Smale Riverfront Park at the Banks

October 1st, 2015

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Client: Cincinnati Parks
Services: Geotechnical

THELEN performed the geotechnical services for the Smale Riverfront Park. Our services were performed in different phases for various portions of the project. The following are the most recent 2 phases of the project: Site Walls and Boat Dock: The project site is located along the north edge of the Ohio River between the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge and the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. THELEN’s services consisted of performing nineteen (19) test borings – eleven (11) of the borings were advanced from a barge on the river, and the remaining eight (8) borings were performed on land, laboratory testing and preparation of a report of conclusions and recommendations.

Prior to the geotechnical report, the proposed development was to consist of a 1,400-foot long retaining wall supported on piles and a 1,000-foot long boat dock. The proposed retaining wall will begin at the river’s edge. A structure similar to the serpentine wall will then step up from the river’s edge wall to a walkway. A ramp will be located in the mid portion of the project and additional serpentine steps will be located to the west and east of the ramp section. A relatively flat walkway or a short, sloped section will then be constructed at the top of the existing retaining wall.

The proposed grading was to require up to 11 feet of newly placed fill in the portion of the walkway immediately adjacent to the river’s edge wall. It is noted that there are two (2) existing retaining walls to the north of the majority of the proposed river’s edge wall. The closest existing retaining wall consists of a large concrete pile-supported retaining wall and the upper northernmost retaining wall consists of a smaller concrete spread-footing cantilevered retaining wall. The proposed grading will require portions of those walls to be cut off near the western end of the proposed rivers edge wall. The existing river bottom will be dredged to create a minimum depth of water between the river’s edge wall and the boat deck.

Lot 22: This portion of the project involved constructing an elevated structural slab over an existing parking lot that is near the elevation of Mehring Way. The elevated structural slab will be at or near the elevation of Theodore M. Berry Way and the north approach of the Roebling Suspension Bridge, and will support a carousel and fountain. Additionally, the eastern half of the elevated slab will support approximately a 4-foot depth of soil for planting trees. At the west end of the structural slab will be a stairway to permit pedestrian traffic from the elevated slab and Theodore M. Berry Way at the northwest corner of the project site to Mehring Way at the southwest end of the project site. We understand that the lower level area beneath the elevated slab will consist of a reception hall, conference and office rooms, mechanical/electric control equipment, and storage.

THELEN’s services consisted of performing six (6) test borings, laboratory testing and preparation of a report of conclusions and recommendations. During construction of the Park phases, we have performed construction review services including augercast pile review, soil and concrete testing.


Work performed by Thelen Associates, Inc.




US 69 Bridge Over the Missouri River

April 24th, 2015

Location: Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas
Client: Burns & McDonnell
Owner: Missouri Department of Transportation
Services: Geotechnical, Drilling

Geotechnology provided geotechnical consulting and environmental drilling services for the procurement phase of the design-build project. Geotechnology’s scope of services included performing a subsurface exploration, laboratory testing, and preparation of a geotechnical data report characterizing the site for use by the designbuild teams.

Geotechnology conducted site reconnaissance; obtained site access for the drill rigs and barge; coordinated and conducted geotechnical drilling and sampling for five land borings and two river borings, and conducted environmental drilling and sampling for nine land borings.

Highway 47 Bridge Over the Missouri River

April 24th, 2015

Location: Washington, Missouri
Client: HDR Engineering, Inc.
Owner: Missouri Department of Transportation
Services: Drilling, Geotechnical

Geotechnology provided geotechnical services for the design of a new bridge immediately upstream of the existing bridge in accordance with the “Adjacent Upstream Alternative” from the Environmental Assessment. The bridge was designed using LRFD methodology. The geotechnical scope of services assumed a 9-span bridge located parallel and to the west of the existing bridge. It also assumed a mechanically stabilized earth wall would be necessary at the south end bent, and a planned approach embankment north of Bent 1 that is anticipated to be approximately 20-25 feet high and extend 500-600 feet in length. Drilling included land and river borings for the proposed bridge, mse wall, the north approach embankment, and the approach pavement on both sides of the river.

The Route 47 Missouri Bridge needs to be replaced because of its deteriorating condition as it is a vital link for the community. About 11,000 vehicles travel over the bridge each day. A new bridge will improve safety, improve reliability and contribute to the continued growth in the area.

