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GeoPrac.net is a community of practitioners of geotechnical engineering, geological engineering, engineering geology, geophysics, hydrogeology and related disciplines. We offer members and visitors the foremost collection of geo-related articles, news, and online resources to keep those geo-professionals in practice at the forefront of their respective fields.

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Conceptual Plan for Excavation to Repair Bertha TBM
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 23:28

Seattle Tunnel Partners has released a conceptual plan showing what the excavation of the pit will look like to repair the damaged Bertha Tunnel Boring Machine. See below.

STP conceptual repair plan for Bertha.

A pit 120 feet deep and 83 feet in diameter will be excavated so that the TBM can be driven into the pit and the cutterhead removed. Crews will then repair the seal system around the main bearing. [Source: WSDOT, Image Credit: Seattle Tunnel Partners and Brierly Associates by way of WSDOT]

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 06:34
 
Foundation Drilling Starts for Deck to Be Built Over NY Rail Yard
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 22:56

Plan view of the Hudson Yards Development

I love how the Atlantic Cities article starts, they use the phrase "only in New York", which is very appropriate in this case! Foundation drilling has commenced for a project that will create 26 acres of developable space by creating a deck over the top of a Long Island Rail Yard serving America's busiest train station, Penn Station. Over 300 drilled shafts extending 90 feet down to bedrock will be constructed to support a continuous concrete deck that will span over the entire rail yard (check out the photo and video below!). High-rise buildings and other structures will be built over this deck to form the neighborhood that the developers are calling Hudson Yards. The area of the track where the 30 LIRR tracks converge into 4 lines that enter Penn Station will have a steel truss bridge with about 150 ft span length.

Video Rendering of Hudson Yards Construction

[Source: The Atlantic Cities via National Driller. Image: Related Companies via The Atlantic Cities]

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 06:36
 
Developer To Pay Building Owner $3.2 Million For Damage Related to Shoring
GeoNews - Failures
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 23:12
The developers 17-story apartment building is near completion

A developer will pay $3.2 million in damages plus $3.9 million in legal fees and expenses to the owner of a property that sustained structural damage related to the shoring of the developer's adjacent 17 story apartment building in Bethesda, Maryland. Apparently the developer settled with the owner regarding the damages 4 days before trial in December of 2013. The details of the settlement were released in a court order last week that was associated with a hard-fought battle over the legal fees. There are undoubtedly other legal and insurance issues happening behind the scenes. The article indicates that the foundation and shoring subcontractor on the project claims the damage was caused by the August 2011 earthquake felt throughout the D.C. region. Regardless of what the geotechnical engineering issues are with the shoring system, it's clear this has become quite a legal mess. [Source: BethesdaNow. Image: BethesdaNow]

 
Oso Landslide Update
GeoNews - Geologic Hazards
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 06:36

Oso Landslide (Wikimedia)The Oso Landslide death toll is now up to 29. This is one of the worst natural hazard disasters I can remember in recent times. First and foremost I think should be the memories of the victims. There are so many heart-wrenching stories of the people that lost their lives in this giant landslide. I think those stories underscore the importance of the jobs of geologists and engineers.

We have a responsibility to protect life and property in the work that we do. I'm not saying this landslide or the loss of life could have necessarily been prevented, but I personally take tragic events like this as a reminder of the sacred charge of our profession and use it as motivation in my daily practice of geological and geotechnical engineering. With regards to the geology and engineering aspects of the Oso Landslide, below are several links that I found interesting or informative.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 April 2014 07:11
 
8.2 Magnitude Earthquake off Coast of Chile, Triggers Tsunami Warnings
GeoNews - Geologic Hazards
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 23:25
April 1, 2014 Chilean Earthquake Location

A magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Chile late Tuesday. The damage estimates will probably begin rolling in today, but early indications are that it could have been much worse. Some 5 people have been killed in the early figures. There have been reports of landslides and disruption of communication facilities. A tsunami warning was triggered, and there are warnings of high water levels and strong currents impacting Hawaii, but so far no reports of a major tsunami along the Chilean coast. [Source: CNN.com. Image: Ontario-geofish]

 
Tragic mudslide in Washington kills at least 8
GeoNews - Geologic Hazards
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 24 March 2014 00:25
Highway 530 Mudslide east of Arlington on Sunday March 23, 2014

A massive mudslide occurred on Saturday in Snohomish County, about 30 miles north northeast of Seattle, east of Arlington in the town of Oso. It has killed 8 people and at least 12 are still missing. 30 homes were destroyed and a mile long stretch of HIghway 530 is buried under approximately 20 feet of mud and debris. Rescuers initially heard voices of survivors, but have not heard any voices since Saturday night. My heart goes out to the families of the victims. We will have more details as they become available. [Source: See the full story along with photos and video at The Seattle Times. Image: DAVE NORMAN / WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES via Seattle Times]

 
Hayward Baker working on sinkhole problem at Corvette Museum
GeoNews - Geologic Hazards
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 20 March 2014 14:45
Birds-eye view of Corvette Sinkhole

I heard that Hayward Baker was working on the Corvette Museum sinkhole at GeoCongress, but I finally got official confirmation via this Civil Engineering Magazine article. It's a great article if you are interested in the engineering that's been going on since the sinkhole collapsed and swallowed 8 Corvettes. So far, Hayward Baker has installed 23 micropiles around the structure to depths of 75 to 220 feet depth according to the article. They are still trying to recover the remaining cars before a plan is formulated for shoring up the museum. They might use more micropiles, or they could go another way and fill up the sinkhole with low mobility grout. Whatever they decide to do, you can bet I will report on it! [Source: Read the article in ASCE's Civil Engineering Magazine. Image: Corvette Museum via ASCE]

