Execution and Evaluation of High Capacity Caisson Load Tests in Glacial Deposits

by Franklin M. Grynkewicz, GZA GeoEvironmental Inc., Newton Upper Falls, United States,
Joseph D. Guertin, GZA GeoEvironmental Inc., Newton Upper Falls, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Design and Performance of Deep Foundations: Piles and Piers in Soil and Soft Rock


As part of the Boston Harbor clean up project, the new 1,000 mgd Deer Island Sewerage treatment plant includes ten 240 feet high egg-shaped 'residuals' tanks. Contract documents called for these structures to be supported on 2,600 sixteen inch concrete filled pipe piles. Post bid redesign work, initiated as a cooperative effort between the owner and the general contractor, demonstrated that an $8 million savings could be realized if high capacity 48-inch diameter caissons replaced the specified pipe piles. Three test caissons were installed and loaded to failure with the 'Osterberg' type cell. The location and design of each test caisson was selected to force failure through different modes. This paper discusses the redesign process, physical properties for the various glacial deposits, and lessons learned in designing and expediting a large scale caisson test program.

Subject Headings: Load tests | Load bearing capacity | Caissons | Load factors | Failure analysis | Pipe piles | Failure loads | Concrete pipes | Boston | Massachusetts | United States

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