Ground Freezing For Shoring Of Excavations - A Case History: 1405/SR522 Vault NW-6
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Jan 1, 1998
Ground freezing has been used for over 100 years to provide shoring and ground water cutoffs for hundreds of projects worldwide, including drilled shafts, tunnels and cofferdams. Typically, these cases involved difficult soil/water problems where ground freezing was likely the only solution. This paper discusses a recent ground freezing project where a frozen soil wall was used for a more conventional problem. A 4-foot-thick frozen soil wall was used to provide shoring and groundwater cutoff for a 20-foot-deep excavation during construction of a cast-in-place concrete storm water detention vault. The site is located along the northbound on-ramp to I405 from westbound SR522 in Woodinville, Washington. The frozen soil wall was successfully formed in soils consisting of till fill over soft organic silt and loose saturated sand in about 3 weeks. The depth to ground water varied from about 4 to 8 feet over the site. The unfrozen soil inside the frozen soil wall was excavated vertically to the frozen soil boundary. The vertical excavation remained open for approximately 2 months with no dewatering required. On one side, fully-loaded dump trucks and other construction equipment operated within 6 feet of the wall face with zero wall movement. This paper addresses the construction issues related to installation and operation of ground freezing shoring. The overall wall performance of the frozen soil wall as well as basic geotechnical design issues are also discussed.