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Publication numberUS2063514 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 8, 1936
Filing dateJul 5, 1934
Priority dateJul 5, 1934
Publication numberUS 2063514 A, US 2063514A, US-A-2063514, US2063514 A, US2063514A
InventorsMeem Catherine R
Original AssigneeMeem Catherine R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for constructing cofferdams
US 2063514 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 8, 1936. J. c. MEEM 2,063,514


J. c. MEEM 2,063,514 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONSTRUCTING COFFERDAMS Filed July 5, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 F/L LING FILLING INVENTOR BYQM 7742M ATTORN EYS Patented Dec. 8, 1936 UNITED STATES METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CON- STRUCTING COFFERDAMS James C. Meem, Brooklyn, N. Y.; Catherine R. Meem administratrix of said James C. Meem,

deceased Application July 5, 1934, Serial No. 733,733

3 Claims.

This invention relates generally to methods of constructing cofferdams and the like, and to means and apparatus for carrying such methods into effect. More specifically the purpose of the invention is to provide a new and improved method for constructing the walls of dams or cofferdams involving the use of a floating framework of novel design which constitutes a guide for driving and a support for master piling, and a further support for steel sheet piling, to constitute a dam or cofferdam of double-walled or cellular type enclosing the site of a proposed structure such as a pier foundation, or a site for shiplocks or a dam or bulkhead across a stream or body of water. The essential elements of the invention involve the construction of apparatus comprising a self-contained floatable framework of novel design, and the methods of using; it in the construction of cofferdams and the like.

In carrying out the invention I construct one or more frameworks or sections each of which in effect is a framed and braced light boxgirder, said sections constituting self-contained units which are floated to the site and joined together end to end. to form the framework for guiding and bracing the master and other sheet piling, such framework being in the form of a double-walled straight or rectangular enclosure or dam for the complete coiferdam. These sections or units are provided with vertical cross braced guides spaced at intervals along their sides which receive, and guide master piles; flotation boxes are mounted preferably at or near each endof a sectional unit to permit it to be floated out and anchored in place and to be kept at proper level by the regulation of the water in the boxes until the master piles are set and driven, the master piles being connected 40 preferably by steel sheet piling driven to proper penetration, thus completely enclosing the site within double rows of unbroken interlocking steel sheet piling, thus forming a cross-braced cellular dam. The space between the walls having been 45 suitably filled the cofferdam may then be pumped out and the pier foundation or internal structure completed, the sheet and master pilings then being drawn up and recovered and the framework sections or units being recovered by pulling them out or dredging them out as found preferable. The framework sections or units are preferably standardized foi knock-down assembly and to be repeatedly used and are so de' signed as to be readily varied in dimensions.

To theabove and other ends the invention consists in the features of construction, combinations of devices, arrangements of parts and the methods of using such combinations and arrangements all as hereinafter described and particularly pointed out in the claims. 5

The invention will be described and explained in detail in connection with the accompanying drawings, Wherein-- Fig. l is a plan view of a set or plurality of units assembled in rectangular form for a cofferdam together with the piling constituting the walls of such a dam;

Fig. 2 is a plan view on a larger scale showing a corner unit or section;

Fig. 3 is a side elevation of the floating units shown in Fig. 2;

Fig. 4 is a section taken on the section line indicated at 4-4 in Fig. 3;

Fig. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of the upper left-hand corner of Fig. 1 showing the master piles arranged in bays and the interconnected sheet piling;

Fig. 6 is an enlarged detailed plan view of one of the master piles with its associate guiding devices;

Fig. '7 is a cross sectional view taken through the cofierdam;

Fig. 8 shows the application of the principles of the invention to a straight dam across a stream or body of water or to a coflerdam for building a ship-lock of which one wall is shown;

Fig. 9 is a cross section taken substantially on a line indicated by the section line 9-9 in Fig. 8 and showing in dot and dash lines the proposed structure to be constructed.

Referring first to Figs. 1-7, the invention is shown in its applicability to an enclosure for a proposed bridge pier foundation or other structure. The framework units or sections which when assembled are to enclose the foundation or structure are built on platforms, scows or alongside and after completion are lifted by derricks or jacked into the water, towed to place and anchored. In the present instance these units, indicated as a whole by the numeral l0 are preferably 80 feet long by 20 to feet deep by 15 feet wide. The framework units are built up of light metallic angles or shapes II or other suitable metallic elements ranged in parallelism and connected as by suitable cross and other bracing to constitute a light but rigid structure. This bracing or interconnection may be varied to suit conditions but as herein shown comprises transverse parallel cross-bracing elements 12 and diagonal bracing l3, the cross or transverse bracing being disposed at suitable spaced intervals lengthwise of the angles H with the cross bracing properly related thereto. Transverse bracing l2 may be supplemented by right-angles bracing 14 where found desirable. The end units are provided at one end with triangular portions la similarly constructed. In all other instances, it will be understood that the units are provided with fiat ends. It will be apparent that the typical section or framework unit above described other than the end sections will constitute a rectangular parallelopiped shown here to' be 80 feet long, 20 feet deep and 15 feet wide, and.

