SILENT PILERTM and GRB SystemTM Employed to Clear Road That Collapsed in 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake

Temporary work free construction enables road widening while keeping road open to traffic


GIKEN LTD. sends prayers and best wishes to everyone affected by the 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake.

After the Noto Peninsula Earthquake in 2024, the SILENT PILERTM hydraulic pile press-in and extraction machinery of GIKEN LTD. (Head Office: Kochi-shi, Kochi; President and CEO: Atsushi Ohira; hereafter “GIKEN”) was employed in road widening work to clear*1 the Noto-Satoyama Kaido expressway, which collapsed in the earthquake. The retaining wall construction work*2 was completed by GIKEN SEKO CO., LTD. (Head Office: Kochi-shi, Kochi; President and CEO: Akihiro Nishigawa; hereafter “GIKEN SEKO”), a company of the GIKEN Group.

The road was only open in one direction, towards Wajima-shi on the Noto Peninsula, and there was very little space available for construction. Therefore, as a space-saving construction system that carries out piling work while moving across the driven piles, the GRB SystemTM was employed to widen the road and open the road in the other direction. This meant that the temporary work platforms needed by other construction methods were not required and traffic, including emergency vehicles, was not obstructed during the work. As a result, work was completed quickly.

Following the earthquake, the GIKEN Group opened the Noto Reconstruction Support Office, a temporary office in Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa Prefecture, on the 22nd of January. Then from the 1st of February, it set about conducting a full survey of the affected area and proposing appropriate construction methods and technologies to use. Gathering and providing information, it continues efforts towards restoration of disaster-affected areas in the shortest possible timeframe.

*1 Clearing work includes quick removal of enough rubble to open rescue routes for emergency vehicles and others to access areas after an earthquake.
*2 Retaining wall construction is the work of building walls to prevent sediment from collapsing from the surrounding area during excavation work.

■Construction Details

The Noto-Satoyama Kaido expressway is an economically important arterial road in the Noto region. It plays the roles of residential road and emergency transportation route, making it an important piece of social infrastructure for local residents. However, this two-lane road collapsed in the 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake. With only one side open to traffic, disaster emergency activities were hindered as a result.

The SILENT PILERTM F112 and GRB SystemTM were employed for the work, which entailed pressing in 227 U sheet piles measuring 9.5 to 10.5 m in length and 400 mm in width. A 90.8 m retaining wall needed for the road widening work was also constructed.

■Reason for Adoption

Issues with traffic and time for construction when using other construction methods
Other construction methods require things like large heavy machinery, cranes, and materials to be placed on stable surfaces during construction. This would make it necessary to use the actual road in this case because of lack of space, which would inevitably result in road blockages. To maintain traffic flows, they would therefore need to construct temporary work platforms on the collapsed slopes beside the road. Because the site in question was hard ground as well, excavation and replacement of existing ground with sand would also be needed before pile driving work could begin. And this would have extended the time needed for construction. Construction methods that employ large vibration pile drivers would have created additional concerns about potential further collapses because the vibration affects the ground itself.

Fast construction without temporary works using GIKEN construction method
The GRB SystemTM is a small and lightweight system that works from on top of the piles, firmly gripping the driven piles while carrying out the press-in construction work, from pitching to pressing in new piles. This temporary work free construction method reduced construction time while keeping the road open to traffic. The SILENT PILERTM F112 was also used to improve the efficiency of excavating the hard ground, allowing construction to proceed with minimal vibration. GIKEN SEKO worked to achieve early restoration of the road by operating the equipment around the clock across three shifts.

■Press-in Project Summary

Sub-contractorGIKEN SEKO CO., LTD.
Specification of Pile Elements227 U sheet piles (400 mm wide, 9.5–10.5 m long)
Press-in Construction Period25th March to 18th April 2024

Profile of GIKEN Group
GIKEN developed SILENT PILERTM, the world’s first reaction-based hydraulic pile jacking machine, installing piles without noise or vibration. GIKEN Group now actively promotes its press-in technology worldwide and contributes to the construction industry by proposing and implementing innovative solutions. The innovative press-in technology provides a unique solution and the adoption of this technology has spread to over 40 nations and regions.


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