Crossing the Forth
Scotland’s Queensferry Crossing spans the Firth of Forth, connecting Edinburgh and the Kingdom of Fife. Built at a cost of $1.89 billion in six and a half years, the 1.6 mi long cable-stayed bridge, with...

Avoiding Impacts of Collapsed Mines on Railways: A Multidisciplinary Geophysical Detective Approach
The presence of abandoned mine workings can pose a significant risk to the use and development of surface structures above them, including railway lines. Typically, the adverse and often sudden effects...

State of the Practice for Laboratory Testing of Soft Soils: It's All in the Details
As with all material testing, soils testing has undergone dramatic advances in technology because of computer automation. In the 1970s, laboratories were filled with dial gages, proving rings, mercury...

Sustainability and Resilience in Transportation Infrastructure Geotechnics: Integrating Advanced Technologies for Better Asset Management
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, enumerates 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to be achieved by the member countries...

When Bridges, Roadways, and Dams Need Our Help: Innovative Techniques Can Help Save Our Nation's Critical Infrastructure
The nation's infrastructure is showing its age. The signs are obvious with structure distress, lack of functionality, and failure reported frequently over the last several decades. Specialty geotechnical...

NTSB Issues Preliminary Report on Florida Bridge Collapse (part of Infrastructure Solutions: Bridges Move Forward)
In late May, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its preliminary report about the March 15 structural failure and collapose of a partially-constructed pedestrian bridge in Miami....

Preserving the Past: Recovering the Destroyed Buddha Statues and Niches in Bamiyan Afghanistan
For millennia, civilizations have built monuments to honor their gods, leaders, or founding principles, and with time those monuments that still exist have become revered treasures. Take, for example,...

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...

Low-Gravity Experiments: Shear Testing Takes a Nose Dive
A major challenge to making celestial soil mechanics viable is to re-engineer the profession's toolkit to provide geotechnical solutions without the luxury of ex-situ and in-situ testing as we know them...

Guidelines for Construction Vibrations: How Much Rattle is Too Much?
The study of construction/blast-related ground vibrations on structures, people, and objects is a surprisingly diverse field. Vibration sources vary from blasting, all types of construction equipment,...

Seismic Data from Smartphones: MyShake: Building a Global Smartphone Seismic Network
Increasing the density of earthquake-monitoring instruments at a fast rate and at a low cost is a dream for many researchers who study earthquakes. MyShake, a smartphone application developed by the Berkeley...

Claims against Geotechnical Engineers: Getting it Right in the Midst of Uncertainty
Geotechnical engineering is one of engineering's riskiest professions, prone to litigation due to the inherent uncertainty associated with characterizing the subsurface. Site investigations rarely provide...

Value Engineering Shaves Years and $1.8 Billion from Ohio River Bridges Project (part of "Attractive Alternative")
A value engineering process for the Ohio River Bridges Project, of which the Lewis and Clark Bridge is just one part, saved more than $1.8 billion and shaved nine years from earlier estimates....

Cracking the Nuclear Code: Finding an Alternative to the Nuclear Density Gauge
Two of the most basic quality control tests made in the field during soil construction are the soil’s moisture content and density. The establishment of a uniform procedure to compare the performance of...

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...

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...

Foundation Reuse and Enhancement: A Viable Option for Bridge Widening and Replacement Projects
The transportation system in the U.S. includes over 607,000 bridges for grade separations, interchange configurations, and stream crossings. As governmental entities embark on the rehabilitation and rebuilding...

Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering: What Can It Do for You?
There's been a lot of talk, and some confusion, lately about performance-based earthquake engineering (PBEE). Many geotechnical engineers wonder -- what is it, how does it differ from what I've been doing,...

The 2010-2011 Canterbury, New Zealand, Earthquake Sequence: Impetus for Rethinking the Way We Evaluate and Mitigate Liquefaction
Liquefaction is a common cause of ground failure during earthquakes and is directly responsible for tremendous damage to infrastructure. Evidence of the impact of liquefaction includes failure of bridge...

You Designed It for the Big One, Right? Illustrating and Communicating Uncertainty in a Deterministic Seismic Hazard Analysis
In seismic regions of the U.S. and worldwide, engineers design structures to withstand seismic ground motions resulting from a large, rare earthquake. But definitions of "large" and "rare" depend on who...

 

 

 

 

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