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Economic times have been hard for federal, state and local transportation agencies as well as industry representatives since the recession started. Getting approval to travel for conferences or training classes has been difficult if not impossible. The Geotechnical Team at the FHWA and the National Highway Institute (NHI) has come up with a solution to that problem by offering training in an online virtual environment. In the near term they will be offering a tour of the virtual training venue and technology showcase and plan to have more demos in the coming months. They will offer the first training at the March 2015 International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo (IFCEE) in San Antonio, Texas.
I like Hayward Baker's series of videos using animations to demonstrate different geotechnical construction methods. This video demonstrates how tangent pile shafts or secant pile shafts are constructed. Check out the video. Note: Hayward Baker is a sponsor of this website.
By April of 2015, the contractor for Arizona DOT's US 89 Landslide Stabilization project will have move over 1 million cubic yards of material to build a massive stabilizing berm. They are using CAT 773 haul trucks to move material, equipment more commonly seen in mining applications. Check out the video!
Applying Building Information Modelling principles to geotechnical data will reinforce the message that geotechnics is an integral part of every phase of a project – not just site investigation, argues Gary Morin, Technical Director, Keynetix.
[Editor] In this contributed article, Gary describes the justification for using BIM for geotechnical data. Among those benefits are the ability to perform detailed alternatives analysis and optioneering, reduction of risk during construction, and the ability to perform cost-effective repairs and maintenance during the lifetime of the geotechnical asset. Click through to read the full article. Keynetix is a sponsor of GeoPrac.net. [/Editor]
A 10 inch hollow stem auger grazed a packed subway car on the NY MTA's F line last week scratching the side of the train and breaking windows. Fortunately there were no injuries. I think the pictures say it all! The auger belonged to a contractor installing dewatering wells. But as one MTA source quoted in the Post put it: 'Somebody made a mistake; maybe a surveyor or a field engineer... They drilled into the street but didnâ€™t realize they were right over the F train tunnel. They werenâ€™t supposed to be in that spot.' Ironically, the dewatering well was associated with the East Side Access project...an MTA project. [Source: NY Post via Mashable. Image: NY Daily News]
Dr. Jesus E. Gomez has joined GEI Consultants as a vice president and will lead their geotechnical and geostructural practice in the Philadelphia region. Dr. Gomez has over 30 years of experience, and was previously a principal with Schnabel Engineering. He is well known in the geotechnical community for his work on various FHWA/ADSC publications on soil nails and micropiles, among others. [Source: Read the full press release from GEI Consultants. Image: GEI Consultants]
Underground metal mines can have extremely high temperatures, making it hazardous for employees to work there for more than a few minutes at a time. Researchers from my alma mater, the University of Arizona, are studying the possibility of using a common mining waste product, tailings, as aggregate in shotcrete with good insulation properties that will be used to coat rock surfaces that readily conduct heat. [Source: Arizona Engineer. Image: Arizona Engineer]
The 1964 Alaska Earthquake was 9.2 in magnitude and caused dramatic destruction and dramatic examples of surface rupture, subsidence, and liquefaction. New paleoseismic evidence points to a previously unknown earthquake that happened on the same fault segment approximately 500 years ago. This new evidence would change the recurrence interval for the earthquakes on the Alaskan megathrust fault, which would affect seismic hazard in Alaska, but could also increase the tsunami hazard in places as far away as California and Hawaii. [Source: EARTH Magazine via AEG Insider. Image: Wikipedia]
The latest issue of Pile Buck Magazine has a cover story on the Panama Canal Construction. Talk about a mega project! There are actually two articles, the first includes a very nice summary of the overall project. Both discuss the construction of a huge cofferdam to separate Miraflores Lake from the construction area for the new Pacific Access Channel. This channel will link the third set of locks to Culebra Cut. The cofferdam consisted of 58 circular cells comprised of 17,000 tons of straight and z-section sheet piling. [Source: Read the article for free in Pile Buck Magazine. Image: Pile Buck]