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Video of Highway 101 Landslide in California
Looks like the Facebook video gets cropped when I embedded it here. You ca
San Francisco Millennium Tower Has Settled 16 Inches
Misrepresents actual foundation geometry. Photos show deep excavation to ne
New FHWA Soil Nail Manual Addresses LRFD, Hollow Bars
Good evening from Barcelona, Spain. I am witting to you because of I am le
Engineering Geologists vs Geological Engineers vs Geotechnic
Geological engineer from Spain (looking for job smiley geoengineer.martin@gmail
Project Related
NAVFAC Southwest Awards $4.5 Million Contract for Geotechnical Engineering Service PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 25 February 2013 23:29
Naval Facilities Engineering Command or NAVFAC

Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest awarded RORE Inc. an IDIQ contract worth $4.5 million for geotechnical consultation, subsurface investigation, and material testing for various projects. NAVFAC Southwest's area of responsibility includes California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. The majority of work is anticipated to be completed in California. [Source: NAVFAC. Image: Pipkins Construction]

Video: Golder’s Tunneling Solution in Toronto for Difficult Ground Conditions PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 22 February 2013 06:20

Golder Associates posted the video below describing some of their work on the York University Subway Tunneling Test Monitoring Project, part of the larger Toronto-York Spadina Subway  Extension Project in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The tunnels came within 6 meters of a “show-piece” building on the York University campus, and the stakeholders were nervous about possible damage to the building.  Golder designed an instrumented tunnel test section in advance of the segment under the building, allowing monitoring of the tunneling techniques and potential ground loss so that the team could eventually green-light the dual tunnels under the building. [Editor] Disclaimer: Golder Associates is my day-job employer.  They are not affiliated with GeoPrac though. [/Editor]

[Update 2-25-2013] Some of the Golder Marketing folks wanted to tweak the video, so it will be removed for a few days.  Once someone tells me the new version is up, I'll embed it once again.  Sorry about that! [/Update]

Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2013 14:23
High-tech Geotechnical Monitoring for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 19 February 2013 22:59
An automated survey machine that will monitor multiple survey prisms along the Highway 99 tunnel alignment.

Over 200 buildings will receive some form of geotechnical and geostructural monitoring around the Highway 99 tunnel in Seattle, better known as the tunnel that will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. A Seattle Times article listed some of the technologies being employed, such as automated survey machines, crack meters, extensometers, tiltmeters, liquid level sensors, inclinometers and crack gauges. A total of roughly 700 devices will be deployed by the time the tunneling starts this summer, a $20 million program. The project team will also be using interferrometric synthetic aperture radar or INSAR techniques to supplement the traditional surveying methods as they watch for subsidence and ground loss problems along the tunnel route. This satellite-based method is accurate up to 1/8 inch, but has the advantage of being able to cover a larger area than just using the survey prisms at particular points. [Source: The Seattle Times via ASCE SmartBrief. Image: KEN LAMBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES]

Video Tour of NY Subway Mega-Projects PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 10 February 2013 22:55

In this Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 photo, contractors work on the East Side Access project beneath midtown Manhattan, in New York.The New York MTA is in the midst of a “golden era” of tunneling for the New York subway.  Three separate mega-projects are currently underway totaling some $15 Billion:  The Second Avenue Subway, The East Side Access Project (which features the new Grand Central Terminal), and The Number 7 Subway Line Extension Project.  The short video below was published by the NY Post and included in an AP Article.  It is tantalizingly short, but gives a great perspective on what the underground construction project at Grand Central looks like and a sense of the scale…the amazing huge caverns being constructed. The article says that from underneath Grand Central Terminal alone, the construction crews have removed enough material to cover Central Park almost a foot deep!

[Source: KOMO News (Seattle) via ASCE SmartBrief. Image: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer via]

Click through for the video.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 February 2013 06:18
Centennial of NY Grand Central Station…And What the Future Holds PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 04 February 2013 06:31

Grand Central TerminalNew York's famous transportation icon, Grand Central Station (more properly Grand Central Terminal) celebrated the 100th anniversary of it's opening on February 2, 2013.  This rail terminal is more than just a means of travelling from point A to B, but it is a romantic, and grandiose metaphor for the hustle and bustle of American life.  While the structure is definitely a cultural and architectural monument, it is also an engineering marvel, a fact recognized in 2012 by ASCE when it named it a National Civil Engineering Historic Landmark.

While the centennial of the GCT is being celebrated, a new project is taking shape approximately 90 feet below the existing tracks.  The East Side Access project (ESA) will provide a new connection from the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to GCT.  This project will help...

