Category Archives: Miscellaneous

GeoWorld Technical Forums Launched!

GeoWorld – the social media platform for geoprofessionals – announced the launch of The Geo-Technical Forums. The launch was announced through

The GeoWorld professional network is pleased to announce the development of their latest innovative online tool: The Geo-Technical Forums! The new forums were a request by a number of individuals and committees of ISSMGE and have some features that aim to satisfy professional needs for communication about technical topics within the geo-community. This launch comes just a few weeks after the GeoWorld community voted the Technical Forums, as their most needed online tool for geoprofessionals.

The staff of has spent months working on the development of these new forums, which constitute at the same time a major upgrade of the forums previously available on They are now live and available to the 3,000 GeoWorld members! If you are not yet on GeoWorld- The Professional Online Networking Tool for Geoprofessionals, you can sign up for free in just a few minutes here:

An advantage GeoWorld has (that will continue to grow) is that it focuses solely on the geoprofessions as opposed to general business or other broader categories.

I admit that I have not yet spent a lot of time on forums of any sort, but many people find them to be a useful tool to exchange information, professionally network, and make contacts in the industry.  Perhaps I’ll find or make the time to cruise around them soon and report back. 

How do you move a 300 ton concrete arch?


Image Source: Star

Very carefully, of course! (You knew that was coming!)

DBA has had the pleasure of consulting with Sundt Construction on their effort to replace the West 7th Street Bridge over the Trinity River in Fort Worth, Texas.  Our role has been to provide geotechnical consulting for the heavy lifts of the arches, as well as a VE design on a secant wall.

West 7th Street is a major artery into downtown Fort Worth.  From the City of Fort Worth:

The aging Seventh Street Bridge, a popular east-west thoroughfare that connects downtown to the Cultural District, is due to be reconstructed.

The original span was built in 1913 and was expanded in 1953 when the Trinity River was rerouted and the surrounding levees were built. Although the bridge has been determined safe to use, beams, girders and the deck of the 1913 section are deteriorating.

To reduce the impact of closing the bridge, Sundt has installed new drilled shaft foundations on either side of the existing bridge.  The twelve, 163-foot long, 300-ton concrete arches were fabricated off-site on the west side of the river.  Large trailer dollies with 120 wheels move the arches from the yard to the site.  Large cranes from Burkhalter (heavy lift and transport specialist) pick the arches from the dollies on the existing bridge and set them on the new foundations.  The bridge is closed or partially closed during each lift.  Once all of the arches are in place, the bridge will be closed to demolish the existing structure and build the new deck between the pairs of arches.  The compete closure is supposed to last only 150 days.

Here is a time lapse video of the first arch being set:

The first arches were set over the weekend of May 11-12.  Here are some links to video and articles:

300-ton arches for new bridge moving toward Trinity (Fort Worth Star Telegram, May 7, 2013)

TxDOT West 7th Street Bridge You Tube Channel – includes time lapse of first arch.

KDFW Fox4 News


Bonus: For all of those that love “big boys with big toys” , make sure and check out the Burkhalter web site

Deep Foundations Discussions on GeoWorld and LinkedIn

The world of social media or on-line networking sites continues to grow.  Some of the sites offer opportunities for industry groups or committees to have groups that provide a place for discussion on specific topics relevant to the group or committee.  DBA staff members are active on many technical committees in the Geo-Institute, DFI, PDCA, and ADSC. The G-I Deep Foundations Committee has Groups on both GeoWorld and LinkedIn open for anyone to join – not just committee members.

GeoWorld is the online professional networking site for geotechnical engineers and associated fields.  It was launched last year and is growing.  If you aren’t a member, click here to join.  Once you join you will find all sorts of groups and other avenues for networking within the geoengineering community, including a group for the DFC (look for Technical Committees in the Groups area). Or just click the icon below to go to the group.

LinkedIn (as many of you already know!) is a social media site for all professions, providing networking opportunities for many purposes (industry news, technical advice, job seeking, keeping up with colleagues, etc.) .  To find the DFC group, click on the icon below.

In addition to the G-I DFC, the DFI and the ADSC have groups on LinkedIn – go there by clicking on the logos below:

Check out these and other groups – join a discussion, or start your own!

GeoWorld: On-Line Community for Geo-Engineers Launches

geoworld1It seems that social media and on-line communications have become a major part of our day-to-day communications.  If you are like me (Robert), I find it rather annoying at times to filter through what you get to find what you really want or need.   Now there is an on-line social networking/community for the geoengineering field – GeoWorld.  This new “spot on the web” is a collaboration of and ISSMGE (International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering). 

