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Recording Geotechnical Drill Rig Parameters
Thanks, for the insight, Howard. I think you're probably right about the "t
Recording Geotechnical Drill Rig Parameters
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DFI Announces Seventh Annual SuperPile Conference June 18-20, Cambridge, MA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 06:03

Hawthorne, NJ (January 6, 2014): The Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) is hosting its seventh annual SuperPile conference on June 18-20, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency, Cambridge, MA.

SuperPile ‘14 is a collaboration of seven DFI Technical Committees and is chaired by Les Chernauskas, P.E., Geosciences Testing & Research, Inc. (GTR) and member of the DFI Driven Pile Committee. The conference kicks off with Technical Committee Meetings on Thursday, June 18, which are open to the public. The event continues on Thursday, June 19 and Friday, June 20 with more than 20 technical presentations on augered cast-in-place/drilled displacement piles, drilled shafts, driven piles, marine foundations, micropiles, seismic and lateral loads, and testing and evaluation of foundation systems. The conference will also include approximately 40 exhibitors.

Presentation proposals are being accepted until Monday, February 3, 2014. Interested parties should submit an abstract of not more than 300 words to to be considered as a speaker during the conference sessions.

More information is available at

About the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI)

DFI ( is an international association of contractors, engineers, suppliers, academics and owners in the deep foundations industry. Our multi-disciplinary membership creates a consensus voice and a common vision for continual improvement in the planning, design and construction of deep foundations and excavations. We bring together members for networking, education, communication and collaboration. With our members, we promote the advancement of the deep foundations industry through technical committees, educational programs and conferences, publications, research, government relations and outreach. DFI has more than 3,300 members worldwide.


Attempting to Remove the Pipe Blocking Bertha PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 13 January 2014 23:28
Infographic on measures used by STP to remove the steel well casing blocking the Bertha TBM

The Seattle Tunnel Partners JV is attempting to remove the rest of an 8 inch diameter steel well casing that has been blocking the Bertha tunnel boring machine since December 8, 2013. The upper 55 feet was removed earlier, but another 64 feet or so remains in the ground in front of the cutter face.

The team is using a drilled shaft rig to drill 5 foot diameter shafts directly in front of the TBM face to attempt to intersect the steel. The first two shafts were completed last week. The first one did not strike steel, I'm not sure about the second one. I believe they have two more to go. The shafts will be backfilled with concrete to help form a protective wall in case workers need to enter the excavation chamber just behind the cutter face. If the steel is encountered in the shafts, they will attempt to remove it using augers or clamshell buckets. The DOT press release seems to indicate that there may be more what's blocking Bertha than just the well casing. We'll keep you posted. [Source: The Seattle Times. Image: Mark Nowlin / The Seattle Times]

Nicholson Awarded Design-Build Contract for Miami-Dade’s Norris Cut Project PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 06:34

Pittsburgh, PA – January, 7, 2014 – Nicholson Construction was recently awarded a $72.1 million dollar Design-Build contract to replace an existing force main from the Virginia Key Central District Wastewater Treatment Plant (CDWWTP) under Biscayne Bay Norris Cut to Fisher Island.

The project, which involves changing out the current 54-inch sewer force main for a 60-inch replacement, is set to last approximately 26 months. The main scope includes the installation of a precast concrete segmental tunnel, which will stretch more than a mile from the treatment plant on Virginia Key to Fisher Island.

[Editor] Read on for the rest of the press release from sponsor Nicholson Construction! [/Editor]

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 06:37
8 Inch Well Casing Stops Bertha TBM PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 22:00
Steel pipe blocking Bertha's cutterhead

WSDOT held a press conference on Friday to discuss findings regarding the obstruction that had stalled the Bertha Tunnel Boring Machine since December 6. It is an 8 inch well casing, 119 feet deep from a 2002 groundwater investigation associated with the tunnel project. Crews were finally able to dewater the TBM face enough to get a look last week.

The interesting part is that the TBM struck the casing on December 3, three days before it stopped. The rotation of the cutterhead lifted the casing 5 to 7 feet out of the ground. Crews removed the upper 55 feet of casing and thought that was the end of it. There were fragments of boulder on the conveyor belt, and crews felt they were dealing with a large boulder problem. So what now? The WSDOT officials were not specific, but likely Seattle Tunnel Partners crews will need to perform an intervention outside of the cutter face to remove the pipe and inspect for any damage to the cutterhead. The cost of the issue will count against a $40 million risk allowance for repairs and inspections near the front of the rotary cutting face — plus a $105 million general contingency fund. The overall tunnel project budget is $2 billion.

Other News Stories on Bertha's Blockage

[Source: The Seattle Times. Image: Seattle Tunnel Partners via Seattle Times]

Dataforensics Releases pLog Tablet for Geotechnical and Environmental Field Data Collection PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 06:31


pLog Tablet for Android - Geotechnical and environmental field data collectionNorcross, Georgia, January 2014 – Dataforensics, developer of geotechnical and geoenvironmental data management solutions, announces that pLog Tablet for Android is now available for immediate download from the Google Play store.

The evolution of pLog now allows users a new range of hardware options for field data collection, furthering the digital data collection model that Dataforensics has been a proponent of from the inception of the company 10 years ago.

This iteration of pLog greatly enhances usability by allowing users to leverage new hardware options with bigger screen sizes, faster processors, greater storage capacity, integrated GPS, and real time data sharing. (*Availability of cellular network as well as WIFI connections will determine real time capabilities).

