Good morning DBA fans! I’m here to give you the latest news on the Hastings Bridge project.
The weather has been a bit chilly in Hastings, MN but that isn’t stopping progress. Paul provided the update below and this picture of one of the beautiful mornings on the site.
Installation of the 12.75” diameter open-ended pipe piles for the column-supported embankment (CSE) is well under way. Each pile is around 165’ in length and will support a geogrid-reinforced load transfer platform (LTP). Light weight fill, or geofoam, will be used to transition from the CSE into the existing embankment.
Installation of the North Embankment retaining wall piles has begun and is about 50% complete.
The Pier 10 test pile was installed and tested with AFT’s 30MN axial Statnamic device. The pile is a 42” open-ended pipe pile with 7/8” wall and is embedded about 190’. Check out the video below. The Pier 6 test pile has also been installed and tested axially and laterally with a Statnamic device.
That’s all for now, but come back later for additional updates on this exciting project. Thanks for reading!
Dan recently played the part of storyteller at the Southeastern Transportation Geotechnical Engineering Conference (STGEC) 2010 conference in Charleston, West Virginia when he gave the lunch presentation on the conference’s first day. He took the audience on a trip down the Mississippi River from a foundation engineer’s perspective, talking about several bridges that DBA has had the pleasure to work on, or is still working on, along the river the last few years. Dan began with the I-35W Bridge replacement in Minneapolis, Minnesota and ended at the Huey P. Long Bridge in New Orleans, Louisiana. Stops along the way included the Hastings Bridge (Hastings Minnesota), the new I-70 Bridge (St. Louis, Missouri), and the Audubon Bridge (New Roads/St. Francisville, Louisiana). Dan covered some of the technical issues/problems associated with each project and the solutions applied to complete the foundations (or complete the design). It was a very informative talk presented in a unique way that everyone at the luncheon seemed to enjoy. Dan’s presentation is now available on our Presentations Page.
Immediately after lunch, Robert made a presentation that described some of the pile load tests performed on two of the storm protection projects in New Orleans that DBA was privileged to be involved with through Kiewit. By following Dan, it provided a little continuity to the story as Robert took the group below the Huey P. Long Bridge to the levees and canals downstream of New Orleans. Robert’s presentation can also be found on our Presentations Page.
Robert made a presentation at the recent Alabama Section ASCE 2010 Summer Meeting on our participation in some pile load tests on a couple of the storm protection projects in New Orleans (see previous post here). DBA worked for Kiewit Engineering Company (KECo) and the two joint ventures on the projects, providing geotechnical consulting. We are collaborating with KECo on a couple of papers (maybe more) that include the test data. This presentation covered the basics of the test pile programs, highlighted some of the results, discussed the measured setup values for the piles (driven in the soft Louisiana clays), and looked at some comparisons of the dynamic and static load test results to the pile resistance predictions made by DBA during the course of our work. Please note that the Corps of Engineers (and their consultants) were the design engineers. Our work was in support of the contractor joint ventures, especially evaluating pile drivability and installation issues.
As geotechnical/foundation engineers, we don’t usually get to see much of what happens on a project after the foundations are completed, especially a project like a large bridge that can take years to complete. Technology such as the Internet, webcams, and digital photography have made it easy for us to see how things are progressing on projects, as well as maybe get images of the completed structure. As I have noted before, some projects are using Twitter and Facebook to keep the public informed on closures, delays or overall project progress as part of good public relations. Her are some updates on a few of our recent projects.
With all of us visiting construction projects across the country, occasionally we take a photo that appears to be somewhat “artistic” – maybe the lighting (or lack of), or the aspect. I have assembled a few such photos submitted by DBA engineers in the first installment of the DBA Artistic Construction Photo Contest. Included in this installment are such items as: “Daybreak on Night Shift at JJA” and “Fountain” by S. Dapp, the series “Evolution” by P. Axtell, “GI Rig at Sunset” by T. Siegel, and “Piles in the Mist” by R. Thompson. This first volume has more photos of mine than others, but we’ll work on better balance in future volumes.