 
Plan for Bertha Repair Submitted, Archaeological Surveys Underway
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 20 March 2014 14:20

Seattle Tunnel Partners and WSDOT are moving forward with the plans to excavate a 120 foot deep shaft to repair the Bertha Tunnel Boring Machine. Unfortunately, there are archaeological issues since the project team did not clear the area where the shaft will be excavated. A series of 4-inch boreholes 20 to 40 feet deep (I wonder what drilling method, sonic?) will be performed under the supervision of the archaeologists to look for culturally significant items. The top of Bertha sits approximately 60 feet below grade at this point, below the historical fill used to fill in the waterfront. [Source: More info at WSDOT. Image: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Illustrated Reference]

 
Changes in Management for Geobrugg North America, LLC
GeoNews - Press Releases
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 16 March 2014 14:28

GEOBRUGG NORTH AMERICA, LLC: ERIK J. ROREM assumes new position of Business Development Manager; PIERCE RUNNELS, PE takes over as General Manager

Erik J. RoremAlgodones, New Mexico USA – March 3, 2014. Geobrugg AG, Switzerland, the world leader in natural hazard protection systems, is pleased to announce the appointment of Erik J. Rorem as new Business Development Manager for North America. His current position of General Manager, Geobrugg North America, LLC will be assumed by Pierce Runnels, PE.

Mr. Rorem is a pioneer of Geobrugg in America, established in 1985. He has successfully grown the affiliate company into a leader in natural hazard solutions across North America. Under his watch as General Manager for over 14 years, the North American affiliate has increased five-fold in sales and has recently moved to a newly-built manufacturing facility twice the size of the original Santa Fe factory. The full time staff has increased 1000%.

In his new position, Mr. Rorem will dedicate his efforts to take advantage of emerging markets in underground mining and to promote new product lines. He will also become Regional Manager for Mexico. Mr. Rorem will remain based in New Mexico.

[Editor] Click through for the rest of the press release from Geobrugg North America LLC [/Editor]

Last Updated on Sunday, 16 March 2014 14:33
 
Keynetix Looking for Beta Partners for Civil 3D Extension
GeoNews - Miscellaneous
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 16 March 2014 08:21
Keynetix example of XYZ feature used to plot sample locations

Keynetix is looking for beta partners to help with ideas for visualizing geotechnical data in the HoleBASE SI Extension for AutoCad Civil 3D. They want to be able to graphically display down hole XYZ information such as CPT plots, sample locations, contamination levels, water levels, etc. Follow the link for more information and to contact Keynetix. [Source: Click for more info from Keynetix. Image: Keynetix]

 
Mizzou Memorial Union Gets Lift from TerraThane Geotechnical Foam
GeoNews - Miscellaneous
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 22:31

Univ. of Missouri’s Historic Memorial Union, Built to Honor WWI Dead, Gets New Life with TerraThane Geotechnical Foam

Snow. Jesse Hall. The Quad. Memorial Union. Tiger Plaza.MOUNT AIRY, NC—The Univ. of Missouri’s iconic Memorial Union, with its Gothic architecture and central bell tower, was built to commemorate the 117 Mizzou alumni who lost their lives in WWI, and has been under silent attack. Like all buildings built atop the ancient dry riverbeds of the tributary valleys of the Missouri River, the soil beneath is a mixture of sand, clay, and fine rock particles and highly susceptible to erosion from water. So, while hundreds of thousands of students walked the hallways of the building, water escaping steam pipes far beneath caused severe drying of the soil and destabilized it enough so that erosion created voids, or cavities in the soil, some as large as four feet. In turn, this caused the concrete slab floors atop the voids to become uneven, and the eventual danger of even greater problems loomed large.

A team of engineers went after the problem, including MU alums, Matt VanderTuig, P.E., of Bartlett & West, Jefferson City, MO, and Mark Whitehead, P.E. with extensive structural design and environmental engineering management experience. They suggested to Chris Hentges, president of SIRCAL Contracting, Jefferson City, the general contractor in charge of the job, that instead of using the older method of mudjacking, a highly involved and intrusive process of drilling large holes in the slabs—sometimes removing the slabs entirely—and pumping “mud”, ultra-heavy Portland cement-based grout, into the void, then leveling the slabs, that the university might better be served by using the newer polyurethane foam system method called “foamjacking” or “polyjacking.”

[Editor] Be sure to click through for the rest of the interesting project from GeoPrac sponsor NCFI Polyurethanes and TerraThane! [/Editor]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 22:34
 
Upcoming Keynetix Webinars On Geotechnical, Environmental and GIS Data
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 15:32

Keynetix Webinars are Coming, go Register!

Keynetix had over 350 people tune in to webinars offered in January of this year. And they have recently announced 4 more webinars coming up in the next several weeks. The topics of the webinars include:

  • Mar 14th - Only do it once! - Your guide to efficient geotechnical data entry
  • Mar 21st - Triggering Vision - Making best use of your environmental data in HoleBASE SI
  • Mar 28th - Avoiding AGS data errors - The 5 most important things you need to know
  • Apr 4th - Creating the ultimate desk study tool - is your GIS system redundant?

Be sure to check out the webinar announcement on the Keynetix website for more information and to register! [Source: Keynetix. Image: Keynetix]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 22:36
 
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