Seattle Solutions

by Carole L. B. Mitchell, P.E., (A.M.ASCE), Principal Engineer; Shannon & Wilson, Inc., Seattle, WA,
William J. Perkins, Principal Engineer Geologist; Shannon & Wilson, Inc., Seattle, WA,
Thomas M. Gurtowski, P.E., (M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; Shannon & Wilson, Inc., Seattle, WA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1999, Vol. 69, Issue 12, Pg. 54-57

Document Type: Feature article


Many of Seattle's most important bridges are vulnerable to serious damage if a much-anticipated big earthquake hits. A city-wide study designated lifeline structures for retrofitting, and engineers at Shannon & Wilson went to work hunting for viable foundation remediation concepts. Every bridge was different and brought its own challenges, including liquefiable soils, cramped construction spaces, strategically located sewer lines, rumbling railroad tracks below, respect for public art, and even the needs of nearby houseboat owners. Four novel applications of existing technology allowed the design team to shore up many of the area's major traffic crossings.

Subject Headings: Railroad bridges | Infrastructure construction | Foundation design | Water transportation | Structural design | Soil liquefaction | Sewers | Seattle | Washington | United States

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