Designing Secret Cities
Before the U.S. government could develop the first atomic bombs in World War II, it first had to design and construct three “secret cities” at which that work would be completed. Created almost entirely...

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...

A Good Cause for a Causeway: How Geotechnology and Project Delivery Restored a Roadway Embankment Crossing a Historically Challenging Soft Ground Site
As part of a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) design-build project, a causeway was constructed in 2017 to replace an aging bridge in the southwest metropolitan area of Minneapolis. The causeway...

Proactive Management of Landslide- and Rockfall-Prone Slopes: A New Program for Federal Land Management Agencies
Most people realize that the nation's transportation infrastructure is aging faster than federal, state, and local governments can manage with traditional methods. In fact, a national and international...

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....

Supporting A National Treasure: Spruce Tree House Alcove Arch Stabilization
Mesa Verse National Park, located in southwestern Colorado, honors the cultural significance of the fantastic cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people, who lived in the area from AD 600 to 1300....

Instrumenting a National Landmark's Expansion: the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Art
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, located just north of the Lincoln Memorial on the Potomac River in Washington D.C., is currently undergoing expansion. Through a series of spaces that...

The Wait Is Over…DIGGS Is Here!
The roll-out of Data Interchange for Geotechnical and GeoEnvironmental Specialists (DIGGS) has started, and the Ohio DOT (ODOT) has already announced that it will be required beginning January 2018. This...

Restoring Steinbeck's Carmel River: The Removal of San Clemente Dam
If you've read John Steinbeck's 1945 classic "Cannery Row," then you're already familiar with the Carmel River, which he described as "…a lovely little river. It isn't very long, but in its course it has...

When Things Became Muddy: TVA's Response to Seepage Discharge at Boone Dam
In October 2014, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) profited from investments in a robust dam safety program. This profit did not come in the form of money, but more importantly in the protection of...

Stabilizing the Cliffs of Alcatraz Island: It My Be "The Rock," but it Still Needs Attention!
California's Alcatraz Island was described by some early explorers as an unusually lush rock sticking out of the sea. The rock on the island consists of shale and sandstone members of the late Mesozoic-aged...

Remote Mapping in Alaska's Wilderness: Accessing Resources in the Last Frontier
The rich, natural resources of Alaska have long been the focus of many pioneers seeking fortune in the Last Frontier. As captured in historical images of dedicated Klondike Gold Rush miners seeking their...

Canals, Cutoffs, and the Vicksburg Campaign
During the American Civil War, the term “Union” was used to refer to the United States of America, and specifically to the national government and the 20 free states and five border slave states that supported...

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...

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...

Stabilizing Variable and Sloping Ground: Achieving Innovation Through Adaptation
We all know the high price of land development these days, so it's more important than ever for owners and their designers to maximize available land area. Occasionally, this demand is constrained by topography...

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...

Extreme Makeover: Interchange Gets Ground Improvement Facelift
As part of the massive, $159.9 million Interchange 14A Improvement Project in the cities of Bayonne and Jersey City, NJ, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) is realigning 12 ramps and roadways and...

 

 

 

 

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