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About 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.

The Curious Case of No. 57 Stone
Articles - Forensics and Failures
Written by Katherine Witt   
Monday, 12 May 2014 06:31

ASTM No. 57 StoneThe American Society for Testing and Materials, or ASTM, No. 57 stone is often used as sub base fill material below road surfaces and buildings. It is a fragmented stone with angular edges and is regularly utilized as a drainage layer when used with geotextile fabric. Although the material is touted by many as "self-compacting," excess voids left from zero compactive effort in locations with little confinement may not eliminate the possibility of future settlement. What happens when the environment above the No. 57 stone causes it to settle?

[Editor] Read on for the answer to this interesting question in the case of settlement of a structure at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The contributed article by Katherine Witt describes how URETEK Mid-Atlantic used their high-density polyurethane resin to stabilize the No. 57 stone beneath a settled foundation as well as lift the surrounding slab back into place. [/Editor]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 06:04
Baltimore Retaining Wall Failure Caught on Video
GeoNews - Failures
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 05 May 2014 23:36

Failed retaining wall in Baltimore, Maryland

A dramatic retaining wall failure and subsequent landslide last week damaged several cars and shut down a rail line in Baltimore, Maryland. The final failure was caught on video by a bystander. The landslide forced a number of residents to be evacuated from their homes.

Video of Baltimore Slope Failure

[Source: See more photos from Baltimore Sun. Image: Landslide Blog]


Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 06:38
Joseph Welsh of Hayward Baker Receives 2014 Opal Award from ASCE
GeoNews - Miscellaneous
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 05 May 2014 23:23
Joseph Welsh of Hayward Baker accepting his 2014 Opal Award from ASCE

Former Hayward Baker Vice President Joseph Welsh received the ASCE Opal Award for his 'lifetime accomplishments of noteworthy advancements in construction, and the many contributions he provided the civil engineering industry over the past 50 years.' His bio on Hayward Baker's website is very impressive. Mr. Welsh has been involved in many high-profile geotechnical projects, including the Central Boston Artery Tunnel, and Malaysia Petronas Twin Towers.

His extensive list of achievements also includes assisting with the introduction of jet grouting, fracture grouting, fine grain cement, dynamic deep compaction, vibro displacement and replacement, the use of fabrics for concrete forming, and deep soil mixing techniques in the United States.
[Source: Read more at Hayward Baker. Image: Hayward Baker]

Keynetix Geotechnical Data Hub is 4 Years Old!
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 05 May 2014 23:02
Geotechnical Data Hub turns 4

The Geotechnical Data Hub group on Linkedin recently turned 4 years old. Founded by Keynetix, this group is home to over 3,000 members with discussion topics covering all range of geotechnical data management. [Source: Read more and find out how to join at Keynetix. Image: Keynetix]

Keynetix Release Standalone Data Entry Module for HoleBASE SI
GeoNews - Software Updates
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 23:29

HoleBASE SI data entry module

GeoPrac sponsor Keynetix has released a stand alone data entry module for their HoleBASE SI geotechnical software program. The module is roughly 1/3 of the cost of the full HoleBASE SI license and has a customizable interface that is optimized for entering geotechnical borehole or other data as efficiently as possible. Go check out more at their website and see some video demos of the product in action. [Source: Read more about the data entry module at Keynetix. Image: Keynetix]

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 06:34
Settle3D 3.0 by Rockscience Adds New Features
GeoNews - Software Updates
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 23:27

Rockscience Settle3D geotechnical software for analyzing settlement and consolidation

Rockscience has been busy soliciting feedback from their user base on news features for their settlement analysis software program, Settle3D. After receiving all of the feedback in the beta program, many of the user suggestions have been implemented by Rockscience in the Version 3.0 release of Settle3D. Some of these improvements include the ability to model non-horizontal soil layers, user interface improvements, new options for defining water level, enhanced graphing capabilities, and 64-bit parallel processing. [Source: Read more from Rockscience via Rockscience's Settle3D page.. Image: Rockscience]

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 06:33
Bertha TBM Won't Resume Drilling Until March 2015
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 21 April 2014 23:52
Bertha repair plan calls for excavating a shaft in front of the TBM.

