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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
A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On: Center for Geotechnical Mode
Randy, While the UC Davis lab is impressive I believe the USACE Centrifuge
Project Related
New York MTA Project Updates PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 28 May 2012 06:52
Second Avenue Subway tunneling project

Tunnel Business Online had a neat article in the April 2012 issue discussing the progress on the various New York MTA tunneling projects. They suggest that this may someday be considered the 'Golden Age of Tunneling' in New York City. Check it out soon, I think the article might come down when the May issue is posted. [Source: Tunnel Business Online. Image: TBM Magazine]

Devil's Slide Tunnel video from a renegade bicyclist PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 00:23

A bicyclist went around the barricades at the California Highway 1 Devil's Slide Tunnel project after work hours and rode his bike through one of the tunnels, recording video as he went. I don't advocate that kind of dangerous behavior, but I must admit that it is neat to see a tunnel nearing completion after several years of work. [Source: YouTube]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 07:30
Oregon settles with contractor on landslide plagued Highway 20 project PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 17:26
Pier columns on a bridge displaced by landslides are demolished

The Oregon DOT stopped work on a 10-mile stretch of Highway 20 back in 2010 after several landslides were discovered during construction. Four bridges that were constructed by Yaquina River Constructors, a subsidiary of Granite Construction, were displaced by the landslides. The contractor was paid a total of $173 million for the project, and under the terms of the settlement, $15 million was returned to the State. According to an ODOT spokesman, they are looking to rebid the project this year with a projected completion date of 2015, 6 years behind the original schedule. The winning bid for the original project was $129 million, and the new projected cost is $290 to $310 million. [Source: Image:]

Images of the Three Gorges Dam ship lock wall PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 03 May 2012 17:47
Ship locks at the Three Gorges Dam in China

Dr. Dave Petley (The Landslide Blog) was recently in China meeting with members of the Three Gorges Dam University. They took him on a tour of several sites, including the impressive ship locks with an excavation depth of over 170 meters necessitating 2,000 cable anchors and 100,000 rock bolts. Check out the link below for more photos. [Source: The Landslide Blog. Image: The Landslide Blog]

Nicholson and SolData Working on Six of the Ten Largest Tunneling Projects in North America PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 05:39

A rendering of the Transbay Transit Center with a 5.4 acre park on its roof.

GeoPrac Sponsor Nicholson Construction was recently awarded the contract for geotechnical construcion on the San Francisco Central Subway Project along with join venture partner Condon Johnson. Nicholson's scope will include diaphragm walls at the tunnel launch pit, jet grouting at two station locations, compensation grouting, and secant pile installation.

The Central Subway Project is one of the ten largest ongoing tunneling projects in North America. Nicholson and its sister company, SolData, Inc., are involved in six of those ten projects.

Click through to Nicholson's site for the full press release.

[Source: Nicholson Construction Company. Image:]


Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 May 2012 12:42
Digging deep to drill Highway 99 tunnel PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 29 April 2012 16:52
Malcolm drilling crews setting up to drill secant pile shafts for TBM launch pit

Construction has started on the tunnel boring machine launch pit for the WSDOT SR 99 Tunnel Project (Viaduct Replacement). The 420 foot long pit is being constructed using secant pile retaining walls, with 2 rows of 5 foot diameter piles, all around 90 feet deep. Based on the fantastic photos on WSDOT's Flickr Page, it appears that Malcolm Drilling is performing the secant pile wall work. [Source: The Seattle Times via ASCE SmartBrief. Image: WSDOT Flickr]

32-Person Hot Tub Gets Lift PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ty Taylor   
Monday, 23 April 2012 23:36

32-Person Hot Tub Gets Lift

A New Mexico mountain resort recently unveiled their new fitness complex which featured a large indoor swimming pool and 32 person spa. Built on the side of a mountain, on side of the spa structure sits on top of approximately 12.0’ of fill material. When the spa and portions of the deck began to show telltale signs of settlement, the spa was drained and taken out of service, and an investigation was conducted. This investigation revealed a large plumbing leak which had occurred under the pool/spa deck, causing compaction and consolidation of the supporting fill materials. The general contractor on the job broke out a section of the pool deck to make the plumbing repair, and then turned to URETEK ICR for the remediation of the settlement issues.

