The 2013 H. Bolton Seed Lecture at Geo-Congress 2013 was given by Prof. Stephen Wright of UT Austin, a living geo-legend and one of the world's foremost experts on slope stability. His lecture is destined to be a classic, and was recently released on the Geo-Institute's YouTube channel. If you are a geotechnical engineer, make it a point to set aside the time to watch this lecture!
Geoengineer.org has launched a new GeoSoftware directory, sure to be the go-to resource for our industry. The complete revamp of their previous directory will allow software vendors to provide news and video related to their products, and allow visitors to provide ratings and submit questions to the geotechnical software vendors. [Source: Check out the new GeoSoftware database at Geoengineer.org. Image: Geoengineer.org]
Work has begun to construct temporary piers to support the I-43 Leo Frigo Bridge. Pier 22 of the bridge settled approximately 2.5 feet in late September/early October. The new piers are being constructed by Lunda Construction. The goal of the structures is to prevent any additional settlement of the deck. The bridge will remain closed pending a permanent solution. The ENR article did not list what the piers will be founded on, but the conceptual drawings available from WisDOT seem to show drilled shaft foundations. [Source: ENR: Engineering News Record. Image: WisDOT via ENR]
The Great Recession has been felt by geoprofessionals, just like everyone else. Sometimes it feels like the news about the business outlook for our profession is always so gloomy. So it's nice to hear some optimism from ASFE President Kurt Fraese in his remarks at the ASFE/GBA Fall Conference. He sees much potential for us:
And what does the future hold in store? Opportunity for geoprofessionals, in the form of infrastructure repair, replacement, and expansion; creation of protective barriers for major coastal cities; energy production, transmission, distribution, and conversion; alternative energy development; and the new smart electrical grid.
Norcross, GA - September, 2013 – Dataforensics is the focus of an article distributed by technology industry leader Panasonic Systems Communication Company. The article is the result of a case study performed by Panasonic re-seller, DataSource Mobility.
Dataforensics has invested more than a decade creating software that is flexible, customizable and improves the field data collection process. Software is only one piece of the puzzle, hardware that is capable of withstanding field conditions, but also captures photo/video data, GPS data all while having the battery life necessary for a full day’s work is the other.
With the release of the Toughpad line of rugged tablets, Panasonic has delivered a unit that fulfills exactly the needs of pLog users.
“We’ve been waiting for this device for 13 years. We are now able to offer our customers a complete solution to capture data from the field in real-time. The Toughpad FZ-A1 has allowed us to do more than we could ever do before” states Scott Deaton, President.
Dataforensics is a leader in deploying software applications that serve as core components for data and personnel management within geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. Our solutions enable efficient, timely and accurate assessments. The resulting assessments are used to support analysis and design activities by the engineering and construction industries, as well as federal, state and local government organizations. For more information, please visit www.dataforensics.net.
The Wisconsin DOT has been performing geotechnical drilling and test pitting to try and determine the cause of the foundation failure at Pier 22 of the Leo Frigo Bridge in Green Bay. They were able to determine that the steel H-Piles at Pier 22 buckled which is what produced the nearly 2 feet of settlement of the pier and the resulting deformation of the bridge deck. Investigations at adjacent piers also confirmed that there is a corrosion issue with other piles. They are still working on a solution to the problem. [Source: greenbaypressgazette.com. Image: H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette Media]
Every second of October, geotechnical engineers around the world remember Karl Terzaghi on his birthday! Terzaghi is the father of soil mechanics, and I don't think it is cliche to say he is also the father of our profession. So happy KTB 2013! It's a big one for Karl, he would have been 130 today by my calculation!
I always like to celebrate by reading some of his quotes, many of which seem like they could have been written to us today…like this one:
…as soon as we pass from steel and concrete to earth, the omnipotence of theory ceases to exist. In the first place, the earth in its natural state is never uniform. Second, its properties are too complicated for rigorous theoretical treatment. Finally, even an approximate mathematical solution of some of the most common problems is extremely difficult.
Pier 22 of the Leo Frigo Bridge settled 22 to 27 inches last week causing a 400 foot long segment of the bridge to sag dramatically, forcing the closure of the bridge. There were no reports of injuries and there has been no further reports of additional movement of the pier.
The pier is approximately 700 feet from the edge of the Fox River. The pier is a hammerhead-type pier with two columns extending down to the ground. The foundation system consists of footings supported by a group of steel piles 100 feet long. Highway spokesmen would not speculate on the cause of the settlement.
If you look at the photos of the bridge, there does not appear to be any structural damage to the pier, it looks like the entire pier just settled. So this geotechnical engineer’s opinion is that it certainly seems likely this is a geotechnicl type of failure. But we will have to wait until additional information is released.
TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 747: Guide for Conducting Forensic Investigations of Highway Pavements explores a process for conducting forensic investigations of pavements that is designed to help understand the reasons behind premature failures or exceptionally good performance. The process also allows for the collection of data for use in developing or calibrating performance-prediction models.
The report includes example forms and checklists for use during the conduct of an investigation. These forms can be modified to suit the particular requirements and procedures for the agency. The example forms are included with the print version of the report in CD-ROM format. [Source: Download the Report and/or CD ISO from TRB. Image: TRB]
THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Sept. 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Layne Christensen Company(Nasdaq:LAYN) ("Layne") today announced that its Geoconstruction Division received a contract to provide specialized foundation work in connection with the construction of Transbay Tower in San Francisco.
The contract has an estimated value to Layne of approximately $19 million. Work on the project is expected to commence in October 2013 and last approximately 6 months.
[Editor] Read on for more info about the foundations for this new 61 story high-rise in downtown San Francisco. [/Editor]