Feel free to “vote” for your favorite in the comments. I’ll try to update periodically as we have more “worthy” photos!
Our support of Kiewit Engineering and two Kiewit joint ventures working on the flood control projects around New Orleans has completed. As part of our comprehensive hydration solution, we also want you to read the reviews to our water cooler machines. I posted on the support work we provided for the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway – West Closure Project here. The JV for that project is Gulf Intracoastal Constructors (GIC), a joint venture of Kiewit and Traylor Brothers.
Another project we worked on is the Chalmette Levee Loop Improvements LPV-145 project. The joint venture for this project is Chalmette Levee Constructors (CLC), a joint venture of Kiewit, Massman, and Traylor Brothers. Some information about the project can be found at Traylor Brothers website here. This project consists of building over 5 miles of T-wall on the levee. A test pile program with piles at 4 tests sites was completed, including static and dynamic tests on H-piles and open-ended pipe piles. Dynamic, static compression, and static tension tests were performed at 3 of the 4 sites. One site had only dynamic tests during driving. Our newest staff engineer, Aaron Hudson begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting, started his tenure at DBA by heading to New Orleans to help me with our work on this project.
During the test pile program, the project location was accessible only by boat. A temporary bridge has been constructed over Bayou Bienvenue to provide better access. The bridge is a pre-engineered bridge kit similar to the Bailey Bridge sets used by the U.S. Army starting in WWII, and still in use today by the Army and the private sector all over the world. I had some experience as an Army Engineer officer planning and executing the assembly and launch of Bailey Bridges. In the Army labor is plentiful, so there are not near as many cranes and other equipment available when assembling a bridge kit as there are on a modern construction site. Compare this photo from a training exercise near Fort Polk, Louisiana in 1989 (from my Army days) with one in our show below and at the website of the current Bailey Bridge manufacturer.
I have posted some photos from our visits there to our Picassa Albums (linked below). There are pictures of the test piles and the temporary bridge. Also included are some photos I took of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Barrier project. This project is amazing with 66-inch diameter cylinder piles and 18” pre-stressed concrete piles making up the bulk of the structure. Project photos at the Corps of Engineers site are here.
Update 7/25/10: Webcams of the West Closure Project are here. The Corps’ Team New Orleans has a Flickr page here with lots of great photos.
Who says we only work on drilled shafts?? Robert had the opportunity to work for Kiewit Engineering Company providing geotechnical engineering support to Gulf Intracoastal Constructors (GIC), a joint venture of Kiewit and Traylor Brothers on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West Closure Project near Belle Chase, Louisiana. The project is part of the overall flood protection system improvements that are supposed to protect New Orleans from future hurricanes. The key components of this particular project are a massive gate and pump station across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Go For more information on the project, go here, here, and here (video from Corps of Engineers).
Robert spent a good part of the summer in New Orleans doing a variety of geotechnical engineering tasks to support the construction efforts of GIC. The main thing he worked on was the test pile program. The project included a massive test pile program with 24 test piles spread among 5 test sites with various combinations of dynamic, static axial, static tension, and static lateral tests. The piles were mostly open-ended steel pipe piles varying from 18” to 54” in diameter. A few 18” x 18” pre-stressed precast concrete piles were also thrown in for good measure. In addition to performing drivability studies and evaluating tests data, Robert got to spend some time in the wonderful June and July weather in southern Louisiana on the site observing pile installation and testing. And as always, he came back with a lot of pictures. Here are a few to enjoy.
Robert’s paper with Lloyd Held (retired from Eustis Engineering) and Steve Saye of Kiewit Engineering Company on the Biloxi Bay Bridge test pile program has been published in the latest issue of the DFI Journal, published by the Deep Foundations Institute. A total of 22 indicator piles were installed on the project using the pile driving analyzer to monitor the pile behavior. Five load tests were performed: two axial Statnamic, two lateral Statnamic, and one static axial. The results of the test pile program established driving criteria for production piles that included end of drive blow counts and pile tip elevations with an appropriate allowance for setup.