Management was pleased that the process meant no disruption for their guests. URETEK’s solution was less than 20% of the cost of replacement of the structure.

[Editor] Click through for the rest of the post. [/Editor]

Last Updated on Monday, 23 April 2012 23:42
Updated - Video: Wolf Creek Dam Grouting PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:43

[Update 4/11/12] Hayward Baker (a GeoPrac sponsor) is the geotechnical contractor performing the grouting under subcontract to the JV, thanks for the correction Tanner.  The JV is performing the cut-off wall work.  I should also mention that GeoPrac sponsor Nicholson Construction is the North American subsidiary of Soletanche Bachy, one half of the Treviicos-Soletanche JV. [/Update]

One of the largest grouting projects in the country right now is the dam foundation grouting project being conducted at the Wolf Creek Dam in Kentucky.  Treviicos-Soletanche JV is performing the grouting, the latest in a long history of grouting projects at Wolf Creek to fix foundation problems at the dam site.  This Video by ENR gives a great overview of the construction sequence of the current grouting project.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 April 2012 09:33
Failing Freeport Wharf stabilized with anchors in soft clay PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 11:01
Freeport Wharf stabilized with multi-strand anchors in soft clay

A new portion of the Freeport, Texas Wharf was meant to allow an additional two container ships to be unloaded each day. However, before it was put into service, the entire 800 foot by 109 foot wharf began sliding into the shipping channel. GeoPrac sponsor Nicholson Construction was tasked with installing 30 multi-strand soil anchors to stabilize the wharf. The anchors were each 140 feet long and encased in Class I corrosion protection because of the aggressive environment. The design loads up to 150 kips were achieved in the soft clay. The wharf is now stabilized and final repairs are being made before it opens to ship traffic. [Source: Nicholson Construction Company. Image: Nicholson Construction]

Foundation Flaws Make Kentucky's Wolf Creek Dam a High-Risk Priority PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 18 March 2012 17:19
Wolf Creek Dam Foundation Remediation Project

If Wolf Creek Dam in Kentucky fails, $6 billion in flood damage is projected to occur downstream. A dam foundation remediation project at Wolf Creek Dam to fix seepage and Karst solutioning problems is a top priority of the USACE for this reason.

Remediation consists of building a 275-ft-deep, 3,800-ft-long concrete wall composed of secant piles and rectangular panels installed through the clay embankment and into the rock of the dam within a 5-in. tolerance.
The work is being undertaken by a joint venture of Soletanche Bachy (parent company of GeoPrac sponsor Nicholson Construction) and Treviicos. ENR has a great featur article on the work (link below), as well as a very cool video of the work that is occurring at the site. The project is approximately 74% complete. [Source: ENR: Engineering News. Image: ENR]

Tieback anchor projects in Hawaii to remediate a failing wall and slope PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 01 March 2012 06:18
Excavator mounted TEI Rock Drill to install tieback anchors in Hawaii

Structural Systems Inc. recently completed tieback anchor projects at two sites along the coast of Hawaii. Failing retaining walls were stabilized using a total of 93 anchors ranging in length from 50 to 65 feet. The access was difficult, and the anchors were installed from a custom made platform attached to an excavator using a TEI Rock Drill that allowed wireless of the drill for the most challenging locations. [Source: National Driller. Image: National Driller]

Pile Foundations for Huge Ferris Wheel on Seattle Waterfront PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 26 February 2012 17:33

Seattle's Pier 57 will soon be home to a 175-foot tall Ferris wheel with 41 air-conditioned gondolas. The foundations for this soon-to-be-landmark consist of 150-ft long, 30-36" steel pipe piles driven through glacial till. The piles are being driven by Manson Construction using an APE Super Kong vibratory hammer. [Source and Photo: APE News]

Last Updated on Monday, 27 February 2012 00:39
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