Areas surrounding the access pit being excavated to rescue the stalled Bertha TBM have experienced settlement as much as 1 to almost 1.5 inches according to a draft figure released by WSDOT on December 11, 2014. The aging and seismically deficient Viaduct itself has experienced 1 inch of settlement as well. Structural engineers have inspected it as well as numerous buildings in the area and have not found structural damage. The settlement is thought to be related to the dewatering associated with the access pit construction. The excavation was within 3 feet of the bottom when the settlement issues were first announced on December 5, and WSDOT has since allowed the contractor to complete the excavation. [Source: Read more information in the update provided by the WSDOT Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project team. Image: WSDOT]
The Seattle Times (hat tip to ASCE SmartBrief) has reported that seven voids have been discovered above the Beacon Hill Tunnel with one opening up at the ground surface. The tunnel is being constructed by Sound Transit, the area’s transportation agency as part of a roughly $2.6 billion (yep, billion) light-rail project connecting downtown Seattle with the University of Washington and SEA-TAC airport. The voids were a result of running sand pockets in the otherwise stable clay units that were encountered by the tunnel boring machine or TBM. These voids migrated up like a chimney with one reaching the surface, almost 160-ft above the tunnel. This void was apparently 21-ft deep and opened up in a resident’s front yard and could have easily swallowed her up as she noticed it while gardening. The other voids were discovered at a depth of 20- to 65-ft below the ground surface. More after the break. (Illustration from Seattle Times)
[Update 2/10/08] Updated the name of the bridge. [/Update]
DelDOT is putting the new Indian River Bridge over out to bid. The current bridge is said to be in danger of failing between 2008 and 2012 according to the Army Corps of Engineers, seems to be related to scour. From what I hear, the tidal currents at that inlet being spanned over are tremendous, with water velocities on the order of 35 mph.
In 2005, Mactec, a geotechnical firm, provided a geotechnical report and associated recommendations to DelDOT for how to construct the 45-ft high approach embankments for a 1,400-ft long bridge in light of a 60-ft clay layer (sounds like pre-loading). However, the embankments are not settling as Mactec predicted (not sure if its more or less, probably less meaning slower) and are "shifting laterally" (squeezing?) so the DOT is going with a longer bridge to span the problem soil. More after the break.