St. Louis Arch Grounds – City+Arch+River

January 15th, 2015

Client/Owner: National Park Services CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Services: Drilling, Geotechnical, Special Inspections

Overview:
In fall 2010, Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates (MVVA) won The City+The Arch+The River 2015 International Design Competition to develop a new concept for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (JNEM) commonly known as the St. Louis Gateway Arch Grounds. Elements of the new design for the grounds include expanding the Arch Museum and adding a major new entry facing Memorial Drive; creating a beer garden/restaurant that converts to an ice skating rink in the center; an urban ecology center; a wetland/bird sanctuary, a cobblestone walkway and three new parking garages. Final design and construction is to commence by 2015, the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Gateway Arch.

Details:
In 2012, Geotechnology provided subsurface exploration and engineering recommendations for the Park Over the Highway portion of the project which includes the landscaped bridge and replacement bridge over the depressed section of I-70. In coordination with MoDOT and the City of St. Louis special traffic control procedures were used and drilling was performed at night when there was less commuter traffic. Difficulties during drilling included working around the Cardinal’s Post-season games, numerous utilities rubble fill and varying rock quality. In addition, Memorial Drive was required to be open by 5:00 a.m. each morning. The structure was designed with minimal impact to the existing retaining walls (i.e. foundations were installed behind the walls). Special hybrid drilled shafts were also designed to expedite construction and reduce vibrations on neighboring structures (predominately the Old Cathedral).

Geotechnology provided a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, a geotechnical desk study, and an archaeological desk study. The purpose of these services was to identify potential ground hazards and corresponding primary risks at an early stage so that these risks could be better managed during the design and construction processes. The geotechnical report addressed deep foundation excavation and shoring considerations, impacts of soil types, obstructions and environmentally impacted material on site grading, structural foundations considerations, and groundwater related considerations. The purpose of the Phase I ESA is to provide a professional opinion as to the potential for Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) to exist on the site, particularly hazardous substances or petroleum products on the property or that may have been released onto the property, the subsurface or surface waters in the past.

Geotechnology also provided utility locating services and detailed geotechnical exploration for the new visitors center, regraded slope over TRRA rail tunnel down to the Leonore K. Sullivan Boulevard, and new Rangers Station. Geotechnology provided specialist sampling and analysis services for soils nutrient assessment.

City of Clayton New Police Headquarters & Garage

October 20th, 2014

Client/Owner: City of Clayton
Location: Clayton, Missouri
Services: Environmental, construction observation and materials testing

Geotechnology provided environmental surveys including asbestos, lead-based paint and hazardous materials surveys; geotechnical subsurface exploration; refraction microtremor surveying; third party asbestos abatement monitoring, oversight and clearance sampling; and construction observation/materials testing services for the renovation of a 6-story office building. The project involved renovation of the office building for the City of Clayton’s new police headquarters. The building was partially occupied during the initial environmental sampling and testing, so Geotechnology’s services needed to be performed after business hours. The facility is currently being renovated to achieve LEED Silver certification.

In 2014, Geotechnology was asked to provide construction observation and materials testing services for the Garage. These services included concrete tests for measurement of air content, slump and temperature and making concrete cylinders for compression tests. Checking the configuration of the reinforcing steel for compliance with project plans and specifications and documenting repair/replacement of damaged PT cables. Observation services were performed during the stressing of PT cables and performed pullout tests to check the bond between the new and existing concrete in patched areas and in areas where the concrete is removed to check that loose pieces and dust were removed.

 

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)

June 18th, 2013

Owner: Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
Client: Various
Location: Various locations throughout Southwestern Illinois
Services: Geotechnical, Geophysics, Drilling, Environmental, Construction Materials Testing, Soils & Materials Testing

Overview:
Geotechnology, Inc. has provided geotechnical engineering, drilling, geophysics, construction observation and materials testing, and environmental engineering services on a significant number of road and bridge projects. Services have included:

  • Drilling, sampling, laboratory testing, and engineering analyses to develop foundation and site design parameters for proposed roadway alignments, new and existing bridge structures, renovation and repair of existing pavements, new asphalt and concrete pavements, and seismic retrofit evaluations of existing bridge structures.
  • Subsurface Utility Engineering Quality Levels D, C, B and A including record searches, site reconnaissance, geophysical surveys, and vacuum excavation (a drilling technique using high pressure air and vacuum to remove soil without harming subsurface structures), all combined with land surveying, and GIS to produce a final map depicting locations of identified utilities.
  • Geophysical surveys and analyses related to proposed roadway alignment geology, structural condition of existing bridge support systems, bridge subsidence investigations and analyses, and investigation of pavement subgrade systems.
  • Materials testing services for new and existing asphalt and concrete pavement, including concrete and asphaltic concrete mix design; Superpave mix design, verification of aggregate quality and compaction testing; slump and air content testing; compressive strength testing of samples; flexural strength testing of beams and structural components; testing of welded and bolted connections; foundation construction observation and testing, including Pile Dynamic Analyses™ (PDA) testing of steel H-piles, Pile Integrity testing of cast-in-place augercast piles, static load tests to determine actual load stresses and/or coordinate PDA test results; cross-hole sonic logging, TV camera inspections, and contract drilling of drilled shafts; and developing temperature models to predict temperature variations on main bridge cast-in-place elements in order to control cracking.
  • Environmental assessments, asbestos surveys, and underground storage tank management related to proposed roadway alignments.

