Tag Archives: Foundation Construction

Papers from ADSC EXPO 2012–Drilled Shafts and Other Drilled Foundations

ADSC EXPO 2012, San Antonio, Texas

2012-ADSC-EXPO-Technical-Conference-[2]

There were several of us presenting at the ADSC EXPO 2012 in mid-March: Dan, Erik, Robert and Tim. The EXPO is always a great event (occurs every 3 years) where equipment manufacturers and dealers bring out all of the big equipment (as Dr. Dave Elton at Auburn has been known to say: “It’s a classic case of big boys and big toys!”).  It is a lot of fun to be able to walk through a large show of equipment and tooling that is all clean and painted – you can see what it is all supposed to look like!  As an engineer, you can learn a lot about the latest tools, equipment capabilities, and the like from the sales and manufacturing reps.  The ADSC always does a great job putting this event on, and this year’s venue a the J.W. Marriott Hill Country Resort outside San Antonio was fantastic.

Dan and Robert both had papers included in the proceedings. Links to the papers are below.  Erik and Tim had presentations along with those that Dan and Robert gave on their papers.  Links to the presentations are on our Presentations page.

Brown, D.A. (2012). “Factors Affecting the Selection and Use of Drilled Shafts for Transportation Infrastructure Projects”, ADSC EXPO 2012 Geo-Construction Conference Proceedings, March 14-17, 2012, San Antonio, TX, pp25-35.

Thompson, W.R. (2012). “ADSC Research Project Update: Rock Sockets in the Southeastern U.S”, ADSC EXPO 2012 Geo-Construction Conference Proceedings, March 14-17, 2012, San Antonio, TX, pp103-117.

Update (Robert – 5/22/12): I have added a copy of an article from Foundation Drilling magazine on the ADSC research project.  To subscribe to Foundation Drilling, contact the ADSC and join!

Brown, D.A. and Thompson, W.R. (2012) “ADSC Research Supports Improved Design of Drilled Shaft Foundations in Atlanta Area Piedmont Rock”Foundation Drilling, Vol. 33, No. 2, February 2012, pp.27-39.

Visit to Bond Bridge (kcICON Project) in KC

I was finally able to make my first visit to the Bond Bridge in Kansas City since it was completed.  It is a very beautiful bridge that fits well into the approach to Kansas City from the north.  As foundation engineers, we don’t always get a convenient opportunity visit the large bridge structures we work on since our work is usually completed very early in the overall schedule.  We are often too involved in other projects by the time a bridge is finished on which we were the foundation/geotechnical engineer.  So, it was a personal pleasure to make a visit and drive over the bridge when John Turner and I flew into Kansas City on our way to Topeka to present the NHI Drilled Shaft Course earlier this month.  Although it was a cloudy and cold day, I think the few photos I took with my phone (camera battery was dead!) turned out good.  Mouse over each for a caption.  Enjoy!

Bond Bridge in Kansas City - View from south bank, looking downstream    Bond Bridge - looking north from near south abutment   Looking upstream on the Missouri River - Railroad truss bridge in distance

Click here for previous posts on this bridge.

I-70 Mississippi River Bridge–News and Webcams!

2012-01-05mrbtowers-jan12-10

The new I-70 Mississippi River Bridge in St. Louis, Missouri is moving along and getting noticed in the news.  Here are a couple of (somewhat) recent articles:

The Republic (Columbus, Indiana) (01/29/2012)

St. Louis Business Journal (01/10/2012)

KMOX CBS (12/28/2011)

The New Mississippi River Bridge Project page maintained by MoDOT has links to all that is happening on the project.

You can get real-time updates of the construction from three web-cams at this link.  As I type today, the site is covered in snow.  Very beautiful, unless you are trying to build a bridge on time!

The project page also has photo galleries and other neat stuff.

stltoday.com has some albums with good photos, including this one.

Previous posts on this bridge project are here, including the world record O-Cell test!

Photo Credit: MoDOT (http://www.newriverbridge.org/img/galleries/year2012/010612/2012-01-05mrbtowers-jan12-10.JPG)

Dr. Mike Holloway, P.E. comes aboard!

