Design And Preliminary Investigations For Deep Foundations Of The Charleroi Locks River Wall Project, Monessen, Pennsylvania

Greene, Brian H.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District, is in the final phases of modernizing the locks and dams on the Monongahela River. One facet of this modernization is to replace the existing Locks 4 located on the Monongahela River approximately 40 river miles upstream from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The existing locks consist of a 56-foot x 720-foot main chamber and a riverside 56-foot x 360-foot auxiliary chamber built in the 1930s. Two new lock chambers, each 84-foot wide by 720-foot long, will be constructed at the location of existing Locks 4 and will be named Charleroi Locks. The purpose of the new project is to facilitate navigation on the lower Monongahela River. Pittsburgh is currently the second largest inland waterway port in the nation, and the new locks will be an important component of the navigational infrastructure. The existing lock walls are of mass concrete construction and are founded on wooden timber piles driven to rock through alluvial sands and gravels. The new lock walls were designed to be supported by approximately 300 reinforced concrete drilled shafts, varying in diameter from 4 to 6 feet. To handle axial loads, the drilled shafts were designed for end bearing, with some skin friction. The tips of the shafts will be founded within competent rock. Since the walls will undergo lateral loads, the drilled shaft design also had to consider this loading condition. Some of the drilled shafts will be installed within coffer boxes, which will incorporate a tremie concrete seal down to top of rock. Complicating the design even further was the fact that some portions of the new walls will be supported by shafts that extend some 9 feet above top of rock through alluvial soils, producing a cantilever effect. The first phase of the new lock construction was initiated in the summer of 2005 with a contract awarded to replace the river wall. This required shutting down the existing riverside lock chamber and diverting all river traffic to the longer existing land chamber. The foundation of the new river wall will use 144 drilled shafts. To optimize the design embedment of drilled shafts in rock for the river wall, an exploratory drilling program was conducted by the contractor in July and August, 2005. Based on the quality of the sedimentary bedrock, the shafts will be embedded in rock from 31 to 38 feet. To achieve adequate end bearing resistance, the tips of each shaft will extend through predominantly claystones into a more competent siltstone unit for a minimum embedment of one foot. The contractor also performed an exploratory pile driving program to aid in the construction of the drilled shaft casing and the cut off walls that will encapsulate the river wall. Two demonstration drilled shafts located outside the footprint of the new river wall, will be constructed prior to the drilling of any production shafts. The demonstration drilled shafts will verify that the contractor is able to meet the design criteria and quality requirements of the contract. The river wall contract is currently underway and is scheduled to be completed in 2010.
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