Category Archives: Drilled Piles

GeoCongress 2012–Dan Gives A SOP Lecture; John Turner paper published

GeoCongress 2012, Oakland, California

GeoCongress 2012 Proceedings

In addition to the ADSC EXPO 2012 earlier in March (see post here), the annual Geo-Institute meeting for 2012, GeoCongress 2012 , was held later in the month in Oakland, California.  The conference featured a very large technical program with a variety of tracks covering geotechnical engineering topics.  There were also the annual named lectures (Terzaghi, Peck, etc.) and other special events. Randy Post wrote about his time at the GeoCongress at his blog,  Check out all of his posts on the conference, including photos and video.

A key feature of this congress was the State of the Art (SOA) and State of the Practice (SOP) Lectures given throughout the four days.  Thirty prominent engineers were invited to give the SOA/SOP lectures.  Dan gave one of the SOP lectures with his highlighting advances in drilled foundation use and selection. His paper, along with all of the other SOA/SOP lectures, is included in GSP No. 226, Geotechnical Engineering State of the Art and Practice, Keynote Lectures from GeoCongress 2012.  His presentation is linked on the image below.

Pages from DB drilled foundations 2012 Oakland GI [Compatibility Mode]


During the regular technical sessions, John Turner presented a paper on a recent project case history on rock-socketed drilled shaft foundations used for a bridge . His paper is in the conference proceedings volume (GSP No. 225):

Turner, J.P., Duffy, J.D., Buell, R. and Zheng, X (2012). “Foundations for the Bridge at Pitkins Curve”, GeoCongress 2012 State of the Art and Practice in Geotechnical Engineering, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 225, ASCE, pp414-423.

Technical Note on ACIP Pile Load Testing

A technical note by Tim that appeared in the December 2010 issue of the DFI Journal has been added to our publications page.  Tim’s note examines some issues related to axial load testing of augered cast-in-place (ACIP) piles, also know as augercast piles or CFA piles, that are not covered in ASTM D 1143/D 1143M-07 Standard Test Methods for Deep Foundations Under Static Axial Compression.  Specifically, load hold time, unload-reload cycles, and fluctuations in incremental load are discussed as they relate to load testing for determining axial capacity or axial load distribution of ACIP piles.  Details of instrumented ACIP pile load testing are also covered.

Siegel, T.C. (2010). “Load Testing and Interpretation of Instrumented Augered Cast-in-Place Piles”, DFI Journal Volume 4, No. 2, December 2010, Deep Foundations Institute, pp69-71.

DFI requests that the following be included with all DFI papers we post:

“This paper was originally published in DFI’s bi-annual journal, Volume 4, No. 2 in December 2010.  DFI is an international technical association of firms and individuals involved in the deep foundations and related industry. The DFI Journal is a member publication. To join DFI and receive the journal, go to for further information. ”

New I-70 Bridge Featured in Foundation Drilling Magazine

The new I-70 bridge over the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri is quite the project.  When completed, it will be the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the United States, with a 1,500-ft main span.  Most significantly for the geotechnical community, the bridge made history when one of its 11-ft diameter drilled shafts resisted a world record breaking 36,000 tons (bi-directional) during an O-cell load test.  The bridge has already seen press in Civil Engineering Magazine (July 2010, page 30-32), at, and in a post by Robert on this blog.  Now, an article by DBA’s Paul Axtell is featured in the September/October issue of Foundation Drilling Magazine.  The editor summarized the article saying:

The information in the following article is a composite of material that came to Foundation Drilling Magazine from three separate sources.  Part I is based on information gleaned from an article that was published on the Associated Press news wire.  Part II is excerpted from ENR’s August 18th, E-Newsletter.  Part III was provided by Paul Axtell and Dan Brown of ADSC Technical Affiliate company, Dan Brown and Associates.  The bridge project is of interest in general.  The Osterberg Load Cell test will be of particular interest to professionals in the deep foundation industry, and specifically for those who work in the drilled shaft segment.

Axtell, P.J. (2010). “Mississippi River Bridge Project Includes Record Load Test: A Three Part Story”, Foundation Drilling, Vol. 31, No. 7 September/October 2010.

Events Calendar Updated for 2010


I have updated our calendar for 2010 to include many events in the geotechnical and foundation engineering world that may be of interest, plus known speaking/teaching appearances by Dan.  I’ll put in a plug for the events calendars and listings for ADSC, DFI, Geo-Institute, and PDCA.  I get most of my information from them.