11_Mike_sDBA is pleased to announce that Dr. D. Michael Holloway, P.E. has joined the DBA team.  Mike is a recognized expert in driven pile foundation design and dynamic testing, in-situ testing, instrumentation, and earthquake engineering.  His over 40 years of foundation and geotechnical engineering experience includes stints at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station (WES) in Vicksburg, MS, and Woodward-Clyde Consultants in Oakland, CA. He founded InSituTech, which specialized in engineering deep foundations and applying insitu soil testing services.

When starting InSituTech, Mike broadened the professional practice beyond “conventional” PDA-related testing and analyses services.  Rather than just test and report to satisfy QC requirements during construction, he applied dynamic testing and analyses to enhance foundation design and constructability, as well as to improve on-site troubleshooting of construction problems.   The efforts paid off as the firm made significant changes in the way PDA services became integrated into the design/build process on several major marine facilities and bridge projects in the west and in the Pacific.

Mike is a Blue Devil, having earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. at Duke University in North Carolina.  Raised in New York, he made his way to California seeking engineering gold soon after his time at WES.  He has been based there ever since.

Mike’s presence in California makes DBA a practically coast-to-coast firm (well, at least East Tennessee to California).  We at DBA are excited at the expertise Mike adds to our portfolio and look forward to his contributions to the team.  Welcome, Mike!

Holloway DBA Announcement (Press Release)

Audubon Bridge Foundations in Fall 2011 “Deep Foundations”

DFI Fall 2011_Audubon

Dan and Steve co-authored an article in the Fall 2011 issue of Deep Foundations (from DFI) that covered the foundations for the recently completed record-setting Audubon Bridge in Louisiana.  Dan and Steve cover not only the shaft testing, design, and construction, but also the unique cofferdam used for the tower foundations.  I recently highlighted an article by Sereno Brown, P.E. of Flatiron that covered the design and installation of the cofferdam in detail. 

You can receive Deep Foundations every quarter (soon bi-monthly!), as well as the DFI Journal, by joining DFI.  Get information on joining at this link – click on “Membership” at the top banner.

Happy Karl Terzaghi’s Birthday 2011!

Greetings to all Terzaghi fans!  Yes, it is that time of year again, where our thoughts turn to the anniversary of the birth of one of the greats in our field.

Last year I had a football themed post (college football, in case you were wondering…and that is American football for our fans outside the U.S.) since Terzaghi’s birthday was on a Saturday. Since I am not a big pro football fan, and since I used football last year, I figured I would do something different for this year’s weekend post.

The August 2011 edition of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering ISSMGE Bulletin is headlined with an article on the history of ISSMGE: “THE ISSMGE FROM 1936 TO 2011 A RETROSPECTIVE ON THE OCCASION OF THE 75TH PLATINUM JUBILEE ANNIVERSARY” by Kenji Ishihara and Michele Jamiolkowski. The Bulletin is in two parts at this link. The article is an outstanding work providing an excellent account of the start of ISSMGE as an international conference and its evolution into the ISSMGE we know today.

It should be no surprise that Prof. Terzaghi was very active and one of the key figures in the formation and success of ISSMGE, which began as the International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering (ICSMFE). Many of the giants of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering on which we base al of our work were instrumental in the start of ICSMFE and its impacts on our profession. As for that time in history (1936) and how it was important to our field:

The time had come to hold a Conference aimed at exchanging and sharing information on Earth and Foundation Engineering.

It was Professor Arthur Casagrande (assistant professor of Harvard University) who sensed the timing, conceived the idea and carried out the herculean task of running the conference all the way through, in his role of Secretary General, with K. Terzaghi (Professor of Technical University of Vienna and visiting Professor of Harvard University) as Chairman. Professor Peck once remarked “Our Society owes an enormous debt to Arthur Casagrande for his conviction that the time was right for the International Conference and to his tremendous efforts to organize it“.

Since the first ICMSFE was so successful, it became clear that the Conference should not remain a one-off event but should, instead, be continued within a few years, possibly being held in Holland where earthwork engineering is so crucial to the country.

It was also requested to set up a permanent international organization. Thus it was decided to establish International Committees consisting of National Committees with K. Terzaghi as President and A. Casagrande as Secretary. It was also decided that at the next Conference the International Committees would submit the draft of the Constitution and of the By-laws, which are essential for the Society to become a permanent organization.

