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GeoPrac.net is a community of practitioners of geotechnical engineering, geological engineering, engineering geology, geophysics, hydrogeology and related disciplines. We offer members and visitors the foremost collection of geo-related articles, news, and online resources to keep those geo-professionals in practice at the forefront of their respective fields.

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New Specialty Geotechnical Contractor in North America
GeoNews - Comings and Goings
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 00:58
Introducing Quanta Subsurface

There is a new player in the ground engineering and specialty geotechnical construction market in North America...well, sort of. Quanta Subsurface is a collection of (at present) 9 specialty contractors all owned by Quanta Services, a publicly traded EPC company specializing in the Electric Power and Oil and Gas industries. Many of these companies have been around for some time in their various markets, firms like Crux Subsurface. With the formation of Quanta Subsurface, it appears that they are looking to grow their footprint in transmission line sector in particular. The company is being run by several Crux Subsurface executives, including Crux President Nick Salisbury. [Source: Read more at QuantaSubsurface. Image: Crux/Quanta Subsurface]

 
Video: Moving 7 Million Cubic Yards - Calaveras Dam Replacement Project Timelapse
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 19 May 2016 22:05

This is a pretty remarkable 4-year time-lapse video of the construction of a new spillway as part of the Calaveras Dam replacement project. [Source: SFWater Power and Sewer YouTube Channel via Hat tip to my buddy Wayne Harrison. Thanks, Wayne!. Image: YouTube]

 
Geo-companies in ENR's 2016 Top 500 Design Firms
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 16 May 2016 22:52
Top 500 Design Firms - With a Geo Emphasis

ENR's annual top 500 design firms list is out. These rankings are based on revenue for design services in the previous calendar year. I was curious how the various firms that are strong in geotechnical / geological related services rank. I included firms that self-identified as geotechnical firms, as well as engineering firms that I know to have a strong geo emphasis. I'm sure there are some that I missed. I also included some of the major A&E firms that provide these types of services. I even included a few environmental firms. So in summary, it's still a bit subjective on who is included. Without further ado, here is the list (along with their change in ranking relative to 2015):

  • 1 - AECOM, Los Angeles, Calif. (No change from 2015)
  • 3 - CH2M, Englewood, Colo. (+1)
  • 5 - AMEC FOSTER WHEELER, Tucker, Ga. (+1)
  • 7 - TETRA TECH INC., Pasadena, Calif. (No change from 2015)
  • 9 - HDR, Omaha, Neb. (No change from 2015)
  • 11 - WSP | PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF, New York, N.Y. (+5)
  • 12 - ARCADIS NORTH AMERICA/CALLISONRTKL, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (+1)

[Editor] Click through for the rest of the Geo list! [/Editor]

 
Webinar: gINT Geotechnical Data Management and Reporting
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 00:10
Bentley gINT Software Output

Join Katie Aquilar, Bentley Systems Geotechnical Product Engineer, to learn how gINT can help you increase productivity with centralized data management and reporting for geotechnical subsurface reporting. Streamline processes, with accessible, inter-operable data, for subsurface reporting for soils, borelogs, lab tests, and more. Discover how gINT Logs, gINT Professional, and gINT Professional Plus can help with data management and reporting of your geotechnical and geoenvironmental data.

In this webinar, you will learn the following:

  • See how gINT can help you reduce report production time for a wide variety of geotechnical reports
  • Learn how to automate repetitive tasks, eliminate redundant data entry, and dramatically increase productivity
  • Hear how you can streamline the collection, processing, and storage of geotechnical data for use in reports and other GIS applications

In addition to the Tuesday May 24 time slot (11:00AM Arizona Time, GMT-7), there are two slots on May 25. To view all the webinars and to register, visit http://pages.info.bentley.com/webinars/ and filter by the gINT product. Bentley is a GeoPrac.net sponsor. [Source: Register for this gINT Webinar on May 24, 2016 at Bentley's Website. Image: Bentley Communities]

 
Video: Inside tunneling under the Alaskan Way Viaduct
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 00:04

From WSDOT's video description:

After nearly a week of tunneling under the Alaskan Way Viaduct, crews are steadily continuing Bertha's underground drive towards downtown Seattle. This video gives you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how the new tunnel is being built, showcasing the complex operations involved in this project. Massive concrete ring segments are transported to Bertha's segment erector where they are lifted into place, allowing the machine to push forward while the excavated soil is transported along a network of conveyer belts and into a barge moored at Elliott Bay’s Pier 46.