Geotechnology, Inc. has provided these and related services for numerous municipalities, cities and counties, as well as for State agencies and the Federal Highway Administration interstate highway system. This includes projects in the Illinois counties of St. Clair and Madison in the Metro East St. Louis area.

Details:
A sampling of projects performed for IDOT include:

Safe & Sound Bridge Program

December 27th, 2012

Owner: Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)
Client: Design/Build Team KTU Constructors
Location: Northwest Missouri
Services: Geophysics, Drilling

Overview:
Geotechnology was contracted by the Design/Build Team to provide Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) Quality Level B, drilling and lab testing services in support of construction of 479 of State’s 554 bridges in the Safe and Sound program. SUE services included utility drawings and supporting field notes for 226 bridges within 20 counties due 70 days from Notice to Proceed.

Details:
The team designed and executed a precise and thorough protocol to rapidly accomplish site research, SUE Quality Level B geophysical surveying, land surveying, and plan preparation for each of the remote and widely scattered bridge locations during inclement winter weather.

Prior to performing SUE work at each of the 226 sites, a Missouri One-Call was initiated by the team at headquarters. Known utilities were then marked by One-Call personnel to be later verified by our personnel. Despite challenges with One-Call, our crews were able to survey four or more bridges on most days both swiftly and accurately, which exceeded the scheduled two per day. Field work was completed in 12 days.

To accomplish the SUE surveying, Geotechnology organized six, two-person, SUE survey crews headed by a senior geophysicist who supervised the field activities to ensure consistency and quality control amongst all the crews and to assist with large and complex bridge sites. The crews developed efficient methods of locating bridge sites using hand-held GPS units (for which each bridge location was pre-programmed) and identifying the locations of known and unknown utilities using an RD-400/4000 radio detection meter and an EM31 terrain conductivity meter. Each crew prepared site sketches that depicted the relative locations of each identified underground or aboveground utility.

Each geophysics crew was followed by a survey crew from one of three survey companies contracted to Geotechnology for this effort. Each of Geotechnology’s crews were responsible for coordinating with their corresponding survey crew and providing them with copies of their site sketches. The surveyors prepared the final utility drawings for our review and ultimately for our submission to MoDOT. The Geotechnology Team was requested to perform the same services for a second phase of an additional 80+bridges throughout the state the following year.

Results:

  • 226 Bridges
  • 20 Counties
  • 6 SUE Geophysical crews 2012 – 2013 Website Updates Page 4 of 11
  • 226 Utility maps developed
  • 24% Under budget
  • Completed ahead of schedule
  • 115 Utility companies contacted
  • 3 Survey companies

The fast-track drilling portion of this program began in late September 2009 and concluded at the end of March 2010. At any given time eight drill rig crews, three laboratories and a number of support staff were engaged to meet this aggressive schedule. A number of the drill crews utilized PLog to electronically log the information acquired during drilling directly into drilling log software to shorten the time needed to produce the final boring logs.

Winner of the 2008 ACEC Missouri Grand Award for engineering excellence.

Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)

December 27th, 2012

Owner: Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)
Client: Various
Location: Various locations throughout Missouri and Illinois
Services: Geophysics, Drilling, Geotechnical, Environmental, Construction Materials Testing, Soils & Materials Testing

Overview:
Geotechnology, Inc. has provided geotechnical engineering, drilling, geophysics, construction observation and materials testing (CMT), and environmental engineering services on a significant number of road and bridge projects. Services have included:

  • Drilling, sampling, laboratory testing, and engineering analyses to develop foundation and site design parameters for proposed roadway alignments, new and existing bridge structures, 2012 – 2013 Website Updates Page 2 of 11 renovation and repair of existing pavements, new asphalt and concrete pavements, and seismic retrofit evaluations of existing bridge structures.
  • Subsurface Utility Engineering Quality Levels D, C, B and A including record searches, site reconnaissance, geophysical surveys, and vacuum excavation a drilling technique using high pressure air and vacuum to remove soil without harming subsurface structures, all combined with land surveying, and GIS to produce a final map depicting locations of identified utilities.
  • Geophysical surveys and analyses related to proposed roadway alignment geology, structural condition of existing bridge support systems, bridge subsidence investigations and analyses, and investigation of pavement subgrade systems.
  • Materials testing services for new and existing asphalt and concrete pavement, including concrete and asphaltic concrete mix design; Superpave mix design, verification of aggregate quality and compaction testing; slump and air content testing; compressive strength testing of samples; flexural strength testing of beams and structural components; testing of welded and bolted connections; foundation construction observation and testing, including Pile Dynamic Analyses™ PDA testing of steel H-piles, Pile Integrity testing of cast-in-place augercast piles, static load tests to determine actual load stresses and/or coordinate PDA test results; cross-hole sonic logging, TV camera inspections, and contract drilling of drilled shafts; and developing temperature models to predict temperature variations on main bridge cast-in-place elements in order to control cracking.
  • Environmental assessments, asbestos surveys, and underground storage tank management related to proposed roadway alignments.

