A partially completed luxury condominium development on South Padre Island on the Texas Gulf Coast is slated for demolition after it has settled by 14 to 16-in, more than double the settlement of the attached parking garage. The developer, Ocean Tower LP is seeking $125 million in damages from the geotechnical engineering and structural engineering firms. They determined repairs were not “economically feasible” and a lawyer for Ocean Tower LP estimated the developer had invested about $65 million in the project. Source: NY Times via ASCE SmartBrief.
An excavator mounted drill rig drilling shafts as part of a project to pass utilities under I-35 near 51st Street toppled over while trying to move in soft, rain soaked soil. The Austin Fire Department was able to extract the operator from the cab and he was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, a minor miracle. I’m not sure what the purpose of the drilled shafts were for. Since the project was for some kind of utility pipe jacking under the freeway, I’m speculating it was drilling holes for temporary shoring for the jacking pit or something along those lines. I’m sure OSHA will be looking into the incident. Video news story after the break. (Photo from Austin KXAN.com).
Hot on the heals of the revised MSE Wall Manual, the FHWA has released another manual, this one on Spread Footings. Selection of Spread Footings on Soils to Support Highway Bridge Structures was authored by Naresh C. Samtani, PE, PhD, Edward A Nowatzki, PE, PhD and Dennis R. Mertz, PE, PhD. So what is this manual all about? I think the foreword by Scott Anderson, PE, PhD of the FHWA Resource Center says it best: