Plate Load and Pressuremeter Testing in Saprolite

by Glenn M. Boyce, Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade &, Douglas, San Francisco, United States,
Lee W. Abramson, Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade &, Douglas, San Francisco, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Geotechnical Engineering Congress?1991


On the island of Oahu, Hawaii, an exploratory tunnel for the Interstate Route H-3 highway was completed in December 1989. The purpose of the exploratory tunnel was two-fold; first to locate and intercept any water trapped by dikes in the Koolau Mountain Range; and second to explore and locate where harder, slightly weathered basalt changes into extremely weathered, sometimes soft, saprolite material. The need to locate this transition zone was dictated by experience on a similar highway tunnel located 2.5 miles (4 km) away. The Wilson Tunnel collapsed during construction as the tunnel was advanced full-face. To safeguard against a similar failure and evaluate the geologic conditions within the H-3 highway tunnels, a comprehensive in situ testing program was completed. This program included plate load, pressuremeter, and laboratory tests. The tests in the H-3 exploratory tunnel were used to determine the strength and deformability of the material. The combined test results have allowed for a better understanding of the geologic conditions at the site. With the information from this in situ testing program, the tunnel support and lining design were specifically tailored to the site. A summary of test results and their effects on the tunnel design are provided.

Subject Headings: Tunnels | Load tests | Field tests | Soil tests | Plates | Rocks | Measuring instruments | Hawaii | United States

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