The proposed new bridge would provide safer and more efficient travel for many motorists traveling between Franklin and Warren Counties.

Daniel Boone Replacement Bridge

April 24th, 2015

Location: St. Louis and St. Charles Counties, Missouri
Client: Walsh-Alberici Joint Venture
Owner: Missouri Department of Transportation
Services: Drilling, Deep Foundation Testing, Geotechnical, Non-destructive testing

The original continuous truss bridge opened in 1932 to accommodate both east and westbound traffic when the population of St. Charles County was roughly 25,000. In 1989 in an effort to accommodate increased population and vehicular traffic the original bridge was converted to two-lanes of westbound traffic only while a new continuous truss 2-lane bridge was opened to handle eastbound traffic. Additional modifications to the new eastbound bridge were then made in 2001 narrowing the lanes and removing shoulders to allow for three lanes of traffic eastbound.

From the 1980’s through the 2000’s, St. Charles County has been ranked among the fastest-growing counties in the nation and the congestion along the I-64/40 corridor between St. Charles County and St. Louis County made it abundantly clear that additional measures would have to be made to accommodate the populous.

A new girder bridge was designed in 2004 and funding was unveiled in 2011, construction for the project began
in 2013 and is scheduled for completion in 2015.

Geotechnology performed drilling and testing for foundation inspection holes within the footprint of each drilled shaft to confirm rock quality below the bearing surface of each drilled pier. Crews drilled through more than 100 feet of alluvial deposits consisting of clays, silts, sand and cobbles. Overwater drilling was performed by utilizing a skid mounted drill rig on a barge to core down to between 80 – 112 feet below the working platform. These significant lengths of unsupported casings caused bowing and twisting which added another layer of complexity to the project. Land borings were performed using truck mounted rigs owned by Geotechnology, Inc.

By the end of this portion of the project, 42 foundation inspection holes consisting of 1,950 feet of rotary drilling and 903 feet of NQ2 rock coring were completed without accident or injury.

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

April 10th, 2015

Owner/Client: Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
Location: Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina
Services: Drilling

Geotechnology, Inc.’s Drilling Division was asked to provide a variety of drilling services to URS Corporation in support of their evaluation of five existing concrete dams operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). These dams, constructed in the 1940’s and 1950’s, were evaluated as part of a larger evaluation program in support of TVA’s permit application for an additional nuclear unit at its Watts Bar Plant.

All work was performed under TVA’s comprehensive safety and environmental protection program. The core holes along the crest of the dams were particularly challenging due to very limited space and on-going operations at the dam. Despite these challenges, Geotechnology’s crews completed all fieldwork without any interruptions to dam operations or violations of TVA’s strict environmental and safety policies.

Geotechnology, Inc. was initially assigned work at only the Boone Hydro Plant in Kingsport, TN. However, due to the crews’ productivity and commitment to quality and safety, Geotechnology, Inc. was ultimately awarded an entire second site (Melton Hill) and assisted other drilling contractors at Apalachia Dam and Ft. Patrick Henry Dam. Ultimately, Geotechnology, Inc. crews cored more than 2,700 lineal feet of in place concrete and underlying metamorphic bedrock with a core recovery greater than 99%. In multiple cases, our crews were able to recover the dam/bedrock contact as an intact core.

Services required included wireline core sampling of the dam structure and the underlying bedrock using a combination of PQ (3.25” core) and HQ (2.50” core) tool strings. Core holes were packer tested and electronically logged upon completion. Additionally, soil borings, rock core borings and piezometers were installed in the abutments of each dam.

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

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.

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.

University of Memphis

June 18th, 2014

Client/Owner: University of Memphis
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Services: Geotechnical, Drilling, Construction Materials Testing

A sampling of projects performed for the University of Memphis include:

Baptist Memorial Hospital – Desoto

June 17th, 2014

Client/Owner: Baptist Memorial Hospital
Location: Southaven, Mississippi
Services: Geotechnical, Drilling

Geotechnology performed a subsurface exploration and provided foundation analysis and recommendations for the 10-story bed tower.

The construction of the 400,000 square foot, 339 bed facility also included a new emergency department, the hospital expansion, expansion of parking areas and attached tunnel connecting the proposed and existing facilities. Geotechnology explored the subsurface conditions, performed a site specific seismic study, and provided geotechnical recommendations for the design and construction of the building. Services included geotechnical drilling and sampling, laboratory testing and engineering analyses.

