Wharf Stands on Stone Columns

by George Munfakh, Manager of Geotech Dept.; Parson, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas, New York, N. Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1985, Vol. 55, Issue 1, Pg. 44-47

Document Type: Feature article


A wharf was constructed in New Orleans on very weak soils. To prevent lateral and vertical movement of the soil, normally the entire wharf and adjacent structure would be founded on steel piles. Here, $1.25 million was saved by using about half the normal number of piles, and replacing some of them with stone columns, each of which is a 3.6-ft. wide column of crushed stone, extending down to a competent layer of soil. The columns support live loads and work together with each other to minimize lateral movement of the squeezing clay. A pile cap unifying the tops of the stone columns was created by mechanically stabilized earth. Elsewhere, wich drains were used to speed and cut the cost of draining/strengthening the weak soil.

Subject Headings: Steel piles | Ports and harbors | Rocks | Stone columns | Steel structures | Drainage | Vertical loads | Harbor facilities | New Orleans | Louisiana | United States

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