Seattle Tunnel Partners released a new schedule this week for the repair of the damaged seals on the Bertha Tunnel Boring Machine. This revised schedule shows that the TBM won't be digging again until March of 2015. The excavation of the pit to access the TBM will begin at the end of May, a delay caused by additional archaeological work. By October they hope to have the cutterhead removed to conduct the repairs, and the machine will undergo testing in February of 2015 with tunneling resuming in March of 2015. [Source: WSDOT. Image: WSDOT]

Repair of Earthquake Damaged Concrete Bridge Piers with PileMedic
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 21 April 2014 23:49

[Source: YouTube. Image: YouTube]

Two Geoprofessional Among 2014 Recipients of Grade of Distinguished Member of ASCE
GeoNews - Comings and Goings
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 21 April 2014 23:34
Jean-Louis Briaud

Two well-known geoprofessionals were among the eleven given ASCE's highest honor this year, the title of Distinguished Member. Jean-Louis Briaud and Thomas D. O'Rourke were both in this year's class. There is a link to their bios in the ASCE blog post. Congratulations to both gentlemen, very well deserved. [Source: ASCE Roundup. Image: Texas A&M]

Conceptual Plan for Excavation to Repair Bertha TBM
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 23:28

Seattle Tunnel Partners has released a conceptual plan showing what the excavation of the pit will look like to repair the damaged Bertha Tunnel Boring Machine. See below.

STP conceptual repair plan for Bertha.

A pit 120 feet deep and 83 feet in diameter will be excavated so that the TBM can be driven into the pit and the cutterhead removed. Crews will then repair the seal system around the main bearing. [Source: WSDOT, Image Credit: Seattle Tunnel Partners and Brierly Associates by way of WSDOT]

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 06:34
Developer To Pay Building Owner $3.2 Million For Damage Related to Shoring
GeoNews - Failures
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 23:12
The developers 17-story apartment building is near completion

A developer will pay $3.2 million in damages plus $3.9 million in legal fees and expenses to the owner of a property that sustained structural damage related to the shoring of the developer's adjacent 17 story apartment building in Bethesda, Maryland. Apparently the developer settled with the owner regarding the damages 4 days before trial in December of 2013. The details of the settlement were released in a court order last week that was associated with a hard-fought battle over the legal fees. There are undoubtedly other legal and insurance issues happening behind the scenes. The article indicates that the foundation and shoring subcontractor on the project claims the damage was caused by the August 2011 earthquake felt throughout the D.C. region. Regardless of what the geotechnical engineering issues are with the shoring system, it's clear this has become quite a legal mess. [Source: BethesdaNow. Image: BethesdaNow]

Foundation Drilling Starts for Deck to Be Built Over NY Rail Yard
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 22:56

Plan view of the Hudson Yards Development

I love how the Atlantic Cities article starts, they use the phrase "only in New York", which is very appropriate in this case! Foundation drilling has commenced for a project that will create 26 acres of developable space by creating a deck over the top of a Long Island Rail Yard serving America's busiest train station, Penn Station. Over 300 drilled shafts extending 90 feet down to bedrock will be constructed to support a continuous concrete deck that will span over the entire rail yard (check out the photo and video below!). High-rise buildings and other structures will be built over this deck to form the neighborhood that the developers are calling Hudson Yards. The area of the track where the 30 LIRR tracks converge into 4 lines that enter Penn Station will have a steel truss bridge with about 150 ft span length.

Video Rendering of Hudson Yards Construction

[Source: The Atlantic Cities via National Driller. Image: Related Companies via The Atlantic Cities]

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 06:36
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