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Marina Lighting Made Easier with Precast Foundations

When this marina park needed updating, conventional site lighting installation methods proved to be impossible due to the water table level and constant rain during the installation phase of the project.



After decades of service, the Walloon Marina was ready for an overhaul. Local developers broke ground in 2013 to renovate the site, which included new marina lighting.

Construction began early in the summer, but heavy rains began to hold the project back.

"For the first three weeks, it was raining every day, and the site was just mud," explained Dick Borisch, Facilities Coordinator for the developer.

Originally, the developer planned to use a cardboard forming system to pour the 25 specified bases, but the continuous rain compromised the structural integrity of the cardboard forms. In addition to the rain, the water level was only one to two feet below grade.

"Being close to the water made it difficult to dig a hole, put in a Sonotube, and pour concrete because the water filled up the hole pretty rapidly," Borisch said. After waiting several weeks for the right conditions to install the cardboard forms and pour the bases, "we saw that as a problematic way to go for this job," Borisch explained.


Seeing the difficulty this project was facing, Wayne McPhall of Wayne's Electric, suggested that the developer consider Pole Base, a precast foundation system that can be installed regardless of weather conditions or water levels.

McPhall had worked with Pole Base before and said, "I would recommend these to any electrical contractor out there, especially if the client wants a new modern look, something that looks better than the neighbor's property... It's a very easy, simple, affordable alternative to the Sonotube."

Borisch was happy with the recommendation, explaining: "They are pre-fabbed and that makes them easier to install because you can just dig the hole at any time and put the pier in and be ready for your lights. The contractors could install them during bad weather or good. Using the pre-fabbed Pole Bases was the best bet for us to get this project completed."

Pole Base products are manufactured in a controlled environment, offer superior aesthetics, and can be delivered on site.

"It's a cleaner, easier job to just drop them in the ground than to have all that other equipment coming in," Borisch said. "It gives you more flexibility. Once they are poured, it is up to you when you want to install them. As compared with Sonotube, once you call a cement truck, you are pretty much committed, even if it rains."


A total of 25 bases were installed at Walloon Marina, and the town couldn't be happier with the finished result.

"This is a perfect example of the advantages of the Pole Base system," said Pole Base business development rep Andy Manthei. "You can install these bases, rain or shine, even in water applications where cardboard forming can't hold up. These bases are precast for speed and efficiency, and they are designed architecturally to give owners a superior look that is entirely unique."


Project Name: Walloon Marina Site Lighting Customer: Steadfast Land Holdings, LLC Engineer: Architectural Area Lighting Manufacturer: MDC Contracting Installer: Wayne's Electric Project Location: Walloon Lake, MI Year Built: 2013 Case: 003 - Walloon Lake Marina



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