Designng to a Fault

by Bradley Erickson, Proj. Mgr.; CH2MHill, P.O. Box 22508, Denver, CO 90222,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1988, Vol. 58, Issue 8, Pg. 58-60

Document Type: Feature article


Engineers designed a $30 million expansion of one of the Port of Los Angeles' busiest shipping terminals for a site sitting over the Palos Verdes Fault. Because closing the Overseas Terminal Co. down would mean a potential $2 million annual revenue loss to the Port of L.A., engineers put the design schedule on a fast track. Aside from the challenges posed by the site's seismic complications, the terminal is founded upon some of the most difficult geology to be found at the port: an extremely deep load-bearing layer and a layer of thick compressible soil. As part of the design process, engineers conducted a detailed site exploration, chose an all-vertical piling system to combat horizontal forces normally associated with an earthquake and implemented a pile testing program for pile installation.

Subject Headings: Ports and harbors | Pile tests | Geological faults | Soil compression | Seismic design | Freight transportation | Revenues | Scheduling

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