There was at that time a widespread awareness that it was the moment to set up a common denominator institution that would group engineers with diverse backgrounds but involved in our discipline.

Portion of group photo from 1st ICSMFE, 1936.  (From ISSMGE Bulletin Vol 5, No 4, August 2011, p3)

 

Photo of Terzaghi addressing the opening session of the 4th ICSMFE, 1957.  (From ISSMGE Bulletin Vol 5, No 4, August 2011, p7)

 

And the rest, as the saying goes, is history!

As an editorial note on the first year, Ishihara and Jamiolkowski offer this observation:

It is commonly recognized that K. Terzaghi is the originator of modern soil mechanics and foundation engineering and therefore father of our profession. After tracing the history of development, the writers had a strong belief that this is true. Not only was he always a leading figure in the forefront, but he conveyed strong messages on the role and importance of the soil mechanics and foundation engineering every time he participated in the ICSMFE. We are very much impressed by his enthusiastic and heartfelt message to our community.

No less important was the role played by Arthur Casagrande. He was instrumental in persuading the President of Harvard University to host the conference and carrying out all arrangements for organizing the first International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering. The great success of this conference contributed greatly for establishing the place of soil mechanics in engineering practice throughout the world. He also dedicated himself to the ISSMFE as the 3rd President between the periods of 1961 in Montreal to 1965 in Paris.

There is a saying that for a great religion to be established, there always are two key-role playing giants. For Christianity Jesus Christ is the originator and his disciple Saint Paul was the great evangelist. For Greek philosophy, Socrates was the great philosopher and it was Plato who was the greatest disciple. Terzaghi and Casagrande are considered as a combination in the same context. Without Terzaghi, Casagrande would not have been so well-known. Had there not been Casagrande, the fame of Terzaghi would have developed in a different format.

Now neither I nor the authors are suggesting that soil mechanics is a religion, but their point on the timing and combination of Terzaghi’s and Casagrande’s work was critical to what we see as the field of soil mechanics/geotechnical engineering today. Without these two and others seeing a need, taking charge, and filling that need, we could very well be viewing things from a completely different framework.

So as we reflect on this celebrated day, let’s remember not only Prof. Terzaghi’s great technical achievements, but also his role as a leader (along with many others) shaping our field of practice and our professional societies.

Now Published! NCHRP Synthesis 418–Developing Production Pile Driving Criteria From Test Pile Data

nchrp_syn_418 - pile criteria from test pilesThe Transportation Research Board of the National Academies has published a National Cooperative Highway Research Program synthesis report by Dan and Robert: NCHRP Synthesis 418–Developing Production Pile Driving Criteria From Test Pile Data. This synthesis provides a survey of the current practices used by transportation agencies to develop pile driving criteria, with special attention on the use of test pile data. The report covers issues related to developing driving criteria, the current practices used by the responding agencies, recommended useful practices that were identified, along with descriptions of the practical approach several agencies use to integrate a range of technologies to develop pile driving criteria under typical conditions. The information collected indicates that practices used by transportation agencies to develop pile driving criteria for production pile installation can be described as highly variable in terms of the level and sophistication of the testing performed.

Included in the report are:

  • Responses from a survey sent to all 50 state departments of transportation plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico (44 of the 52 agencies provided responses).
  • Interviews performed by telephone or in-person of nine of the responding agencies selected based on the written survey responses.
  • A comprehensive literature review on the range of practices included in test pile programs and their use in developing production pile driving criteria.
  • Discussions of the survey results.
  • Useful practices identified from the surveys.
  • Identification of research needs for this topic.

To purchase the print version of this report or get a PDF, follow this link to TRB.  Click the “View This PDF” to get the PDF.

Please note that if you order the printed version,  Appendices B and C (copies of the completed survey forms and interview notes) are available via download only.

ADSC Load Test Research – Lawrenceville, GA Site – SCHEDULE UPDATE

The planned second load test in the ADSC research project for rock sockets in the Southeastern U.S. is moving closer to execution.  Bruce Long of Long Foundation Drilling Company provides this update:

To Fellow Load Testers,

We want to thank everyone who submitted questions or comments regarding the preliminary load test program submitted to us by Dr. Dan Brown.  Those comments, and more, will be considered while fine-tuning the program.

