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Union Station Ferris Wheel

In June 2019, Drilling Service Company completed 36 deep foundations for the new St. Louis Wheel attraction towering 200 feet over the surrounding city, offering stunning views of the city’s skyline. The St. Louis Wheel is part of the $160 million historic Union Station redevelopment project and is located at 1820 Market Street in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.  The drilled shafts required for the wheel were 30-inch in diameter by 85 feet deep.

The geology at the St. Louis Wheel site consisted of approximately 70 feet of soft clays and sandy silts, with sporadic boulders and organics from 35-45 feet deep, overlying Limestone bedrock of the St. Louis Formation.  Groundwater was encountered at 20 feet below the surrounding grade. The site fell within the footprint of Chouteau’s Pond which was a 100-acre pond and forest area that was a bustling recreation site for early St. Louis Residents. The pond became so polluted that is was declared a health hazard and was drained sometime in the 1850’s to prevent disease. Between 1890-1940, various development projects expanded St. Louis westward until the footprint of the pond was gone. Click the following link for more on the history of Chouteau’s pond: https://drillingdown.online/

Drilling Service Company elected to use slurry excavation methods for the 36 drilled shafts due to the soft saturated soils, potential Chouteau’s pond remnants, depth of the shafts, and limited space on site. The drilling rigs utilized on this project were a SoilMec SR-60 and a Watson 3100. Permanent steel casings were used on 8 of the drilled shafts that were in close proximity to an existing brick and mortar sewer line and extended 3 feet beneath the bottom of the sewer line structure for protection. Bedrock drilling at 70+ feet deep under slurry required expertise and finesse both in the seat and on the ground. Paric Corporation placed concrete in the drilled shafts using Drilling Service Company’s cable lock tremie system.

The St. Louis Wheel became fully operational in September of 2019 and has become a huge attraction for both tourists and locals visiting St. Louis, MO. Drilling Service Company is proud to have been a part of the construction of this historic landmark in St. Louis that will enhance the city’s skyline for many years to come.