[Source: WSDOT YouTube Channel. Image: YouTube]

 
DFI Accepting Scholarship Applications for Students in Geotechnical and Foundation Engineering
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 09 May 2016 22:41
DFI Trust

The Deep Foundations Institute is accepting scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students in geotechnical engineering or foundation engineering at a U.S. college or university. The at-large scholarships range from 2,000 to 5,000. For more information and to apply, visit dfitrust.org. Hurry, the deadline is May 16! [Source: Deep Foundations Institute. Image: DFI]

 
Video: Monitoring the ground and buildings during SR 99 tunnel construction
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 28 April 2016 23:00

This is a great video from WSDOT visualizing all of the geotechnical instrumentation and survey monitoring being done in Downtown Seattle above the Bertha TBM for the Alaska Way Viaduct Replacement project. Soldata is the company WSDOT hired to manage the monitoring. I heard a great presentation by a Soldata representative and a member of the Seattle Tunnel Partners in charge of the instrumentation and monitoring from the contractor's side several years ago at an AEG conference. You can read more about the amazing Bertha TBM and some of the monitoring being done in my article. [Source: WSDOT YouTube Channel. Image: YouTube]

 
Big Design Build Projects with Dan Brown and Associates
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 28 April 2016 22:31
I-70 Bridge Across the Missouri River - Foundation Engineering by Dan Brown and Associates

I stumbled across a nice interview of Dan Brown, a recognized deep foundation expert and founder of Dan Brown and Associates, in a back issue of Pile Buck magazine. He discussed some of the large design-build contracts that they have been involved in, designing foundations for some of the biggest bridges in the Country. One of my takeaways was that he called himself and his colleagues 'foundation engineers' and pointed out that we shouldn't pigeon-hole ourselves as geotechnical engineers or structural engineers, foundation engineering requires elements of both and you must look at it from design all the way through construction. Overall, he has a very practical approach to his work, focusing on solving problems and designing things that are constructable and optimized. But perhaps my favorite tidbit from the interview was a football analogy for the design-build work that they do:

I tell people it's like a football team. We're the left tackle on the offensive line. We don't always see what's going on. If the quarterback fumbles the ball, it's not always our fault. If we score a touchdown, we don't always get noticed. But, if we miss a block, we definitely get noticed.

So, in foundation engineering, if we do our job well, we're like the offensive line: somebody else gets credit but everyone on the team knows we did our job. If we don't do our job, well, it's a disaster of epic proportions: the quarterback is sacked, the ball is fumbled and the other team scores a touchdown. We are in big trouble. It's not for the faint-of-heart. It's still fun
[Source: Read the Interview in Pile Buck International Magazine - Volume 31 Issue 1. Image: Dan Brown and Associates]

 
Two More Keynetix Webinars This Month
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 17 April 2016 22:57
Keynetix - Transforming Your Geotechnical Data Journey in Small Steps

Don't forget about the last two Keynetix webinars this month related to their popular and powerful HoleBase SI geotechnical software. The two remaining topics for this round of webinars are:

  • Top Tips for Geological Modelling with AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • The Important Golden Rule of Data Entry – Get Someone Else to Do It!

Keynetix is a sponsor of GeoPrac.net. [Source: Find out more and get registered for the free webinars from Keynetix. Image: Keynetix]

 
Video: IHC Fundex F5600 Foundation Drill Rig, 56 meters high!
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 17 April 2016 22:48
IHC Fundex F5600 multifunctional foundation drill rig has a 56 meter high mast!

The IHC Fundex 5600 is the newest and largest multifunctional foundation drill rig in Dutch equipment maker's line. This rig has a leader or mast that is 50 to (optionally) 56 meters in length (164-184 feet!). Amazingly, this huge mast can be erected by the machine itself without assistance from a crane. The rig can be used for drilling continuous flight auger or CFA piles, conventional drilled shafts, and driving precast concrete piles. You can find out more info at the manufacturer's IHC Fundex F5600 product page. Check out the drone video below of the rig after it rolled out of IHC's facilities. [Source: YouTube via DFI LinkedIn Group. Image: IHC Fundex]

 
Video: DeWind One-Pass Trenching - Hill AFB Contamination Project
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 17 April 2016 22:21

This project video seems a few years old, but it's relatively new on YouTube and it's a fantastic case study of the slick method of installing groundwater interception trenches using DeWind's remarkable one-pass trenching technology. Hill Air Force Base in Utah had been using jet fuel ignited on a mock aircraft to train firefighters. The jet fuel had leached into the soil and was reaching the shallow aquifer. The DeWind technology was used to install a drainage trench to intercept the contaminated groundwater and pump it out for treatment before it reached the aquifer. This approach was several million dollars less costly than other alternatives they looked at. Project staff considered this method more likely to intercept the contamination than discrete wells spaced along the same alignment. [Source: DeWind YouTube. Image: YouTube]

 
Tunneling Industry Outlook 2016
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 11 April 2016 22:58
Microtunneling Project under Toronto's Pearson International Airport

Tunnel Business Magazine has released their annual report on the outlook of the Tunneling Industry. They poll a variety of tunneling industry professionals. Their consensus is that the growth rate of tunneling projects in north america is not as high as in other parts of the world. [Source: Read more about the expert's insights in Tunnel Business Magazine. Image: Tunnel Business Magazine]

 
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