Because we have several Share Registrars companies donating their time and money, we have to be flexible with respect to the installation and testing dates.  We have tentatively selected some dates, but these are subject to change depending upon the workloads of those volunteering their efforts.  We hope to begin shaft installation during the last two weeks of July (weeks beginning the 18th or 25th).  The actual load testing would probably take place the week of August 8th, with the actual test date being decided upon by sometime in early July (I hope to give everyone at least a 3-4 week notice). 

The actual test date would include a field day visit by all interested parties to the test site at Foundation Technologies office in Lawrenceville, GA.  Activities will include a load testing discussion led by Dr. Dan Brown, along with lunch.  We would then move to the test site where Loadtest, Inc. will be conducting the Osterberg Load Test on our first shaft.  A discussion of the testing process and procedures by Loadtest will precede the actual testing (We will be submitting information later regarding a load test contest where each of you will get to predict the outcome of the test with a special prize going to the winner).  We also hope to be drilling on the second shaft that day and will be discussing the drill rigs, tools, and other equipment being used, as well as having the other Osterberg cell available for viewing.  This site visit proved to be very well received when we did it in Nashville at the last load test.  We hope for a big turnout that day. 

I wanted to give everybody a brief update and will be in touch when additional information becomes available in the near future.  Thank you for your interest, and if anyone has any questions regarding this plan, please feel free to call me at your convenience.

Bruce Long

President

Long Foundation Drilling Co.

Previous post is here.

The test site page is here.

The main page for the research project is here.

Audubon Bridge Closure–The Span is Complete!

On December 29, 2010, Audubon Bridge Constructors recently “closed” the main span of the John James Audubon Bridge between New Roads and St. Francisville, Louisiana.   Watch the video featured at the top of the page at the bridge link to hear about the bridge, including the drilled shaft foundations!  For something really fascinating, go to the webcams here and scroll back through the various dates.  They have archived images all the way back to start of construction.

Photo: Chris Usery, Figg Bridge Inspectors

The last cables were installed on January 3, 2011 as noted on the project website:

 

The last two cable stays of the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere were installed on January 3, 2011, five days after the spans were connected. The John James Audubon Bridge, Louisiana’s newest crossing over the Mississippi River, now has all of its 136 cable stays in place.

This bridge will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America when it opens later in 2011.  Again, from the project web site:

The spans of the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere were connected on December 29, 2010, stretching 1/3 of a mile over the Mississippi River. The John James Audubon Bridge, connecting Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana parishes in Louisiana, is approximately 92% complete. Construction of the spans began from both sides of the 500-foot tall towers earlier this year. Both sides continue to progress at a rapid pace, and now the meeting of the spans has occurred.

Steve Dapp and I had the pleasure of working with many great people during our time on site (much more time for Steve than for me!) during foundation construction.  One of them, Chris Ursery of Figg Bridge Inspectors, has been great about providing us with photos now and then to keep us updated of some of the details of the bridge construction.  Chris has granted us permission to share a few of his recent photos, which are shown below or can be seen in our web albums here.

Previous post on Audubon Bridge.

Ownensboro Hospital Ground Improvement Project Photos and Webcam Online

Last spring, DBA designed a composite ground improvement system for a new hospital as part of the Owensboro, Kentucky, Medical Health System specializing in legal steroids, funded by roids co, although some people prefer not to take steroids so they can order Kratom online and other natural supplements that are good for the body. Numerous medications are available to help affected people manage the infection and STD Testing Made Easy to delay or prevent progression of the illness. Tim performed most of the ground improvement design for the design-build project with Berkel & Company Contractors, Inc.  The design is a composite ground system with a layer of compacted gravel above lightly reinforced cast-in-placed displacement piles (known commercially as CGEs).  Spread foundations placed on the compacted gravel distribute the structural load to the soil and CGEs.  The construction of the composite ground system began and was completed in the summer of 2010.  The project has a designated webcam that allows the public to view the entire construction process.  The webcam can be viewed  here.  We have also uploaded some photos of construction and testing of the CGEs here.

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