that the metallic elements constituting it are.

detachably connected so that the unit may be readily broken down and reassembled. Each framework unit is provided with two or more flotation boxes, four being shown in the present instance, arranged in pairs at each end and indicated by the numeral I5. These boxes may be from 8 feet to 10 feet high and feet x feet in cross section, open at the top but with closed bottoms which rest on and are fastened to a light metallic framing indicated at I 6. They are built in at or near the section ends at their upper portions and secured thereto by devices indicated at IT. These high flotation boxes give buoyancy to the framework unit and regulate its flotation elevation. Preferably they are built of ordinary tongue and groove lumber, cleated at intervals around the outside to give proper strength.

At suitable intervals, feet more or less along the sides of the framework units are secured guiding means for the master piles. These guide means may be of any suitable construction. In the present instance they are constituted by metallic H-beams I8 arranged in pairs, suitably spaced and secured to the framework as clearly shown in Fig. 6. They may extend throughout the full depth of the framework or may project below it as will be generally found desirable, as appears from Fig. 4. As will be seen clearly from Figs. 2, 4 and 5, the guide members l8 at opposite sides of the framework are in the same transverse plane as certain elements of the framework including cross-bracing elements [3, thus completely bracing associate guides from top to the bottom of the framework and below so that in effect pairs of guiding devices at opposite sides of the framework are rigidly related through the frame and as far below as necessary.

After setting up or completion of the sections as described they are launched or lifted into the water and floated to place, enough water being admitted to the flotation boxes [5 to sink them nearly awash.

When thus levelled up and anchored two or three of the master piles on each side are set into place and driven to fill penetration or deep enough to insure the lateral and longitudinal stability of the associate framework unit ill. Preferably the first framework unit so stabilized is one of the end or corner units. The master piles 19 preferably employed are of the type illustrated in detail in Fig. 6, being 12 or 18" beams which may be in a single length or several lengths spliced or otherwise secured together. As shown the web of the pile I9 is provided at its opposite sides with angle beams 2Q secured in place by cross bolts 2| and nuts 22. Interposed between the angle beams and the pile Web are grips or sections 23 of sheet piling of suitable type, these grips being formed with recesses to receive the enlargements at the ends of associate sheet piling members 2:3. The laterally projecting portions of the angle beams 2b are spaced from the adjacent end |9a of the master pile so as to loosely embrace the inwardly projecting outer ends |8a of the associate pile guide H3. The corner or end framework unit or section Ill having thus been stabilized in place, one of the adjacent side sections is then towed into place with its end face abutting the end face of the corner unit or section and the two sections then secured together by suitable means preferably bolt and nut levices 25 which engage angle plates 26 mounted on adjacent porticns of the framework of the two sections (Fig. 5). This second section is then anchored as required until three or more of its associate master piles [9 have been driven as above described.

This procedure is repeated until some or all of the sections or units 50 constituting the entire framework for the cofferdam are in place surrounding the site. The remaining master piles |9 are then set in and all are driven to the underlying rock. The spaces between the master piles are then filled in with the steel sheet piling 24 driven to rock and the procedure continued thus completely enclosing the site in a double row of unbroken interlocking steel sheet piling forming a cross-braced cellular cofferdam as illustrated in Fig. 1. The sheet piling is preferably of standard interlocking steel type and as will be clear from Figs. 1 to 5, is driven in a series of arcs between the master piles, convexities of the arcs being outward so that they are in effect suspended from their ends at the master piles.

