Thrasher Foundation Repair Case Studies: Rotella's Italian Bakery Addition

Monday, June 7th, 2021 by Brent Foreman

Rotella's Bakery


Rotella’s Italian Bakery is a family-owned bakery that was established in Omaha, NE, in 1921. A century later, the company has expanded from a single horse-drawn wagon to a large campus in nearby La Vista, Nebraska, featuring state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that feed countless customers across the region. Due to Rotella’s Italian Bakery's ongoing success and continued expansion, one of these facilities, the McKesson Building, required the construction of an addition. 

One hundred and fifteen feet tall and including a freezer storage area, mezzanine and loading docks, the new building required the support of column loads of up to 775 kips (775,000 lbs.). The addition also required the application of a soil surcharge load to the existing site, to consolidate and provide proper soil strengths to support its construction. Lastly, the new structure featured columns that were constructed and attached to the existing building. These required a deep foundation system to support the point at which the existing and the new structures met.

Rotella's Bakery Construction


Thrasher partnered with Olsson Associates and created a design for the project's deep foundation system. The design consisted of retrofit helical piers to underpin and support the existing structure at the point where it met the addition and new-construction helical piers to provide support for the new column pads that tied into the existing column pads. A total of 55 piers were required to support both existing and new loads. A schedule of approximately 10 days was established to install all deep foundation elements. 

The existing structure’s foundation was excavated and exposed at each pier location in order to advance the helical piers into the soil and attach the underpinning brackets. In addition, new-construction helical piers were installed and encased in the new column footing pads. This combination of piering systems served to support both the existing building and new structure in a manner that was both highly effective and economical.

As demonstrated by the success of this project, helical piers offer a versatile deep foundation solution that has many advantages, including cost-effectiveness, a lack of excess waste material generated and an ability to be installed efficiently by an experienced crew.

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