Once Again, Engineering And Contractor Tenacity Overcome Tough Geology

Lens, John E.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
How much trouble can narrow vertical fissures in bedrock cause on a shallow bedrock site? Enough trouble so end-bearing H-piles range between 8 and 100 feet long in a single pile cap and tiebacks range from 40 to over 100 feet long within a 10 foot wall span. Sloped bedrock surfaces also complicated the tieback installation as the drill casing followed the sloped rock surface while drilling and caused unanticipated bending (and sometimes breaking) of the drill string. Warned via pre-construction rock probes and cores reaching over 80 feet deep at the Winooski, Vermont project site, the design and construction team expected anomalies in pile driving and tieback drilling due to fissures in the bedrock filled with soil and weathered-rock. The degree of abruptness in the variability in the rock surface, and its impact on pile driving and tieback drilling were less predictable. Close monitoring of pile and tieback installation, redesign of pile caps, and lengthened tiebacks overcame these anomalous fissures. This paper shares the lessons learned for overcoming these geologic challenges to benefit designers, contractors bidding the work, and ultimately, the owner, with lower contingencies.
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