Although 2015 seems like a long way away, when you are planning the largest foundation engineering and construction conference in the U.S., you need to get started early! The organizing committee for the the 2015 International Foundations Congress and Equipment Exposition (IFCEE 2015) has released the Call for Abstracts here at the conference website.
This conference will be at the JW Marriott in San Antonio, Texas, March 17-21, 2015 and is hosted by a joint effort of ADSC: The International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC), Deep Foundations Institute (DFI), Geo-Institute of the ASCE (G-I), and Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA). The program will include technical paper sessions (as poster or podium presentations), panel discussions and debates, indoor exhibits, an outdoor equipment exposition, educational short courses, technical committee meetings, and networking events.
Cover Image of the Hastings Mississippi River Arch Bridge
The featured article in the July/August 2013 issue of Deep Foundations, the magazine of the Deep Foundations Institute, is coauthored by Dan, Paul, and Rich Lamb, P.E., of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). The article summarizes how load testing has been used successfully as part of the foundation design process by DBA and MnDOT on five major bridge projects along the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers during the last 10 years and the lessons learned from these successive projects. The featured bridge projects include two major design-build projects, the emergency replacement of the I-35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge (2007) and the Hastings Mississippi River Arch Bridge (2011). The other traditional design-bid-build projects include the I-494 Wakota Mississippi River Bridge, the U.S. Hwy 52 Lafayette Mississippi River Bridge, and the St Croix River Bridge. As is often the case, each of these projects presented unique geological and hydrogeological challenges to foundation design – despite the projects all being within 30 miles of each other – including thick layers of highly organic compressible soils overlying bedrock, layers of cobbles and boulders, artesian groundwater conditions, and bedrock ranging from weak weathered sandstone to very hard dolostone. These varying conditions resulted in the use and testing of a variety of foundations. Load testing “with a purpose” has proven to be an integral part of the design and construction process on these projects, as the load tests were not simply for verification of a design but provided valuable information used to optimize the designs and provide quality assurance of the construction practices.
Please read the full article here or in a copy of Deep Foundations, a bi-monthly magazine published by the Deep Foundations Institute. DFI is an international technical association of firms and individuals involved in the deep foundations and related industry. More information about DFI and how to become a member can be found at www.dfi.org.
Also see our Projects Page for more about some of these projects and our other major projects.
Earlier this week, officials from the Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of transportation (MnDOT and WisDOT) met for an official groundbreaking ceremony on the projected $629 million bridge and highway project that will connect Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, to St. Joseph, Wisconsin, just south of Stillwater, Minnesota, as highlighted in yesterday’s edition of The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. The new bridge will replace the 80-year-old Stillwater Lift Bridge and relieve traffic congestion in nearby Stillwater.
DBA has been retained by MnDOT as the lead geotechnical consultant and foundation designer for the extradosed river bridge. Last summer, DBA aided MnDOT in the design and oversight of a load test program described in my blog post, “DBA Wraps Up Load Test Program and Proceeds with Design on St. Croix Bridge.” Following final design, which took place over the fall and winter, construction of the foundations will begin next week with the installation of a technique shaft. DBA will participate in construction as well, providing construction observation and review of the technique shaft and at least one shaft at each of the five production piers. Edward Kraemer & Sons, Inc. of Plain, Wisconsin, has been selected as the general contractor for the foundation contract with sub-contractor Case Foundation Company of Chicago, Illinois, performing the drilling. The extradosed bridge will feature five main river towers, each resting on two footings supported by a 4-shaft group of 8.5-foot drilled shafts, socketed 25-feet or more into sandstone bedrock.
I hope to have some more updates soon with some pictures following my upcoming site visits to observe the construction operations. In the mean time, you can stay updated by visiting the MnDOT project page and watching the “action” live via the construction webcam.
The months of September and October will be busy for several DBA team members speaking at a variety of conferences and events. Dan Brown and John Turner will be speaking at the ADSC/DFIDrilled Shaft Seminar and Field Day in Denver September 12 and 13. Dan will be giving the 4th Annual Osterberg Memorial Lecture at the DFI Educational Trust dinner being held on the evening of the 12th. Dan and John will be speaking mostly on construction issues during the seminar.
Later in the month, Dan and Robert Thompson are both featured at the 2012 Midwest Geotechnical Conference hosted by Ohio DOT in Columbus, Ohio. Dan will be speaking on base grouted shafts while Robert will give his presentation on the ADSC SE Chapter rock socket load test research program.
Some new pictures of the Hastings bridge project in Hastings, Minnesota have been added to our Picasa Web Album: Hastings Bridge Construction. The pictures were taken by myself, David Graham, who has been in the area working on a load test program for a new bridge crossing the St. Croix River near Stillwater, Minnesota, and Griff Wigley, our blog coach who lives nearby in Northfield, Minnesota. The pictures show some of the recently poured deck sections, the completed piers, and the main span arch construction. Once completed, the main span arch will be moved onto barges, floated downstream, and lifted into place in one piece. We have chronicled this interesting and successful project in several previous blog posts that can be found here.
Our own Tim Siegel, P.E., G.E., D.GE. was one of a handful of people invited to submit papers for the recently published Geotechnical Special Publication (GSP) No. 227: Full-Scale Testing and Foundation Design (Honoring Bengt H. Fellenius). Tim’s paper is on testing of augered cast-in-place piles. Four piles were installed with varying auger rotations and then load tested in axial compression to evaluate the effect auger rotation on the axial behavior of the piles.
(Note from Robert: I used material from the team proposal and the article referenced below for this post, with the authors’ permission. Also, DBA is a significant participant in the project and we hope to provide updates as things move along.)
