Portable, longer-lasting forms for foundation pours
In the past, ITD has utilized wood forms to create foundations for signposts, but a recent innovation promises to minimize wasted materials, reduces the need for pouring forms in the field where weather conditions may not be favorable, and creates forms that will last exponentially longer than the old wood ones. The signs being replaced/fixed are vital to the traveling public.
"These old wood forms had a lifespan of 2-3 pours, and then the forms had to be tossed," explained D5 Business Manager Mark Porter. "These new forms will last a lifetime."
Porter estimates cost savings per-foundation-used at 3 to 5 hours for building wood forms, and installation costs of approximately $100 per foundation.
After Porter searched for a vendor to build the pre-cast foundations for his district, it became apparent that they would not do so without considerable fees. So, they decided to build their own molds.
They used the Standard Drawing for Breakaway Steel Sign Posts Type E (616-7) to get the exact dimensions of the foundations and built the molds out of steel.
"Now when we have to replace a foundation, we go out and dig out the old one, drop in the new one, and move on. There is no field cure time and impact to traffic is minimal or non-existant. This has turned a week-long operation (cure time is what takes the longest) into a one-day operation," he said
Porter explained that it saves money through labor and they have been utilizing excess concrete from maintenance concrete pours to build the foundations. He added that the molds are easy to use and transportable.
"And, instead of constantly building the wood forms, we can now focus on other projects and can have the foundations ready to go and not have to wait to get them," he added.
"We would be willing to let other districts give them a try," he added. " I have built two form units that can be moved with a forklift so that other districts can use them." Porter said the two form units were used to make 12 sign foundations.