It's All in the Bracing

by Minhaj Kirmani, P.E., Principal; Weidlinger Associate Inc., Cambridge, MA,
Steven Highfill, P.E., Assoc.; Weidlinger Assoc. Inc., Cambridge, MA,
Gorden Chen, Struct. Engr.; Weidlinger Assoc. Inc., Cambridge, MA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1999, Vol. 69, Issue 3, Pg. 40-43

Document Type: Feature article


When the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) hired Weidlinger Associates Inc., Cambridge, Mass., to renovate the Aquarium Station stop along the subway system's Blue Line in 1989, one of the firm's greatest challenges was protecting the State Street Block (SSB), a row of wharf buildings constructed in the 1850s. Protecting these structures, as well as the existing subway tunnel, called for a reliable bracing system that would minimize soil movement during excavation for the new entrance. A composite T-panel slurry wall system kept lateral wall deformation to less than an inch and shaved $1 million and a year's construction time off the project. The choice of structural steel rather than concrete as the system's web will save even more time when construction is finished and portions of the web are removed.

Subject Headings: Subways | Webs (structure) | System reliability | Structural reliability | Steel construction | Bracing | Tunnels

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