Project Related

Sea-Tac Runway Nearing Completion

[Correction] Whoops, I think it’s North America’s tallest MSE Wall, not the world’s. Anyone know what the World’s tallest MSE wall is? [/Correction]

TheNewsTribune.com has an interesting article on the Sea-Tac third runway project and how it is nearing completion and an overview of the hurdles faced. This was a unique project from a geotechnical perspective because in order to construct the runway, North America’s tallest MSE retaining wall at 130-ft high was built. One thing I didn’t know is that the 13 million cu-yd of fill needed to construct the runway needed to pass careful inspection to make sure it was free of contaminants and similar in mineralogical composition to the on-site materials. The implications and reasoning are explained in this quote from the article:

“We had to find gravel that originated in the same place in Canada and that was transported here by the glaciers as the gravel that was here on the site,” said King.

The reasoning behind such a requirement is that water that leached through the fill would pick up minute traces of the minerals in the fill, drain into the creeks and confuse or damage native salmon returning to those creeks.

By way of ASCE SmartBrief

[…]

No Picture
Press Releases

380,000 Jobs Now in Jeopardy Because Congress Fails To Rescue America’s Transportation Account

[Editor] From American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials, released June 26, 2008. [/Editor]

An estimated 380,000 thousand jobs and hundreds of construction projects are in jeopardy across the nation after Congress failed this week to fix a 3.3 billion dollar deficit in the Highway Trust Fund. The House and Senate dropped a provision from a three-month aviation tax extension bill that would have provided $8 billion to keep the nation’s transportation account solvent.

AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley expressed his strong disappointment saying, “If members of Congress believe that this failure to act has no consequences, they’re wrong.” Most states depend on federal funding to support transportation projects, but states won’t know if their federal highway funding will be cut by 34 percent until their fiscal year begins. For many states, the fiscal year starts on July 1.

This failure to act sets the stage for a last minute effort in late September to rescue America’s Transportation Account. If that does not occur, the federal-aid highway program will be reduced by $13.5 and $20 billion.

This loss would be another blow to the transportation industry, which is suffering from a stagnant economy, high fuel prices, inflationary pressures, and natural disasters.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is the “Voice of Transportation” representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association serving as a catalyst for excellence in transportation.

[…]


Available Resources

Wind Turbine Foundations and Massive Off-Shore Turbines

Within the span of a few days I had two wind turbine foundation items to post. First, an old U of A Geological Engineering colleague, Eric Ntambakwa sent me a link to a paper written by him and a colleage (Kirk Morgan). Both of them work for Garrad Hassan America, Inc., one of the preeminent authorities on wind turbine design. Their paper entitled "Wind Turbine Foundation Behavior and Design Considerations" was a very interesting look at foundations in this specialized industry. The other item came from ENR, and was about massive, "behemoth" off-shore wind turbines with an interesting foundation design. Read on for the rest of the details. (Photo by brentdanley)

 

[…]

Press Releases

Ohio DOT to use EQuIS for Geotechnical Data Management

June 19, 2008. EarthSoft today announced that it has received a contract from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for an Enterprise version of EQuIS for geotechnical data management, including support of new DIGGS (Data Interchange for Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Specialists) EDDs.

[Editor] Read on for the rest of the press release. Screen capture credit: EarthSoft, Inc. [/Editor] 

[…]

Project Related

The Claremont Tunnel – Designed to Survive Fault Rupture on the Hayward Fault

The Claremont tunnel beneath the Berkeley Hills on the east side of Oakland is a water supply tunnel that serves over 800,000 customers in Richmond, Oakland, San Leandro and neighboring communities. One of the unique things about the tunnel is that it crosses the active Hayward Fault. Most of the time when you talk about designing for earthquakes you’re talking about designing to withstand the seismic forces. In this case, the designers needed the water transmission tunnel to withstand up to 7.5-ft of offset due to fault slip and still maintain a minimum level of service. (Photo credit: Sue Bednarz, Jacobs Associates, Inc. by way of Civil Engineering Magazine)

This post describes the relatively recent Claremont Tunnel Seismic Upgrade Project as reported in Civil Engineering Magazine (May 2008, v. 78, no. 5, pp 58-63, 96-97).