Thereafter the soil may be dredged out preferably before dewatering and the upper areas of the dam filled in with the good soil as dredged or required. Previously, in case some of the soil within the dam is too soft or too pervious it should be dredged out and the dredged portion as well as the space above between the walls filled in with impervious material, preferably bolt and nut devices 25 which engage On completion of the dredging, if desired or required, cross-bracing may be placed across the cofferdam depending upon the depth of the water and the thickness of the dam, that is the width of the frame units and width of the coiferdam itself. This bracing is of suitable steel members preferably vertical intervals as required between opposite master piles as the water is lowered during the dewatering operation, and is indicated at 21 (Fig. '7) which flgure is particularly illustrative of the disposition of the soil both within and without the dam when virtually completed. As the foundation structure within the cofferdam is built up this bracing 21 is removed and the intervening spaces back-filled. The master and sheet piles are then withdrawn and the framework recovered and knocked down for subsequent use. It will be appreciated that the details of the method as described and the exemplification of the devices for carrying it out are merely illustrative of the various uses to which the invention may be put. An additional example is illustrated in Figs. 8 and 9 which show application of the invention to one side or wall of a ship-lock. In these figures the temporary dam 28 comprises suitable framework connections 29,

two of such sections being shown provided with flotation boxes 30 and connected at their meeting ends on one side. These sections are constructed and positioned in the same general manner as above outlined. and other sections added and joined and sheet piled until the entire site of the cofferdam is completely enclosed by the dam. A toe 32 may also be left inside the cofferdam in this case as well as in the first described example. A permanent dam D is indicated by dot-and-dash lines in Fig. 9 below the temporary dam.

It will be appreciated of course that sections or units of the general type described may be used to construct cofferdams and the like around or in relation to proposed structures of unlimited size, the width of the sections being regulated by the depth of the footing and local conditions.

While the invention has been described in connection with a sheet pile structure whose main elements are metallic means as I9, it will be understood that elements of other types may be employed in carrying out the principles of the invention.

I claim:

1. A method of assembling, bracing and floating metallic frameworks for constructing the walls of cofierdams and the like consisting of assembling, launching and connecting a series of rectangular frameworks provided with flotation boxes and having vertical guides for master piles, floating the sections to position, maintaining the frameworks floating at desired levels by regulation of fluid in the flotation boxes, driving the master piles through the guides to required penetration and filling in driven sheet piling between adjacent master piles.

2. Apparatus for constructing cofferdams comprising a plurality of light rectangular frameworks in the form of box girders, a plurality of pairs of vertical guides attached to the outsides of said frameworks at spaced intervals, cross-bracing in the frameworks arranged only between opposite pairs of said guides, means on the framework for regulating the floating and sinking to: desired depths of said frameworks, said guides being adapted to receive and guide master piles driven through them and serving as connections and supports for steel sheet piling, each set of opposite pairs of guides with their transversely connected cross-bracing constituting in itself a rigid frame, the rigid frames being held in spaced relation by the lengthwise extending members of the associate framework of the box girder.

3. Apparatus of the class described comprising a light rectangular framework in the form of a box girder, a plurality of spaced vertical guides attached in pairs to the opposite sides of said framework, each of said guides being adapted to receive and guide a master pile driven through it, said guides preventing undue movement of the master pile both laterally and longitudinallly of the framework during the driving operation, cross-bracing comprised in the framework and arranged only between opposite pairs of said guides, and means on the framework for regulating its floating and sinking to desired depths preliminary to the pile-driving operation.



Patent No. 2,063,514. December 8, 1936.


It is hereby certified that error appears in the printed specification of the above numbered patent requiring correction as follows: Page 2, second column, line 46, strike out "bolt and nut devices 25 which engage" and insert instead the words and period a. fiftyfifty mixture of clay and fine sand. and that the said Letters Patent should be read with this correction therein that the same may conform to the record of the case in the Patent Office.

' Signed and sealed this 16th day of February, A. D. 1937.

Henry Van Arsdale (Seal) Acting Commissioner of Patents.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2949744 *Feb 17, 1956Aug 23, 1960Dravo CorpWater current deflector and method of using same
US3468088 *Apr 14, 1966Sep 23, 1969Miller Clarence JWall construction
US3871181 *Feb 15, 1974Mar 18, 1975Delong CorpMethod of forming an enclosure in a body of water
US4242012 *Mar 14, 1979Dec 30, 1980Union Oil Company Of CaliforniaMethod for constructing a multiseason ice platform
US4386872 *Aug 26, 1981Jun 7, 1983Smith Frederick ADredge environ protection assembly
US4504172 *Jul 11, 1983Mar 12, 1985Mobil Oil CorporationCaisson shield for arctic offshore production platform
US4661014 *Dec 4, 1984Apr 28, 1987Groupement D'interet EconomiquePrefabricated civil engineering module, method for the construction of a structure including said module and resulting structure
US8545129 *Mar 4, 2011Oct 1, 2013Weekly Bros. Inc.Cofferdam modules
US20120224920 *Mar 4, 2011Sep 6, 2012Weekly Bros. Inc.Cofferdam modules
U.S. Classification405/14, 405/203, 405/278
International ClassificationE02D19/00, E02D19/04
Cooperative ClassificationE02D19/04
European ClassificationE02D19/04