DBA website gets an upgrade

DBA website screenshotWe're almost done with an upgrade to our website. With more than 50% of our site traffic now coming from smartphones and tablets, we needed a responsive web design, i.e., one that provides "an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors)." So the site now detects the type and size of your device and reshapes its presentation of the content while keeping the visual design. That visual design is new, too. We're using the Twenty Fourteen theme by WordPress, in part because of its 'magazine style' presentation of blog content. At the top of the home page, we now feature six blog posts, each with a featured image or photo. Clicking on the title or the photo of any of those takes you to that blog post where a larger version of the photo and the complete content is displayed. Other blog posts that aren't selected by us to be featured will appear in the usual reverse chronological order on the blog/home page. Lastly, we're now showing excerpts of … Continue Reading ››

Tim Siegel Appointed New Co-Editor of DFI Journal

As Robert recently posted, Dan is taking on new roles at the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) as a member of the DFI Educational Trust Board and as treasurer of the DFI Board of Trustees.  Tim Siegel is now stepping in to fill Dan’s former role as co-editor of the DFI Journal.  From DFI:
February 24, 2014, Hawthorne NJ: Maney Publishing and the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) are pleased to announce the appointment of Anne Lemnitzer and Timothy C. Siegel as the new co-editors of DFI Journal: The Journal of the Deep Foundations Institute. They will succeed lead editors Ali Porbaha and Dan Brown, who are stepping down after being editors since the Journal’s inception, and Zia Zafir, who will remain on the editorial board. Timothy Siegel is a principal engineer with Dan Brown and Associates PC and member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Tennessee. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and has spent over 20 years working in industry. He is a member of the DFI’s Ground Improvement and Seismic and Lateral Loads Committees and has authored or co-authored over 45 technical papers and has presented at conferences … Continue Reading ››

Dan Brown Added to DFI Board and Educational Trust

Dan has taken on some new responsibilities with the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI).  He has joined both the Board of Directors and the Educational Trust Board as treasurer.  From DFI:

Dr. Dan Brown has joined the DFI Educational Trust Board and the DFI Board of Trustees as treasurer, effective January 1, 2014. Dr. Brown is recognized as one of America's leading authorities on the construction and design of deep foundations for transportation structures. After 22 years on the faculty at Auburn University, Dr. Brown remains active in deep foundation practice through his consulting firm, Dan Brown and Associates. He has been recognized with the DFI Distinguished Service Award, ASCE Martin Kapp Foundation Engineering Award and the ADSC Outstanding Service Award. 

David Coleman of Underpinning & Foundation Skanska, has been elected to a second five-year term as Trustee (2014-2019), and Roger Healey of Goettle, was elected to second two-year term as At-Large Trustee (2014-2016). 

The elected officers for the Board of Trustees in 2014 are:

Chair: David Coleman

Vice Chair: M. Byrl Williams

Continue Reading ››
20130912_123648_RichtoneHDR_large 1038x576

Replacing the 89 Year Old Sellwood Bridge

DBA has had the pleasure of working with T.Y. Lin and Slayden-Sundt JV in their effort to replace the Sellwood Bridge over the Willamette River in Multnomah County, Oregon, near Portland. Designed by Gustav Lindenthal, the existing Sellwood Bridge was constructed in 1925 to replace the Spokane Street Ferry, connecting the communities of Sellwood and West Portland.  In response to budget issues at the time, the Sellwood Bridge design was scaled back to minimize costs. Fast forward to 2014 and the existing Sellwood Bridge is now the only four-span continuous truss highway bridge in Oregon and possibly the nation. The bridge is extremely narrow, two lanes, no shoulder or median, and one small 4-ft sidewalk.  In addition to these shortcomings in design with respect to the modern age, the west end of the bridge was constructed on fill, and the hillside above the bridge is now slowly sliding toward the river. Ground movements have caused some of the girders to crack. Furthermore, the existing bridge was not designed to any seismic standards which present a major concern given the bridge’s location in the seismically active Pacific Northwest.

The new Sellwood Bridge will be a … Continue Reading ››

Websites That ROCK!

The blogosphere, as the world of blogging is sometimes called, is always changing as blogs come and go.  A new one focusing on geology education is geologydegree.org.  This is a new blog intended to promote the study of geology.  A recent post called Geology Online: 105 Websites That Rock included our very own blog as well as that of one of our good friends, GeoPrac.net by RockMan (aka Randy Post).  While DBA (and others listed, including GeoPrac.net) are not strictly geological blogs or websites, what we do includes a lot of geology as we design foundations to bear in or on rock.  Understanding the geology of a site is also important to understand the soils that are present above the bedrock.  Take a look, especially if you have a young’un (that’s Southern for young one, or child) at home that may find geology or geotechnical engineering interesting.

