at the pier

Tapertube test piles being unloadedTAPERTUBE® Piles were chosen to replace pipe piles that were unable to hold the load because of apparent soil relaxation.


A forensic engineer was hired by the Town in March of 2001 to evaluate the load tests done on the pipe piles that were installed under the contract specification. These piles were 12 ¾ OD x.500 wall A.S.T.M. A-252 Grade 2 to be driven to twice the design load of 80 tons. The forensic engineer found the testing was done properly.

Driving the Tapertube test piles.
Tapertube test pile being drivenThe Boston office of Haley & Aldrich first contacted us February 5, 2001 about this project. After some discussion, I suggested that the TAPERTUBE Pile might be the solution to the problem. Several long conference calls and exchanges of information followed. They also viewed the information available on our web site to learn more about the TAPERTUBE Piles. Soon after, they decided to set up a test pile program at the job to determine if the TAPERTUBE pile would solve the soil relaxation problem.


The job had been delayed almost five months and all parties were anxious to get the job moving.  The contractor, AGM Marine from Mushpee, MA was authorized to order six 12 3/4 piles plus six 14 piles all 60 long with extra pipe for splicing.  All material 50 ksi yield.

Tapertube piles in the water, ready for pier.
Tapertube piles in the water, ready for pierThe piles arrived at the job site mid March and John Dougherty and I drove to the site to observe the unloading and installation. The driving was to begin on Tuesday March 20. Five piles were installed three on Tuesday and two on Wednesday.The weather was turning bad and no work would be done on Thursday or Friday.

On March 27 I called Haley & Aldrich office and was told that the TAPERTUBE Piles were re-driven with no loss in capacity.

View of pier, both old (on left) and new.
Old MacMillen Pier on left, new on rightWe received an order for production piles following the completion of testing. The pile chosen was the 8 x 14x 15 x .375 wall with a 14 x .375 wall pipe extension; all 50 ksi material. A total of 208 TAPERTUBE Piles were ordered for the project.All of the piles were coated with coal tar epoxy.


This project marked the first use of the TAPERTUBE Piles in a marine environment.

The TAPERTUBE Pile has demonstrated many times, to be a tough useful tool and capable of carrying heavy loads in friction under difficult conditions in both public and private work.

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