ADOT put together a great little video embedded below that shows the construction of a drilled shaft foundation, or caisson as they are also known, for a bridge on the Loop 303 project in Surprise, AZ. The foundations shown are 88-feet deep and the rebar cage weighs in at about 20,000 pounds. The hole takes around 80 cubic yards of concrete to fill (that’s 8 concrete trucks). The video shows the fabrication of the cage, drilling the hole, and picking up and lowering the cage. My favorite part is the perspective of the video taken from the top of the cage as it is picked up and lowered, very cool. [Source: ADOT Blog]
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).
[Editor] Note: NCS Consultants, LLC is Randy Post’s full time employer…ie. my day job! [/Editor]
There are some significant changes being made to the state of the practice in geotechnical engineering in Arizona. NCS Consultants, LLC has prepared three policy memoranda for the Arizona Department of Transportation or ADOT that have been issued to consultants all over the State. These memos are on the topics of bearing capacity and settlement of spread footings and retaining walls, the design of drilled shaft foundations in gravelly soils, and the preparation of drilled shaft axial capacity charts for use by bridge engineers.
Although primarily applicable to upcoming ADOT projects implementing the AASHTO 2007 LRFD code, the memos will have a ripple effect down through other local agencies within the state who frequently defer to ADOT guidelines for geotechnical engineering. Also, the memos and the ADOT/NCS approach to LRFD implementation in geotechnical engineering were presented by NCS at the 2008 TRB Conference in Washington D.C., and many other state DOTs and the FHWA were very excited about the memos. The approach used if not the exact content may become a model for other agencies. More info and links to download the policy memoranda are provided after the break.