Happy 2014 from DBA!

Here is to a very Happy New Year from all of us at DBA!  May the world of geotechnical and foundation engineering be full of fun surprises and challenging work for everyone!

 

P.S. We hope you had a very Merry Christmas season as well! (Images courtesy of the World Wide Web).

MerryXmas

construction-christmas-card

Bubble Curtain for Driving Piles at Tappan Zee

TZ curtain_lohud

Image source: lohud.com

The design-build team Tappan Zee Constructors that is building the Tappan Zee Bridge is installing the over 200-ft long steel pipe piles using a relatively simple concept to mitigate vibration impacts on fish – a bubble curtain.  Such curtains have become more common as an approach to mitigate potential impacts (pardon the pun) on aquatic life when large piles are driven over water.  The vibrations from the hammer impact on the pile during driving are reduced or dampened by a curtain of bubbles generated around the pile by compressed air.  An item in the December 26th ASCE Smart Brief linked an article in The Journal News (White Plains, NY) highlighting the use of the curtain on the Tappan Zee project.

 

A rubber-looking sleeve covered the hammer where it met the pile, dampening some of the noise in the air. Underwater, however, it was a curtain of bubbles serving as the aquatic equivalent of … Continue Reading ››

Raising the Leo Frigo Bridge

Work to begin lifting the sagging portions of the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge on I-43 in Green Bay, Wisconsin is scheduled to begin Tuesday.  According to the Green Bay Press Gazette,  Zenith Tech Inc. is working on the repairs.  It will be a BIG lift, indeed…..

Raising the troubled Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge back into place will be a task equivalent to hoisting an entire fleet of 747s into the air.

Experts have calculated that the sagging section of Green Bay’s distressed bridge weighs more than 3 million pounds, or about 1,600 tons.

……

Zenith Tech crews are expected to spend several days using hydraulic jacks to boost the Leo Frigo back into position — a process that will go slow, by design.

……

Starting with the northbound lanes, Zenith Tech will insert 10 hydraulic jacks beneath the bridge deck and operate them all simultaneously to raise the platform. Each jack will be exerting enough pressure to support 183,000 pounds, although Dreher said their capacity is 50 percent greater than that — just in case … Continue Reading ››

Charles J. Berkel 1925-2013

A pioneer of the deep foundations industry has recently passed.  Charles J. Berkel, 88, Chairman of the Board and Founder of Berkel & Company, one of the largest piling contractors in the U.S., passed away November 4, 2013.  From DFI:

Berkel graduated from the University of Illinois in 1946 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. A year later he began his career in deep foundation construction working for Intrusion-Prepakt in Chicago. While there he was the project engineer for the first commercial project supported on ACIP piles in the U.S. In 1959 he resigned from Prepakt and started his own company, Berkel & Company Contractors, specializing in pressure grouting and the installation of Auger Pressure Grouted (APG) piles. Over the decades, he grew the company to become one of the largest piling contractors in the U.S.

Funeral services were held Friday, November 8, 2013, in Lenexa, Kan. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Berkel' s name to the University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth, Kan., the Sister Servants of Mary, Kansas City, Kan., or Sacred Heart Church in Shawnee, Kan.

Mr. Berkel was a Charter … Continue Reading ››

Robert Receives NHI Award and Paul Becomes DFI Committee Chair

WRT_NHI

It was recently announced that Robert Thompson is being recognized by the National Highway Institute (NHI) as an NHI Instructor of Excellence for fiscal year 2012.  This award is given to NHI instructors who receive consistently high classroom evaluation scores, demonstrated commitment to the NHI adult learning philosophy, and for maintaining the highest standard of quality for transportation training.  Here are the congratulatory words of NHI Director of Training Programs, Richard Barnaby:
Your nomination and selection for this award shows that training participants value the instruction you provide, that you stand far ahead of your peers, and that you have captured the respect of HHI’s Training Program Managers.  This year you have continuously provided high quality instruction, shared your vast expertise and real world experiences, and have exceeded performance expectations.
Robert currently serves as an instructor for two NHI courses, NHI Course 132069, Driven Pile Foundation Inspection with co-instructor Keith Bennett of Gannett-Flemming and NHI Course 132014, Drilled Shafts – Construction Procedures and LRFD Design Methods with co-instructors Dan Brown and John Turner of DBA. That is most certainly a job well done, Robert!

Paul Axtell

We would also like … Continue Reading ››

Specialists in Deep Foundation Design, Construction, and Testing and Slope Stability Problems