Measured Downdrag on Seven Coated and Uncoated Piles in New Orleans

by Randall K. Bush, (A.M.ASCE), Law Engineering, Inc, Houston, United States,
Jean-Louis Briaud, (F.ASCE), Law Engineering, Inc, Houston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Vertical and Horizontal Deformations of Foundations and Embankments


A site outside of New Orleans, Louisiana was selected as part of a research effort to study the phenomenon of downdrag on bitumen-coated piles. Two steel pipe piles, two timber piles, and three prestressed, precast concrete piles were instrumented, installed and monitored. Some of the piles were coated with bitumens and some were not. The soil conditions were determined prior to pile installation by means of soil borings and cone penetrometer soundings. A surcharge layer of sand was placed on the site to facilitate settlement of the soil and the subsequent downdrag on the piles. All piles were load tested in both compression and tension, and monitored periodically throughout the test period of two years. The soil response was monitored by means of piezometers and a series of settlement points. The results of the settlement study and its effect on downdrag are presented.

Subject Headings: Concrete piles | Wood piles | Soil settlement | Pipe piles | Pile tests | Steel piles | Pile settlement | Louisiana | United States | New Orleans

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