When a sinkhole opened up in Pennsylvania State Route 422 in 2019, Gannett Fleming partnered with PennDOT to accelerate investigation and design and ensure the roadway was fixed and reopened to the public as quickly as possible. The solution was a rather involved micropile supported reinforced concrete slab. The depth of the micropiles extended as deep as 180 feet to tag into competent bedrock. Gannett Fleming’s newsletter, Forces of Change, describes more about the project. One cool thing is that you can watch a time lapse video of virtually the entire construction process. Check it out.
It takes planning and good leadership to decide on an effective solution to problems associated with a building asset. Recently, a large wholesale warehouse facility in Cincinnati began to experience large sinkholes across a significant portion of their customer parking lot. Unable to determine the problem at that time, store management was forced to close a portion of the parking lot, inconveniencing their customers. This particular parking lot is unusual in that a drainage system is located directly under the parking lot, consisting of a network of pipes spanning 250 feet in length and 12” in diameter. Joint separations in the underground drainage piping had caused enough soil erosion to create sinkholes in the asphalt. Engineers were concerned that other unknown sinkholes could cave in anytime, resulting in further costly damage, and potentially posing safety hazards to customers.
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