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They’ll be back

October 11, 2015
The drilling rig, abandoned in place overnight.

The drilling rig, abandoned in place overnight.

For over 10 hours on Friday, a crew from Foundex Explorations Ltd. were engaged in extracting soil samples from a hole they drilled in the roadway of the 1400 block of West Broadway Avenue. The work was related to a possible tunnel under Broadway Avenue for an extension of the SkyTrain Millennium Line out to the University of British Columbia (UBC).

The view from the caution tape, looking east.

The view from the caution tape, looking east.

The work on this one little hole resumed Saturday morning and it’s a fair guess that the work will be continuing all weekend because each evening, when the workers have left, they have left behind much of their equipment, notably the big, truck-mounted drilling rig.

This means that for the weekend at least — for the duration of the work — no buses will be stopping in the 1400 block of West Broadway Avenue. People used to catching either of the eastbound buses, the 9 Boundary or the 99 B-Line, in this block will have to cross South Granville Street and use the temporary stop in front of the Cactus Club in the 1500 block (for both the 9 and the 99) or walk east to the 1300 block where they can catch the 9 in front of the gas station.

Not much to see but that didn’t stop me from looking

brouadway-drill-at-nighy-04

The “hole” point of the exercise.

Friday evening I took some photos of the inactive drilling rig but there wasn’t much to see. The hole itself was completely obscured by the drilling apparatus.

One fact of note is the drill itself — an RRD150 resonant drill made by a local company called Resonance Technology International, located in Coquitlam, British Columbia.

In a resonant drill, the counter-rotating parts of the drill head set the drill pipe to vibrating exactly at it’s natural resonant frequency. This somehow results in a drill that is very good for collecting soil samples.

While I don’t quite get how a sonic/resonant drill works, I understand that it’s exploiting mechanical resonance, which has been known to cause whole bridges to crumble and I can easily imagine the way that vibration could loosen a blockage of aggregate such as soil and gravel. Click the images to enlarge them.

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