The Transcona Grain Elevator Failure Revisited: A Modern Perspective a Century Later
More than a century ago, a seminal event in the then world of foundation engineering took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, when the mat-foundation-supported Transcona Grain Elevator underwent catastrophic...

Geotechnical Aspects Of Coastal Impacts During Hurricanes Harvey And Irma: Logistical and Technical Challenges During Reconnaissance
As designers and managers for society’s infrastructure, civil engineers, including the geotechnical community, must understand and predict the most severe expected loadings from physical or environmental...

Failures Inspire Progress: Protecting Sensitive Buildings from Tunnelling
Tunnelling in urban areas is always a challenge, and it’s especially so when construction is proximate to densely populated districts. Such was the case on January 25, 2005, when a 10-m length of a Barcelona...

From Fame to Failure: The St. Francis Dam (Part 2)
In the July/August issue, History Lesson examined the construction of California's St. Francis Dam and its catastrophic failure in 1928. This month's instalment examines the causes and aftermath of the...

From Fame to Failure: The St. Francis Dam (Part 1)
One of the most devastating engineering disasters in American history, the 1928 St. Francis Dam failure has had a lasting impact on the profession of civil engineering....

NTSB Issues Preliminary Report on Florida Bridge Collapse
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....

Helicopter-Based Geophysical Reconnaissance of Levees: A Faster, Cost-Effective Tool for Assessing Their Risk
As with much of the nation's infrastructure, people are becoming more and more aware of the condition of levee systems in the United States. The media cast a spotlight on the New Orleans levee failures...

Dry Dams in the Desert: Chasing Land Subsidence and Earth Fissures with Geophysics
Homogenous embankment dam flood retention structures (FRSs) were built throughout central Arizona desert basins in the mid-twentieth century to protect mostly agricultural lands and military installations...

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...

Forensic Investigations Get to the Facts: East Side IHNC Flood Wall Breaches during Hurricane Katrina
East Side IHNC Flood Wall Breaches during Hurricane Katrina. I served as a geotechnical expert for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) supporting the defense of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)...

Compliance with the Standard of Care: Hurricane Katrina Canal Breaches in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward
Hurricane Katrina Canal Breaches in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. On August 29, 2005, more than 50 levees and flood walls failed to protect New Orleans, LA, during Hurricane Katrina, one of the most devastating...

ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, Part A: Civil Engineering
The journal will meet the needs of the researchers and engineers to address risk, disaster and failure-related challenges due to many sources and types of uncertainty in planning, design, analysis, construction,...

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...

Railway Geotechnical Asset Management in Great Britain: How Modern-Day Techniques Help Monitor Railway Infrastructure Dating to the 1800s
This article discusses asset management, risk management, and earthworks failures as experienced by Network Rail (NR), the owner, operator, and asset manager of the majority of the rail network of Great...

Nature Sides with the Hidden Flaw: Lessons Learned from Failures of Earth-Support Systems
In recent years, the demand for excavations and fills of significant height has increased due to many factors, including requirements for below-grade parking for urban buildings and the need to construct...

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...

Post-Earthquake Reconnaissance Using Digital Imagery: A Bird's-Eye View
Over the last decade, remote sensing has played an increasing role in geotechnical earthquake reconnaissance through the use of satellite imagery, LIDAR, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). These techniques...

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...

Evaluating Bridges With Unknown Foundations for Susceptibility to Scour: North Carolina Applies Risk-Based Guidelines to Over 3,750 Bridges
Scour occurs when flowing water removes erodible material such as sand and rock. For bridges over water, scour affects the stability of pier and abutment foundations and contributes to...

Achieving Success and Avoiding Failures with Permeable Pavements
This chapter provides experienced-based recommendations on how to achieve success with permeable pavements. This information is based on an informational survey completed by designers,...

 

 

 

 

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