Devil's slide repair of PCH 1 using
Geologic Hazards

Devil’s Slide Repair and Tunnel Bypass Presentation

Devil's slide repair of PCH 1 using [Updated Thursday May 29, 2009 – 1:00 PM PDT] Added a photo of the AIS Kaiser S2 excavator (spider excavator), and added photos of the Devil’s Slide debris dump where they have put the landslide material removed and the material from the tunnel excavation. [/Update]

Grant Wilcox, Geology Branch Chief with CALTRANS Office of Geotechnical Design West gave a presentation on the Devil’s Slide repair along PCH Highway 1 at the Southwest Geotechnical Engineer’s Conference on May 12 in Phoenix. I’ve posted about the project here before. When I saw Mr. Wilcox, I knew he looked familiar but I couldn’t figure out why. At the beginning of his presentation he made light of his being on You-Tube…then it clicked! He gave a nice overview of the history of the failures, the geology, and the tunnel project. What follows are a few quick tidbits from his talk based on my notes. (Photo via Caltrans site).

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American Society of Testing Materials Logo - ASTM
Standards and Codes

ASTM Updates May 2009

American Society of Testing Materials Logo - ASTM

In this month’s ASTM updates, there is a new standard for determining the laboratory density of soil specimens. Not having a standard for this item was a common problem for us in our practice. The lab would give us a density on ring samples by weiging, drying and weighing again using the known volume of the rings, but there was never any standard to go with it. Other updates this month include ones related to dimension stone, fiber reinforced concrete, sulfate content of soils, and calcium and magnesium content of water.

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Video thumbnail of Rockfall protection installation
Geologic Hazards

Rockfall Protection Videos from G.T.S.

Video thumbnail of Rockfall protection installation More videos! French Company G.T.S. has posted some great videos on rockfall protection systems on their YouTube channel. I don’t speak French, so I can’t give you any more info on the company (although their website looks like it has plenty of info!). But the videos cover the preparation of, drilling for,  and installation or rockfall protection fences and barriers as well as a couple of general rockfall ones. They just have video with background music, so no worries about a language barrier. You can watch the installation video below.

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No Picture
Project Related

Micropile Underpinning of US 69 Bridge over Kansas River

A temporary micropile underpinning foundation system was used to support the abutments of the US 69 bridge over the Kansas River near Kansas City, KS while repairs to the abutment bearing devices were performed. This post is based on my notes from the presentation titled “Emergency Micropile Underpining of the U.S. 69 Truss – Kansas River Bridge” by Jim Brennan, Assistant [State?] Geotechnical Engineer with KDOT. It was the first presentation of the 34th Southwest Geotechnical Engineers Conference in Phoenix this week. Read on for more.

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No Picture
Rockman's Ramblings

Southwest Geotechnical Conference Wrapup

[Editor] Updated Thursday May 28, 2009 2:15pm [/Editor]

I was able to attend the first full day of the 34th Southwest Geotechnical Conference in Phoenix, AZ yesterday. The conference, sponsored by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and the FHWA, is going on through tomorrow, and I wish I could have attended the rest of the sessions, but I had to get back to work! There were some very interesting presentations, and I made some valuable contacts that will hopefully result in some additional articles and other content for GeoPrac. Below are some of the highlights for me, some of which I plan to elaborate on in separate posts. When I do, I’ll update this post with the links. The highlights were…

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Project Related

Voids Open as a Result of Tunneling Under Seattle’s Beacon Hill

image The Seattle Times (hat tip to ASCE SmartBrief) has reported that seven voids have been discovered above the Beacon Hill Tunnel with one opening up at the ground surface. The tunnel is being constructed by Sound Transit, the area’s transportation agency as part of a roughly $2.6 billion (yep, billion) light-rail project connecting downtown Seattle with the University of Washington and SEA-TAC airport. The voids were a result of running sand pockets in the otherwise stable clay units that were encountered by the tunnel boring machine or TBM. These voids migrated up like a chimney with one reaching the surface, almost 160-ft above the tunnel. This void was apparently 21-ft deep and opened up in a resident’s front yard and could have easily swallowed her up as she noticed it while gardening. The other voids were discovered at a depth of 20- to 65-ft below the ground surface. More after the break. (Illustration from Seattle Times)

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Anchored landslide in Japan
Geologic Hazards

Landslide Mitigation Examples in Japan

A couple of weeks ago the Landslides Under a Microscope blog had two nice posts about Landslide Mitigation examples in Japan. The author references the book “Landslides in Japan” (1996), but I’m not sure if […]