Geotechnology, Inc. has provided these and related services for numerous municipalities, cities and counties, as well as for State agencies and the Federal Highway Administration interstate highway system.

Details:
A sampling of projects performed for MoDOT include:

Electromagnetic Survey for Buried Debris Detection

October 31st, 2012

Location: Nekoma, North Dakota
Services:
geophysics

Overview:
We were commissioned by Midwest Environmental Consultants to perform a frequency-domain electromagnetic (FDEM) or electromagnetic survey and map areas of buried debris at a former anti-ballistic missile facility in North Dakota.

Details:
During environmental drilling and monitoring well installation, construction-related debris such as wood, metal and PVC were discovered at the site. The client wanted our help in mapping the areas where buried debris was located so additional ground water monitoring wells could be installed without issue.

We conducted an EM31 survey by mounting the transmitter and receiver unit on a non-conductive trailer and towed it in a zigzag pattern across approximately 20 acres. This method allowed the unit to collect real-time differentially corrected global positioning system (DGPS) data. EM data was downloaded into the DGPS file and quickly reduced and contoured to reveal eight high-conductivity zones consistent with the presence of buried debris. Subsequent test pits in the anomalous areas revealed buried debris in all eight locations. The testing and debris location mapping were completed in approximately two days.

Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)

October 31st, 2012

Location: Statewide
Client: Numerous
Owner: TDOT
Services: Geotechnical, Geophysics,  Drilling, Construction Materials Testing/Observation

Overview:
For more than 25 years Geotechnology, originally as Hall, Blake and Associates, has provided geotechnical and construction materials testing services to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for projects across the state.
These projects have included services such as:

  • Deep foundation recommendations
  • Slope stability analysis
  • Pavement recommendations and testing
  • Geotechnical recommendations for seismic retrofits
  • Attending weekly meetings to provide geotechnical expertise
  • Concrete and steel testing
  • Review of reinforced earth retaining wall designs
  • Performing field compaction testing

Details:
More specific project information is available for the following:

NARA Federal Records Center

October 31st, 2012

Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Client/Owner: The Molasky Group of Companies
Services: Geotechnical, Construction Materials Testing, Non-destructive Testing

Overview:
The National Archives and Records Administration, working through the General Services Administration, began the design of a new building for its National Personnel Records Center in 2007. When completed the $115 Million facility is 474,690 sf and includes public research rooms, an archival preservation laboratory, public meeting rooms, staff offices, and office space for 14 other federal government and defense agencies and has 8-acres of warehouse space including storage for over 80 million civilian and military personnel files. The design includes strict standards for fire prevention, security, temperature and humidity control, air filtration, is LEED Certified and is the largest U.S. records facility outside of Washington D.C. This facility replaces an older facility at 9700 Page Avenue in St. Louis.

Details:
Scope of services:

  • Preliminary then full subsurface exploration
  • Geotechnical services
  • Non-invasive geophysical surveying to determine seismic site class
  • Construction observation, special inspections and materials testing services including:
    • Grading
    • Wick drain installation
    • Stone column installation
    • Foundation
    • Concrete
    • Structural steel
    • Fire-proofing
    • Roofing materials

Problem:
The project was on a fast-track construction schedule and the site featured numerous challenges which can often result in delayed construction schedules and/or additional site remediation costs, which can ultimately impact a projects’ budget. Site issues included deeper bedrock than anticipated, low plastic, silty and high plastic clays all of which posed several challenges for development due to steep changes in topography, two active drainage ravines, soft, wet soils and a tight construction schedule.

Solution:
The team addressed quality and strength of soil, high plastic clays, seismic site class, grading and reuse of site soils, stability of regraded slope, and global stability of retaining walls by developing a combined method solution of a vertical wick drainage system and lime treatment. This included approximately 4,000 wick drains and 3,000 tons of lime opposed to having to remove much of the soil and replacing it with imported granular material. This would have involved considerable haul off of on-site soils and import of crushed rock.

Result:
The implementation of this solution resulted in reduction of construction time by roughly nine to twelve months and the remediated soils allowed the 8 acres of warehouse structure and two-acres of office building to be supported on shallow foundations on ground that was strengthened with stone columns. The use of this type of foundation saved the client additional expense over a deep foundation, which could have cost almost four times more.

Developer: Barry Real Estate Companies, Inc. of Atlanta and The Molasky Group of Las Vegas
Construction company: Joint venture of Tarlton Construction Company of St. Louis and Hardin Construction of Atlanta
Lead architectural firm: HKS, Inc. of Dallas
ACEC 2012 Honorary Award Winner