[Editor] Click through for the rest of the press release from sponsor, Dataforensics! [/Editor]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 January 2014 06:33
Video: Terra Insurance Discusses Top 5 Precursors to Claims PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 06 January 2014 23:29

Terra Insurance is a top provider of professional liability insurance to geoprofessional organizations. This 5 minute video features Terra Vice President of Claims and Risk Management Lisa Gamblin, Esq. The idea is that by understanding what the precursors are to claims, you and your firm will be better equipped to avoid them.

Video: Top 5 Signs of a Claim

[Source: YouTube via Terra Insurance]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 January 2014 06:31
Video: An introduction to drilling and sampling in geotechnical practice PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 30 December 2013 05:56

Attention geotechnical engineering students hoping to get a job or an internship! If you haven't had any experience in the field, you NEED to watch this video before you go on any interviews! This video created by Dr. Jason DeJong and Dr. Ross Boulanger at UC Davis gives a great overview of the basics of geotechnical drilling and sampling. It was created in 2000, but it is still relevant today. My only comment is that the rope and cathead hammers are getting more and more rare in favor of the automatic trip hammers (or just auto-hammer if you prefer).

Now I'm not suggesting that you students try to pretend you have experience that you don't! Never lie in an interview! But at least if you have seen this video, you can ask intelligent questions and know what your prospective employer is talking about when they explain the field duties required for an entry-level geotechnical engineer or geotechnical engineering intern position. I know I knew virtually nothing about geotechnical drilling and sampling when I started my career.

Introduction to Geotechnical Drilling and Sampling Video

[Source: YouTube. Image: YouTube]

Last Updated on Monday, 30 December 2013 13:19
Fugro's New Geotechnical Vessel Targets Asia/Pacific Deepwater Needs PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 23:32
Fugro Voyager geotechnical vessel can operate in water over 9,000 feet deep

Fugro has added a new DP-2 vessel to their fleet. The Fugro Voyager will perform deepwater geotechnical investigations in the Asia/Pacific region. The vessel will be able to perform investigations in water up to 4,400 feet deep. The comfort class vessel can accommodate up to 60 crew members, and includes amenities such as offices, day rooms, conference rooms and a gymnasium. A large soil laboratory will be located near the middle of the ship. [Source: Offshore Magazine. Image: Offshore Magazine]

Balfour Beatty patents UK's first zero waste piling system PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 23:23

System by Junttan and Balfour Beatty that reduces pile waste with precast concrete piles

Normally when driven piles are used as deep foundation elements, there is a large amount of pile waste when the portion of the piles left sticking up out of the ground are cut off to the desired elevation. UK piling contractor, Balfour Beatty and Finnish company Junttan have created a system that attaches to piling rigs and cuts off precast concrete piles as low as about 4 inches from the ground surface. The cut pieces are then used as starter pieces for the next pile. Balfour Beatty calculates that each precast concrete pile delivered to the site represents approximately 90 to 130 pounds of CO2 released into the atmosphere. They estimate that implementing this system on two piling rigs to date will translate into 2,000 metric tons of reduced CO2 emissions per year. [Source: Construction Enquirer via ASCE SmartBrief. Image: Construction Enquirer]

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 December 2013 06:34
Crux Featured in Micropile Technology for Transmission Line Foundations Photo Gallery PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 08 December 2013 23:26
Crux subsurface drilling micropile casing for transmission line foundation

Crux Subsurface is a unique drilling company, getting their start with limited and difficult access geotechnical drilling, but in recent years, they have branched out into micropile foundation design and construction. They frequently work for the power sector installing transmission line foundations in locations that most other companies couldn't access. This photo gallery is on a Power industry publication website, and showcases some of Crux' work. [Source: Check out the photo gallery at TDWorld via Crux Subsurface. Image: T&D World]

RST Announces New Borehole Profile Sensor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 23:30
RST new borehole profile sensor

RST's new borehole profile sensor can measure the orientation of boreholes raked above horizontal, such as drain holes. Most other equipment is designed to use a wheeled probe and grooved casing. This sensor uses MEMS technology and rigid rods and is inserted into the hole. It can also be used to profile boreholes of different diameter or nominal plunge. Data is collected using RST's ultra rugged field PC which can connect via bluetooth. [Source: Read more and download a brochure at RST Instruments Ltd.. Image: RST Instruments]

DFI Educational Trust Announces Three New Scholarship Funds PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 02 December 2013 22:28

Hawthorne, NJ (December 2, 2013): The DFI Educational Trust announces the establishment of three new scholarship programs: the Manual Fine Civil Engineering Scholarship Fund, John O’Malley Scholarship Fund and Francis Gularte Scholarship Fund.

The Manuel Fine Civil Engineering Scholarship Fund was established through a $25,000 donation from the Heavy Construction Association of Ontario. The fund honors Manuel Fine, who served DFI for 24 years in many roles, including trustee, president, executive director, managing editor of Deep Foundations magazine, and in recent years, as publisher of the DFI Journal. The fund will provide scholarships for civil engineering students attending universities in Canada. Patrick Bermingham, of Bermingham Foundation Solutions and vice president of the DFI Board of Trustees, is chair of the fundraising drive.

[Editor] Click on for the rest of press release from the Deep Foundations Institute. [/Editor]

Last Updated on Monday, 02 December 2013 22:36
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