After more than two years of development,, in collaboration with the ISSMGE, is pleased to announce the development of Geoworld!

Geoworld is a new, free, professional networking platform for professionals, companies and professional organizations in the geoengineering profession. It promotes professional networking, collaborations and information dissemination at a global scale.

Geoworld revolutionizes the way information is circulated and even generated in the geoengineering field. It will serve as a platform to promote professional interactions, foster the formation of formal and informal groups, and support innovation in the geoengineering field at a global scale. 

Geoworld is very easy to use and powerful, and has features that are specifically suited for geotechnical engineering professionals. Hundreds of geotechnical engineers as well as companies and organizations have already joined since the first announcement of Geoworld last week. 

Here is a video link introducing Geoworld.

Look for DBA and ask to become a Contact.  Also look for me and other DBA folks.  See you there!

Dan To Receive 2011 DFI Distinguished Service Award

Dan will be honored at the DFI 36th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations in Boston, October 19 to 21.  He will receive the award at the annual awards banquet on Thursday, October 20th.  From DFI:

The Deep Foundations Institute is pleased to announce Dan Brown, P.E., Ph.D., as the recipient of the DFI 2011 Distinguished Service Award. The award, in its 31st year, honors individuals chosen by their peers for exceptional contributions to DFI and to the industry.

Brown began his career with a B.S. from Georgia Tech, and later received his Ph.D. at the University of Texas, Austin, in only 28 months, while working. He then taught at Auburn University for 22 years before setting up his own consulting firm in Tennessee. The Winter 2011 issue of the DFI magazine included a profile of Brown that chronicled the universal admiration and regard for him within the industry. He was cited by others for his expertise, his intelligence and ability to teach others. Brown and his firm are sought out for advice everywhere.

Follow this link to see the full press release.  We’ll post pictures after the ceremony.

Audubon Bridge Opened To Traffic (earlier than planned!)

The John James Audubon Bridge was opened to traffic on May 10, 2011 a little earlier than planned.  While the project is not 100% complete, the bridge was sufficiently complete to allow an emergency opening due to closure of the nearby ferry the bridge is replacing.  From the project website:

Due to the high level of the Mississippi River causing the closure of the New Roads/St. Francisville ferry, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) opened the John James Audubon Bridge at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 5, 2011. This emergency opening allowed continuous river-crossing access for traffic affected by the ferry closure. The ferry, which carried approximately 720 vehicles per day according to 2009-2010 DOTD statistics, is permanently closed with the opening of the Audubon Bridge.

Construction is still ongoing and could affect traffic until the project is 100% complete later this year.

Hastings Update and Photo Album

Well, I, David, have survived my first (and hopefully last) winter in Minnesota.  I spent most of January and February observing the installation of the Pier 5 drilled shafts at the new Hastings bridge project in Hastings, Minnesota.  In addition to the drilled shafts, there has been a lot activity at Hastings since Aaron last blogged about this project in January.  A link to his post is here.  All of the ground improvement piles for the column-supported embankment have been installed and approximately 75% of the caps have been poured.  The 42-inch piles and pile caps for Piers 8, 9, and 10 are also complete.  Piles for the north embankment retaining wall have been installed and construction of the wall has begun.  Excavation for the rock bearing spread footings that will support the south land piers is in progress.  Work at Piers 6 and 7 and on the north shore are currently on hold as the Mississippi River is experiencing its annual spring flood. The water level is about 14 feet above normal elevation.

I have taken the pictures Paul and I have collected over the last few months and uploaded some of the more interesting ones to a Picasa web album.  The pictures are generally in chronological order and cover most of the construction process from November of 2010 right up to the end of March 2011.  A link to our our video of a Statnamic load test at Hastings that Aaron blogged about is here.

LRFD Design Procedures Case Histories – Iowa ASCE Geotechnical Conference

Paul gave a presentation recently at the Iowa ASCE Geotechnical Conference where he discussed two project case histories for LRFD design of bridge foundations.  The meeting was held March 3, 2011 in Ames, Iowa.  In his presentation, Paul gave an overview of the LRFD design procedure as it applies to foundations, reminding them that LRFD is not difficult and that it provides a logical framework for incorporating reliability into foundation design.  Paul talked about our experiences using LRFD for foundation design for two bridges over the Mississippi River: the Hastings Bridge in Hasting Minnesota and the new I-70 bridge in St. Louis, Missouri.  Both bridges are currently under construction.

A PDF of his presentation can be found at the link through the image below, or on our Presentations page.

PJA_Iowa ASCE_3 MAR 2011

Previous Hastings posts

Previous I-70 posts