[Editor] Click through for the rest of this article, including a list of some interesting websites on Grand Central Terminal and the East Side Access Project. [/Editor]

Last Updated on Monday, 04 February 2013 06:34
Challenging core recovery in residential area PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 23:13
Crux core rig working on a challenging coring project in Bellevue, Washington

Specialty geotechnical drillers Crux Subsurface, Inc. of Spokane, WA has been working on a challenging project in a residential neighborhood in Bellevue, Washington. Their work is in support of a King County project to upgrade wastewater conveyance system currently served by the Sunset and Heathfield Pump Stations in Bellevue. Crux was selected for the job because of their experience in working in restricted and congested areas and because of anticipated difficult core recovery. [Source: Crux. Image: Crux]

Devil’s Slide Tunnel Project Nearly Complete PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 27 December 2012 07:35

Inside the Devil's Slide tunnel construction, by kxyoung on FlickrThe Devil's Slide Tunnel Project was originally scheduled to open at the end of 2012, but it has been delayed slightly to an early 2013 opening. If you look at some recent photos, you can hardly tell that there is anything left to finish. I've been following this project since it started, since to me it represents the essence of geoengineering, with important roles played by geotechnical engineers, geological engineers, hydrogeologists, and of course geotechnical contractors and tunneling specialists.  I thought it would be interesting to list a few of the posts I've written about the project over the years and present a bit of information I only recently learned.  Click through for more. [Image: kxyoung on Flickr]

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 07:46
Huge struts used to prop London excavation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 25 November 2012 09:26

Four 150-tonne working load capacity Groundforce MP150 struts brace the sheet pile and secant pile retaining walls for a basement excavation in West London

Groundforce supplied ten hydraulic struts to support the excavation at a commercial development known as Merchant Square in West London. Six of the struts were the monsters pictured, 500 tonne (1,100 kip) capacity, 49 m (160 feet) long, the largest struts that Groundforce makes. These struts were able to span the entire width of the excavation without intermediate support. Check out the cool time-lapse video below to see the entire sequence of excavation. [Source: Groundforce via NCE. Image: Groundforce]

Time Lapse Video of Merchant Square Deep Excavation

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 06:29
The Making of the Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park near Vancouver PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 15 November 2012 23:21

Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

The cover story of the November 2012 Civil Engineering Magazine is about the incredible cantilevered pedestrian walkway known as the Cliffwalk, located some 300 feet above the Capilano River Valley in Capilano Suspension Bridge Park near Vancouver. This amazing structure is a feat of rock engineering as well as structural engineering, fabrication and construction (among other things). Famed geological engineer Duncan Wyllie, who literally wrote the book on Foundations on Rock, was the rock engineer on the project. The geotechnical engineers rappelled along the cliff face to perform structure mapping. The rock bolts in the granite cliff were up to 18 feet long, and a total of 1,673 feet of rock bolting was used. The geotechnical design also had to consider rockfall potential above the walkway. The excellent video below shows the entire process of construction of the's well worth the 6 or 7 minutes! [Source: Civil Engineering Magazine. Image: Capilano Suspension Bridge Flickr Stream]

Video of the Making of the Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 November 2012 23:31
Video: Ground Freezing and the Hetch Hetchy Water Supply Tunnel PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 05 November 2012 20:30

This is a great video showing the application of ground freezing to deep excavations in unstable soil and high groundwater table.  It’s also a nice overview of the reason the Hetch Hetchy project was undertaken, to replace aging San Francisco Bay area water supply infrastructure that would not survive a major earthquake on the Hayward Fault or San Andreas Fault.  I tried to find the name of the ground freezing contractor…I think it was SoilFreeze based on a quick shot of a logo on some equipment.  Can anyone confirm?  The vertical access shaft being constructed in Newark will be where the TBM will be disassembled and removed.

Source: ASCE SmartBrief

Last Updated on Monday, 05 November 2012 22:00
Bauer will construct foundations for 1-km tall Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 23:29
The 1-km tall Kingdom Tower, designed by architect AS+GG, will be 173m taller than the Burj Khalifa when it is completed in 2018

The Kingdom Tower to be built in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia will be 1,001 meters tall when completed in 2018. It will be the first building taller than 1-km and 173 meters taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the current tallest building in the world. NCE reports that Bauer has won the €25M (US$32M) foundation construction contract consisting of 270 drilled shafts of 1.5 or 1.8 m diameter and 110m in length. They also report that the original design was for a 1.6 km tall structure, but the geotechnical investigation found that the site would not support such a structure and the plans were scaled back to the current planned height. [Source: New Civil Engineer. Image: New Civil Engineer]

Video: Hayward Baker's Wet Soil Mixing at Community Memorial Hospital PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 21:49

To keep the loose soils beneath a planned hospital from liquefying and damaging the foundations during the design earthquake, Hayward Baker stabilized the site by performing wet soil mixing. In addition, HB installed tie down soil anchors inside soil mix columns to counterbalance the building seismic uplift forces. The team worked tirelessly to balance safety and production with stringent design and QC requirements. Learn more on their website,

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