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has partnered with the ADSC: The International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC-IAFD) on a comprehensive research project on post-grouted (also called base grouted or tip grouted) drilled shafts. The FHWA and the deep foundations industry are very interested in the proper application and implementation of post-grouting for drilled shafts. The potential benefits of post-grouting have been demonstrated, and the industry has attempted to capitalize on these benefits in numerous ways. Some of these attempts have been successful while others have not, which has led to confusion and even misapplication of post-grouting technology within the industry.
The project will include an extensive synthesis of existing practice and literature, evaluation of theoretical concepts, full-scale field testing, and comprehensive analysis of the field testing to develop design methods. Each phase of work will have a set of deliverables that will go through a rigorous review process. The project is anticipated to be completed sometime in 2014.
The four main objectives of the research program are:
Bound the application of the post-grouting technology for the current state-of-knowledge;
Quantify the improvement mechanism(s) for the post-grouting of drilled shafts;
Develop design methodology(ies) for appropriate applications of post-grouting; and,
Provide method(s) for verification.
To accomplish these objectives, a highly qualified and experienced team of practitioners and researchers has been assembled to execute this project. This team includes industry representatives from construction, design, and academia that can bring a variety of perspectives to the project as well as respond to input from the many stakeholders within the geotechnical and transportation design and construction communities that routinely implement this technology.
Dr. Antonio Marinucci, MBA, P.E., of ADSC-IAFD will serve as Project Manager for the project and will be responsible for coordination and oversight of all project activities. Dr. J. Erik Loehr, PE, of the University of Missouri will serve as Principal Investigator (PI) with overall technical responsibility for the project including technical planning, data collection, synthesis, interpretation, and document production. Three Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs) will collaborate with Dr. Loehr to address the technical aspects of the project: Dr. Marinucci of ADSC-IAFD; Dr. Dan Brown, P.E., D.GE of Dan Brown and Associates, PC; and Dr. Jesús Gómez, P.E., D.GE of Schnabel Engineering Consultants, Inc.
An Advisory Panel will be utilized to provide additional objective technical insight regarding planning and execution of the project and development of the project deliverables, as well as unique expertise regarding specific aspects of the proposed work. The Advisory Panel will include:
Mr. Tom Armour, P.E., D.GE of DBM Contractors, Inc.
Dr. Donald Bruce, CEng, D.GE of Geosystems, LP
Mr. Allen Cadden, P.E., D.GE of Schnabel Engineering Consultants, Inc.
Dr. Steven Dapp, P.E. of Dan Brown and Associates, PC
Mr. Michael Muchard of Applied Foundation Testing
Dr. Miguel Pando, PEng of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
To provide objective review and evaluation of project plans and deliverables at key stages of the project, a formal Peer Review Panel will be formed composed of representatives from throughout the drilled shaft industry. The peer review process will be coordinated through the drilled shaft technical committees of each of the major stakeholder organizations in the U.S.: the ADSC-IAFD Drilled Shaft Committee; the ASCE/Geo-Institute (ASCE/GI) Deep Foundations Committee; the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) Drilled Shaft Committee; and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Foundations of Bridges and Other Structures.
The final component of the project team will be the ADSC-IAFD Contractor Members, Associate Members, and Technical Affiliates that will provide substantial in-kind contributions to meet the needs of the proposed experimental programs. Likely in-kind contributions from ADSC members will include provision of testing sites and facilities, construction equipment, materials, testing apparatus, as well as services necessary to complete the proposed project.
The configuration of this team consisting of the PIs, the Advisory Panel and the Peer Review Panel will provide a thorough review process as well as “checks-and-balances” against any perceived or realized personal biases regarding the use of post-grouting with drilled shafts. It is believed that the recommendations resulting from this effort will reflect a consensus on the application, design and construction of base-grouted drilled shafts that will be accepted by the industry at-large. This should result in consistent application of this technique by the industry.
For a detailed description of the project, see the article linked below from May 2012 issue of Foundation Drilling magazine, available from the ADSC-IAFD. In the article, Dr. Marinucci provides the first in a series of updates that will be published reporting the progress of the research through the various phases of the project. We’ll provide posts here as new reports are released, as well as posts of all the action when field work gets started!
While at the 2012 Geo-Congress I purchased a couple of books at the ASCE bookstore. One was GSP 88: Analysis, Design, Construction and Testing of Deep Foundations, Proceedings of the OTRC ‘99 Conference. There are several interesting papers in the GSP, including an early paper by Dan on lateral Statnamic testing. A full scale lateral load test was performed on a 36 inch tests shaft using a Statnamic device. The test was performed at the Auburn University National Geotechnical Experiment Station Site (NGES). I guess you could say this paper is literally a “blast” from the past!
Massive prestressed concrete girders, some of them setting a record for the longest concrete girders used on a Minnesota bridge, have been set at the New Hastings Bridge, currently under construction in Hastings, Minnesota. The largest girders are 174 feet long, 8 feet tall, and weigh 108 tons! There is a video of one of these huge beams being delivered on a 16 axle truck, below. An article from the December 2011 issue of Concrete Products magazine about the girders can be found here. To date, all of the girders between the north abutment and main span have been placed. Crews are preparing piers 5 and 6 for the main span steel arches, which are scheduled to be floated in by barge and lifted into place late this year. MnDOT has two web cams where the bridge construction and the arch construction can be viewed. The Minneapolis Star Tribune has also been following the construction. Their latest article, which hails the bridge as “a monumental marvel,” can be found here.
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.