Touchdown for O-Cell Test

by Barry J. Meyer, Chief Engineer; Law/Crandall, 200 Citadel Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90040,
Paul R. Schade, (A.M.ASCE), Law/Crandall, 200 Citadel Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90040,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 2, Pg. 57-59

Document Type: Feature article


The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was badly damaged by the Northridge earthquake. There was seven months to complete 3 years of work to be ready in time for football season. The project fell behind schedule immediately. It took three weeks to install the first two 95-foot-long piles. Severe caving soil conditions and cramped interior space caused the delay. A conventional load test was considered. However, loading pile from the top was not an option because of the limited space in the concourse. Law/Crandall's engineers suggested performing a relatively new load test using a system called the Osterberg Load Cell. The O-Cell could be used to test the pile's capacity. As the engineers discovered it could also improve the foundations by preloading the pile to consolidate and stiffen the soils at its base. This meant the piles could be shortened and remain as effective as the original design. The innovative use of this new technology was successful. The L.A. Coliseum opened on its target date.

Subject Headings: Load tests | Load factors | Piles | Pile foundations | Consolidated soils | Stiffening | Stadiums and sport facilities

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