Design Of An Unbraced Elliptical Slurry Wall Cofferdam For Deep Pump Station Construction

Chen, Gordon
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2010
As part of a value engineering envisioned by East Coast Slurry, Weidlinger Associates, Inc. designed a unique elliptical slurry wall cofferdam for construction of the 65 ft. deep MWRA North Dorchester Pump Station. A conventional rectangle cofferdam with multiple levels of bracing would have been time consuming and costly and imposed a significant obstruction to the pump station construction. A circular slurry wall, while eliminating the bracings, conflicted with adjacent structures and required excessive backfilling around the final pump station structure. The ellipse shaped cofferdam fit the needs of the project well; however, it created a significant design challenge without the use of bracings. Unlike a circular cofferdam which primarily only has hoop stresses, the ellipse still has to be designed for horizontal bending moments in each panel because of the non-axial symmetric conditions. The more eccentric the cofferdam shape; the higher the horizontal bending. The challenge was to develop a three dimensional finite element model that could analyze both the hoop stresses and horizontal bending stresses above and below the bottom of excavation induced by soil and water pressure and unbalanced construction surcharge loads. This paper discusses the techniques used to model the soils and structure interactions and results of stresses on this challenging unbraced configuration.
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