Some, but not all events,(in addition to my previous post) are:


DFI Helical Foundations & Tiebacks Specialty Seminar – Feb 1


geo_header_2009    Geo-Florida 2010 – Feb 20-24


DFI and PDCA – A Joint Conference on Driven Pile – Mar 12


adsc_logo_color_small1 ADSC Drilled Shaft Foundations Seminar – Mar 19


PDCALogo PDCA 14th Annual International Conference and Expo – May 6-8


2nd International Symposium on Cone Penetration Testing – May 9-11


bridge-home-template_r1_c6_sm International Bridge Conference 2010 – June 6-10


DFI Super Pile – June 10-11


er2010_header_002 Earth Retention 2010 – Aug 1-4


DFILogo DFI 34th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations – Oct 12-15 


5c24ff58c9bf4a5f988f0f34e0266ffc TRB 7th International Bridge Conference – Dec 1-2

kcICON Bond Bridge Update – Drilled Shafts Complete!

UPDATE (5/19/09): Here is an article the Kansas City Star on-line.  It has links to photos and video.
Main Pylon under construction for Bond Bridge, Kansas City, MO
Main Pylon under construction for Bond Bridge, Kansas City, MO

Work by DBA is all but compete on the kcICON project.  All drilled shafts have been installed and base grouted. Construction of the shafts went very well, with no significant issues.  Hayes Drilling installed all of the land-based shafts.  AFT performed all of the base grouting.

The main pylon in the river continues to take shape.  It won’t be long before PCC will have it looking like a bridge!

Paul has been “enjoying” observing drilled shafts at night and base grouting during the day.  A collection of some of his photos from the last bits of shaft construction are below.  He got some great shots of the pylon, including some out in the river.

More pictures here.

Previous post here.

Audubon (JJA) Bridge Construction Update – April 09

I had the pleasure of making two trips to the Audubon Bridge site in April to help Steve.  I got to observe the excavation of two of the shafts on the West High Approach (on land!), observe base grouting of some of the West High Approach shafts, and base grouting of the test shaft on the East High Approach.  While there, I got to see both of the river pier cofferdams. They were something else to see with all of the bracing and sheet piles.  I did not get to see them installed, but I understand it was quite an interesting process as the cofferdams were “jacked down” into place. While I was there, they were cutting of the permanent casing that sticks up above the seal slab of the pier.

As usual, some pictures from this trip are below.

More pictures here.

Previous posts here.

While not as current, the project web site has a photo gallery with interesting photos, including from the high water of April, 2008.


West Pier and West High Approach Construction

East Pier and East High Approach Construction

IFCEE 09 Wrap-up and Papers Posted

IFCEE09 page

Last week’s International Foundation Congress and Equipment Exposition was a huge success!  Dan gave a keynote address on Tuesday on managing risk in deep foundations within the design-build delivery model.  Paul, Erik, and I also had papers to present.  The technical sessions were excellent, the indoor exhibits were excellent, and the outdoor exhibits of foundation equipment were outstanding!  The ADSC, Geo-Institute, and PDCA were the co-organizers of the event.  A big hats off to all of the staff of all three organizations that made the event a huge success!  Thanks and “atta boy” go to Mohamad Hussein, P.E. (Conference Chair) and to Dan (Technical Program Chair) for all of their work, as well as the rest of the organizing committee.

I have also blogged about the conference here at

Here are some pictures of the outdoor exhibits:

IFCEE09 Exhibit 1 IFCEE09 Exhibit 2 IFCEE09 Exhibit 3

There were over 300 papers included in the conference.  The proceedings were published as three Geotechnical Special Publications:

GSP 185: Contemporary Topics in Deep Foundations

GSP 186: Contemporary Topics in In-Situ Testing, Analysis, and Reliability of Foundations

GSP 187: Contemporary Topics in Ground Modification, Problem Soils, and Geo-Support

The editors, Magued Iskander, Ph.D., P.E. (Polytechnic Institute of New York University), Debra Laefer, Ph.D. (University College Dublin, Ireland), and Mohamad Hussein, P.E. (GRL) all had their work cut out for them.

I have added all seven papers authored by DBA team members to our site.  The links are below, or you can go to our Publications page.

