New I-95 Woodrow Wilson Bridge Foundations

Ellman, Roderic A.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 13
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2009
The new Woodrow Wilson Bridge (WWB) will replace the existing bridge over the Potomac River to connect Alexandria, Virginia to Prince Georges County, Maryland. The new WWB will extend approximately 1.1 miles across the river, with a 367-ft long bascule span in the main river channel where the water depth is about 36 ft. The bridge is primarily comprised of fixed spans in relatively shallow water and a bascule span over the navigation channel. The subsurface soil profile was quite variable along the bridge alignment. In Virginia, there was fill over soft Alluvial deposits underlain by dense Terrace deposits, as well as remnant foundations from a former ship yard. At the bascule span, there was up to 50 ft of a soft organic silty clay layer underlain by a deep deposit of stiff Cretaceous clay. Along the Maryland approach, there were Alluvial deposits over dense Terrace deposits over stiff Cretaceous clays and dense Cretaceous sands. The variation in subsurface conditions led to the selection of alternative deep foundations that suited the specific conditions and were based on the design phase testing program, from which ultimate design capacities were determined. During construction, there were instances of unexpected pile performance, notably different than that experienced during the design phase testing, requiring changes to the contract installation criteria and re-design. This paper will present the types of deep foundations used for the project, the performance criteria assumed during the design, the measured performance and difficulties encountered during construction, and the resulting remedial actions, i.e., changes to contract installation criteria and/or re-design due to the unanticipated field conditions.
Full Article Download:
(281 kb)