Fast Foundation for Soft Clay

by Joseph R. Hilton, Jr., (M.ASCE), Engrg. Mgr.; Morrison Knudsen, Boise, ID,
Richard L. Novotny, Principal Structure Engineer; Morrison Knudsen, Boise, ID,
Ronald E. Rager, (M.ASCE), Principal Geotech. Engineer; Morrison Knudsen, Boise, ID,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 3, Pg. 62-65

Document Type: Feature article


This article describes the detailed foundation work and high-capacity piling design for a flue gas desulfurization (FGD) retrofit system for the Lambton Generation Station in Ontario, Canada. Morrison Knudsen Corporation (MK) designed the FGD pilings and foundations as part of a joint venture between Joy Technologies and MK for design and construction of the facilities. Engineering commenced in October 1990, pile driving began in March 1991, and by November all of the 1,777 steel pipe piles had been driven and most of the rebar and concrete placed. By December 1991, only 14 months after contract award, nearly all substructure construction was completed. A major engineering challenge was to design a deep-seated pile foundation system where downdrag was a consideration in the presence of soft clays and a significant depth to bedrock. The design effort was further impacted by the heavy loads imposed on the foundations and the demands of a fast-track schedule. To achieve design and schedule goals, a full-scale pile testing program was conducted along with a geotechnical investigation. Based on study and test data, pile designs were confirmed and driving criteria were established. Using hammers of various driving energies, the piles were driven into bedrock after preaugering to a depth of 80 feet, and an integral monolithic mat foundation system was installed.

Subject Headings: Foundation design | Pile foundations | Pile driving | Pile tests | Concrete piles | Driven piles | Pipe piles | Steel piles | Canada | Ontario

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