Risky Business: Identifying an Acceptable Rockfall Standard
For many parts of the U.S. highway system, cut slopes in rock are as common as bridges and embankments. These cut slopes, as well as some natural ones, produce rockfalls that pose risks to highway conditions...

Rock Glue Gets the Job Done: Reducing Rockfall Hazards along the G.W. Parkway
After a large rockfall damaged the road and disrupted traffic along the George Washington Memorial Parkway in 2002, the National Park Service was looking for solutions to stabilize the slope against additional...

A Sunken Submarine Full of Mercury: Safe, Controlled Construction of a Counter Fill for Seabed Slope Stabilization at about 155 to 177 Meters
On December 5, 1944, with World War II still raging and peace in Europe still six months away, the German submarine U-864 set out on her maiden voyage on a secret mission to deliver strategic war supplies...

Difficult-Access Rockfall Mitigation: Design and Construction Way Up High!
Rockfall mitigation projects frequently require work at elevated positions. This is not something that comes naturally for many engineers and geologists. Palms sweat, knees knock, and voices may start...

Translating the Language of Soils: Developing a Soil Classification System for International Engineering Projects
Soil classification systems are used to help predict soil behavior and provide information to farmers, engineers, builders, agricultural extension agents, homeowners, community planners, and government...

Emergency Retaining Wall Replacement: The East 26th Street Slide Repair in Baltimore, MD
During a record rainfall on April 30, 2014, a century-old, stone retaining wall between a dense urban roadway (26th Street) and the CSXT railroad track in Baltimore, MD, failed. The stone retaining wall...

Highway Retaining Walls are Assets: A Risk-Based Approach for Managing Them
Throughout history, retaining walls (RWs) have served a vital role in supporting civil infrastructure. The ruins of dry stone walls that purportedly supported the hills and slopes of ancient Rome can be...

Deep Mixing Grows Up: The Evolution of Deep-Mixing Technology in the U.S. Market over the Last Decade
Over the last decade, deep mixing in the U.S. market has grown from being something of a mystery into a reliable ground modification technology that can be designed rationally, implemented with capable...

Answering the $64,000 Question: Geotechnical Risk in Design-Build Projects
Subsurface risk may well be the aspect of most construction projects that has the greatest potential impact on a project's success or failure. Even when a thorough geotechnical investigation is conducted...

What Does the Case Law Say? Geotechnical Risk on Design-Build Projects
The growth of design-build (DB) contracting, particularly on public-sector civil projects, has generated a great deal of industry discussion over the age-old question of who should bear the risk of unforeseen...

Improving Cost and Schedule Performance on Municipal Pipeline Projects: Realizing the Benefits of the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) Alternative Project Delivery Method
The water and wastewater infrastructure in the United States is failing. In its 2013 Report Card on American Infrastructure, ASCE stated: "The water and wastewater...

The Evolution of Launched Soil Nails: A 30-Year Retrospective
Launched soil nails are a unique remedial technology in the geotechnical construction toolbox. These 20-ft-long, 1.5-in.-diameter nails are installed in a single shot using a compressed air "cannon" at...

A History of Deep Vibratory Methods for Ground Improvement: A Cost-Effective Foundation Solution for 80+ Years
Deep vibratory ground improvement methods, collectively referred to as vibro systems, have been utilized by the construction community in one form or another for the past 80 years. Development of the equipment,...

A Sinking Feeling in Happy Valley: Limited Mobility Grouting Arrests Movement of Emergency Room
Shortly after construction began on a new emergency room addition at the Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, PA (a.k.a. "Happy Valley"), the existing structure and new construction began to...

Biogeotechnical Mitigation of Earthquake-Induced Soil Liquefaction
Three biogeotechnologies currently under development show promise for cost-effective remediation of liquefaction under existing facilities....

Applying Scanning Technology to Tunnel Inspections: Leveraging Technology to Reduce the Public Agita
A large number of transit and vehicular tunnels in the New York Metropolitan area were inundated by the tidal surge caused by Super Storm Sandy on October 29, 2012. The storm created major...

Landslide Risk Perception: Consequences of Failure to Reconcile Contradictory Beliefs
While the basis for geotechnical safety is important, public perceptions of risk and its apparent willingness to ignore or discount hazard warnings should also be considered. Why does...

The Leaning Towers of Wilmington, Delaware: Emergency Response and Retrofit of the I-495 Viaduct to Address Lateral Squeeze
On a sunny, summer afternoon last June, the project manager for AECOM's open-end bridge design contract with the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) received an...

Geotechnical Risk Management: The Five Non-Technical Topics that are Crucial for the Successful Practice of Geotechnical Engineering
It is fair to state that the aspects of civil design and construction referred to as geotechnical engineering can be characterized as inherently risky. Geologic processes are complex,...

GeoTechTools – Your Ground Modification Website: Solutions for Improved Decision Making and Risk Mitigation
An immense web-based toolbox for the engineering and construction of earthworks is now available at GeoTechTools.org. This exciting collection...

 

 

 

 

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