[…]


Miscellaneous

Updated – DFI Committee Looking for Soil Nail Data

[Update 2008-06-25 8am] I saw somewhere that they were looking for this info by July 1, but I don’t know where. I couldn’t find a deadline on the DFI Committee page. Maybe they erased it. [/Update]

The Tiebacks & Soil Nailing Committee of the Deep Foundations Institute is collecting data on soil nail wall performance. From the Tiebacks & Soil Nailing Committee page:

A request for information has been distributed to all DFI members, academia and various other industry members.  Information being sought includes typical project, geotechnical and wall geometry information, design and analysis methods and software, construction and monitoring duration, settlement and lateral deformation data, and nail strain gauge data.  Click here to download the PDF form to enter your project’s information to the committee for compilation and analysis.

[…]

GeotechSearch.com Screenshot
Rockman's Ramblings

GeotechSearch.com – New Geotechnical Search Engine!

Announcing a new sister site to GeoPrac, GeotechSearch.com – a geotechnical search engine! This search engine is powered by Google’s Custom Search with it’s own clean interface. Search queries only return results from sites that are hand picked by myself and other members of GeoPrac.net. So you don’t have to sift through results that aren’t relevant to geotechnical engineering, geological engineering and related disciplines.

GeotechSearch.com Screenshot 

The source of sites included in the GeotechSearch search engine come from the GeoLinks section of this site. Any GeoPrac.net member can contribute links (subject to approval) and they will then be included in the search engine results within a few days. So if you’re not a member, why not join GeoPrac.net? And then contribute a link to the GeoLinks section. I’m incredibly excited to really start tapping into the capabilities of GeoPrac as a true online COMMUNITY of "geo" practitioners for the benefit of all in our profession…the possibilities are endless!

[…]

Project Related

Update on Landmark Kansas City Bridge Project – kcICON

Another nice post from Robert Thompson with Dan Brown and Associates (DBA) about the geotechnical work on the kcICON project. They are the geotechnical designers for a $245 million project that will involve a new cable-stayed bridge over the Missouri River in downtown Kansas City along the I-29/35 corridor. In his post, Robert gives an update on the status of the work including the borings and recent test shaft installation and testing as well as an update on the overall project. (Rendering by Paseo Corridor Constructors)

[…]


Miscellaneous

ADSC 2008 Faculty Workshop Wrapup

Robert Thompson of Dan Brown and Associates has posted a wrapup of the 2008 ADSC Faculty Workshop. They had 20 Civil Engineering faculty attend the event. The field demonstration day was hosted by DBA at the Trial’s Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee. Apparently that site is Dan’s hobby. Read more about the workshop itself and also read Robert’s post about the field demonstration day including photos. In the photo at right (Robert Thompson, DBA) you can see the Statnamic test setup for a drilled shaft. A little more about the event:

Long Foundation and Hayward Baker have installed examples of several foundation and retaining structures, including drilled shafts, micropiles, and soil nails. During the field day demonstrations, the attendees will observe additional installations, load tests, and non-destructive testing.

[…]

Press Releases

TenCate opens new factory in China for the growing geosynthetic market

Royal Ten Cate
Almelo, The Netherlands, 13 June 2008

Today marks the opening by Royal Ten Cate (Koninklijke Ten Cate nv) of its new factory for geosynthetic materials near the city of Zhuhai (pop. 1.5 m) in Guangdong province, China. TenCate Geosynthetics will use this plant to produce textiles for the strongly growing Asian market. The initial workforce will number some 150. [Editor] (At left: TenCate Mirafi® N-Series non-woven geotextile.) Click through for the rest of the press release. Source: Geosynthetica. [/Editor]

[…]