Axtell, P.J., Stark, T.D., and Dillon, J.C., 2009. “Strength Difference Between Clam-Shell and Long-Reach Excavator Constructed Cement-Bentonite Self-Hardening Slurry Walls”, 2009 International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo, Contemporary Topics in Ground Modification, Problem Soils, and Geo-Support, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 187, ASCE, pp. 297-304.

Brown, D.A., 2009. “Management of Risk in Deep Foundations with Design-Build”, 2009 International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo, Contemporary Topics in Deep Foundations, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 185, ASCE, pp. 1-11.

Brown, D.A. and Thompson, W.R., 2009. “Drilled Shaft Performance in Cemented Calcareous Formations in the Southeast United States”, 2009 International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo, Contemporary Topics in Deep Foundations, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 185, ASCE, pp. 119-126.

Loehr, J.E and Huaco, D.R., 2009. “Probabilistic Calibration of Resistance Factors for Slope Stability”, 2009 International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo, Contemporary Topics in In-Situ Testing, Analysis, and Reliability of Foundations, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 186, ASCE, pp. 297-304.

Parsons, R.L., Pierson, M., Han, J., Brennan, J.J., and Brown, D.A., 2009. “Lateral Load Capacity of Cast-in-Place Shafts Behind an MSE Wall”, 2009 International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo, Contemporary Topics in In-Situ Testing, Analysis, and Reliability of Foundations, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 186, ASCE, pp. 560-567.

Rollins, K.M., Adsero, M.E., and Brown, D.A., 2009. “Jet Grouting to Increase Lateral Resistance of Pile Group in Soft Clay”, 2009 International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo, Contemporary Topics in Ground Modification, Problem Soils, and Geo-Support, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 187, ASCE, pp. 265-272.

Thompson, W.R., Hill, J.R., and Loehr, J. E., 2009. “Case History: Value Engineering of Driven H-Piles for Slope Stability on the Missouri River”, 2009 International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo, Contemporary Topics in Deep Foundations, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 185, ASCE, pp207-214.

Audubon (JJA) Bridge Construction Update

I have been too busy to post more photos from my trips to New Roads, LA in the fall to help Steve with the work at the Audubon Bridge project.  It has been a flurry of activity as they worked to finish installing, tip-routing, and load testing all of the shafts in the river (done in December!).   They have also completed and tested the land test shaft on the west side of the river and begun installing the land shafts.  Throw in a lot of pile driving, including some 5-foot diameter pipe piles for temporary bents, and it has been a very busy site.  All of the various tip-grouting, O-cell load tests on drilled shafts, and PDA testing of the pre-cast piles has been successful.  As of today, the Mississippi River has come up and slowed things down a bit, but they should get all of the foundation completed within the next couple of months. 

Some pictures I took on some of my trips are setup below.  I have also experimented with embedding some video I took with my camera.  The camera was not set on a very high video capture resolution, but I think they are good enough for you to get the idea of the shaft excavation and the pile driving activities.

More pictures here.

Previous posts here.


East Pier Construction – September 2008:


East Temporary Bent Pile Driving – September 2008:


West Side Construction and Other Stuff – October 2008:



Excavating Shaft 5E with airlift.



Driving 5′ dia. pipe pile for East Temprary Bent


Extracting casing at Shaft 21W

Updated – GEC No. 8: Design and Construction of Continuous Flight Auger Piles – It’s Finally Here!

11/30-07 Update! – GEC No. 8 is now up on the FHWA web site. You can download it here.

Yes, folks, GEC 8 is finally complete! The publication version of Geotechnical Engineering Circular No.8: Design and Construction of Continuous Flight Auger Piles will soon be available from the FHWA Geotechnical Web Site. If you want an official sneak peek at GEC 8, just click here to get the PDF (approx. 10 MB). This circular is part of FHWA’s efforts to implement the use of CFA piles as a viable foundation alternative for transportation structures. We’ll post a notice when GEC 8 is on the FHWA web site.

International Foundation Congress & Equipment Expo 2009


A preliminary call for papers has been released for the International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo 2009 (IFCEE ’09) to be held in Orlando, Florida March 15-19, 2009. The meeting is a joint venture of The Geo-Institute of ASCE (GI), The International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC) and The Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA).

Information about the call for papers is here.

I’ll have links to the conference web site once it is up and running, as well as blogging additionla information when available. This promises to be a great conference much like the 2004 Geo-Support Conference.

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