The project was the first one in DeSoto County, Mississippi to be designed and constructed in accordance with the International Building Code (IBC). Due to the high seismic risk and large design loads, a deep foundation system consisting of Augered Cast-In-Place piles was recommended. Soil characteristics and recommendations were provided for the design and construction of a concrete tunnel, which required a temporary dewatering system due to the shallow groundwater level.  Detailed pavement recommendations were provide for the parking area expansion.

In addition to geotechnical engineering, Geotechnology performed construction observation and materials testing services. Our field engineers and representatives provided full-time observation and testing of the construction materials. These services included observation and testing of Augered Cast-In-Place piles, soil and asphalt placement, backfill of utility trenches, reinforcing steel placement, and grout and concrete sampling and testing.

MSD – Gingras Creek Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Removal

June 6th, 2014

Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Client/Owner: MSD
Services: Geotechnical, Drilling, Soils & Materials Testing

Under contract with MSD in FY 2012 to provide General Engineering Services (Geotechnical), Geotechnology, Inc. performed drilling, laboratory testing and engineering services and submitted geotechnical data and interpretive reports to the MSD Engineering staff preparing the preliminary design of approximately 7,340 linear feet of sanitary sewer pipe in tunnel with four drop shafts and appurtenances. The purpose of this tunnel is to eliminate the combined sewer overflow (CSO) that discharges into Gingras Creek. The tunnel alignment extends generally from the Hillcrest Apartments south of Interstate I-70, northward under I-70, the Lutheran North High School Athletic fields, the Lucas & Hunt Village Apartments, the Lucas & Hunt Road Right of Way, the Memorial Park Cemetery, The Village of Country Club Hills (Municipal Park), and the McLaran Avenue right-of-way in north St. Louis County, Missouri. The tunnel flowline will be approximately 24 to 116 feet below the existing ground surface. It is anticipated that the tunnel will be excavated using a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM).

TBM launching and termination shafts are planned at both ends of the tunnel. In addition, two drop shafts are planned one near the Lucas & Hunt Village Apartments and one near the intersection of McLaren and Esterbrook Drive along the proposed tunnel alignment.

The field exploration consisted of drilling seven borings along the tunnel alignment to auger refusal, performing Standard Penetration Tests (SPT’s), obtaining split spoon and Shelby tube samples of soil overburden and coring rock using double tube NX wireline methods. Temporary monitoring wells were installed in to obtain groundwater level measurements at intervals following completion of drilling. Packer tests were performed select borings to measure the hydraulic conductivity of rock.

Laboratory tests included visual classification of soil sample (ASTM D 2488), natural moisture content (ASTM D 2216), unit weight of relatively undisturbed soil samples, liquid and plastic limits (ASTM D 4318), unconfined compression tests (ASTM D 2166), consolidated-undrained triaxial tests (ASTM D 4767), uniaxial compressive strength of rock (ASTM D 2938), and liquid and plastic limits of shale (USACOE EM 1110-2-1906).

Spirit Energy, Underground Storage Tanks (UST)

February 17th, 2014

Owner/Client: Spirit Energy, LLC
Location: Missouri and Illinois
Services: Environmental, Geophysics, Drilling,

Geotechnology conducted environmental sampling at 69 retail gasoline service stations for Spirit Energy. The work was the result of a nationwide owner of convenience stores/service stations purchasing these sites from Spirit Energy. Fifty-nine of the sites were located in Missouri while 10 were in Illinois. Geotechnology previously provided environmental services at some of the sites through our relationships with Site Oil and Shell. Spirit Energy is a joint business venture between the two firms.

Geotechnology’s scope of services involved completing an established number of borings at each site to assess potential soil and groundwater impacts from underground storage tanks. The drilling was accomplished with a direct-push sampling unit. Temporary monitoring wells were constructed in each of the borings to assess groundwater conditions. The wells were also used to assess the groundwater flow direction at each site.

Prior to drilling, Geotechnology developed a site specific Health and Safety Plan for each site, and contacted the appropriate state one-call system to locate utilities in public right-of-ways. We also utilized our geophysics group to clear private utilities prior to drilling. The geophysicists used Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Radio Detection (RD 4000) Magnetics and Electromagnetics (EM31) to identify underground utilities.