Ground Improvement for Underground Construction
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Underground construction is "special" because the work may be performed at great depths and under high groundwater pressures. All too often, it seems to take place in urban areas where there is limited...

A Sinking Feeling in Happy Valley
Limited Mobility Grouting Arrests Movement of Emergency Room
Shortly after construction began on a new emergency room addition at the Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, PA (a.k.a. "Happy Valley"), the existing structure and new construction began to...

Soil Nailing in the 2010s: Its Evolution and Coming of Age
While the early 2000s witnessed soil nailing as a well-established method in the U.S. for providing temporary and permanent support of excavation (SOE), the technique has since continued to evolve thanks...

Translating the Language of Soils: Developing a Soil Classification System for International Engineering Projects
Soil classification systems are used to help predict soil behavior and provide information to farmers, engineers, builders, agricultural extension agents, homeowners, community planners, and government...

Canals, Cutoffs, and the Vicksburg Campaign
During the American Civil War, the term “Union” was used to refer to the United States of America, and specifically to the national government and the 20 free states and five border slave states that supported...

Improving Cost and Schedule Performance on Municipal Pipeline Projects: Realizing the Benefits of the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) Alternative Project Delivery Method
The water and wastewater infrastructure in the United States is failing. In its 2013 Report Card on American Infrastructure, ASCE stated: "The water and wastewater...

Foundation Reuse and Enhancement: A Viable Option for Bridge Widening and Replacement Projects
The transportation system in the U.S. includes over 607,000 bridges for grade separations, interchange configurations, and stream crossings. As governmental entities embark on the rehabilitation and rebuilding...

Answering the $64,000 Question: Geotechnical Risk in Design-Build Projects
Subsurface risk may well be the aspect of most construction projects that has the greatest potential impact on a project's success or failure. Even when a thorough geotechnical investigation is conducted...

A History of Deep Vibratory Methods for Ground Improvement
A Cost-Effective Foundation Solution for 80+ Years
Deep vibratory ground improvement methods, collectively referred to as vibro systems, have been utilized by the construction community in one form or another for the past 80 years. Development of the equipment,...

What Does the Case Law Say? Geotechnical Risk on Design-Build Projects
The growth of design-build (DB) contracting, particularly on public-sector civil projects, has generated a great deal of industry discussion over the age-old question of who should bear the risk of unforeseen...

Highway Retaining Walls are Assets: A Risk-Based Approach for Managing Them
Throughout history, retaining walls (RWs) have served a vital role in supporting civil infrastructure. The ruins of dry stone walls that purportedly supported the hills and slopes of ancient Rome can be...

Post-Earthquake Reconnaissance Using Digital Imagery
A Bird's-Eye View
Over the last decade, remote sensing has played an increasing role in geotechnical earthquake reconnaissance through the use of satellite imagery, LIDAR, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). These techniques...

Extreme Makeover
Interchange Gets Ground Improvement Facelift
As part of the massive, $159.9 million Interchange 14A Improvement Project in the cities of Bayonne and Jersey City, NJ, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) is realigning 12 ramps and roadways and...

You Designed It for the Big One, Right?
Illustrating and Communicating Uncertainty in a Deterministic Seismic Hazard Analysis
In seismic regions of the U.S. and worldwide, engineers design structures to withstand seismic ground motions resulting from a large, rare earthquake. But definitions of "large" and "rare" depend on who...

Nature Sides with the Hidden Flaw: Lessons Learned from Failures of Earth-Support Systems
In recent years, the demand for excavations and fills of significant height has increased due to many factors, including requirements for below-grade parking for urban buildings and the need to construct...

The 2010-2011 Canterbury, New Zealand, Earthquake Sequence
Impetus for Rethinking the Way We Evaluate and Mitigate Liquefaction
Liquefaction is a common cause of ground failure during earthquakes and is directly responsible for tremendous damage to infrastructure. Evidence of the impact of liquefaction includes failure of bridge...

Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering
What Can It Do for You?
There's been a lot of talk, and some confusion, lately about performance-based earthquake engineering (PBEE). Many geotechnical engineers wonder -- what is it, how does it differ from what I've been doing,...

Biogeotechnical Mitigation of Earthquake-Induced Soil Liquefaction
Three biogeotechnologies currently under development show promise for cost-effective remediation of liquefaction under existing facilities....

Geotechnical Instrumentation for Roadways: Shifting from Manual to Automated
Geotechnical instruments, including inclinometers, piezometers, settlement plates, etc., have long been used during and after construction to monitor performance of transportation infrastructure, including...

Geotechnical Aspects of Pavements: There's More to Roads than Asphalt and Concrete!
When you jump on the highway to make that commute to work, do you think much about what's under the surface you ride on? Pavements are layered systems designed to provide a strong structure to support...

 

 

 

 

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