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.

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.

MoDOT I-470 & Pryor Road Interchange

June 18th, 2013

Owner: Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) – District 4
Client: Pyramid Contractors, Inc.
Location: Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Services: Drilling, Non-Destructive Testing

The interchange project includes the remediation of the abandoned limestone mines from the old Union Quarries located next to the I-470 right of way near the proposed Pryor Road interchange in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Room and Pillar mining occurred at this site between 1965 and 1981. In addition, two sets of tunnels were advanced under what is now I-470. During the surveying phase of the project in 2006, MoDOT personnel observed several “dome-outs” within or near the project site. Dome-outs occur where the bedrock roof above a mine fails. Progressive failure of the roof results in subsidence features visible at the ground surface. It was reported that the mined areas have experienced numerous subsurface roof failures and surface subsidence since the mine closure.

Geotechnology developed the technical requirements for the mine remediation, which included determining which portions of the mine had to be filled, what materials to use and the testing requirements. Project specifications developed by Geotechnology included materials properties, injection location, injection limits and verification requirements for remediation of the mine on this project site that is adjacent to an active interstate highway. Geotechnology also developed the remediation project estimate and construction schedule and investigated alternative solutions for mine remediation and selected the use of low-strength fly ash grout for infill and barrier walls.

Geotechnology was also available to provide consultation as requested during construction.

Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway

October 31st, 2012

Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Client: Kansas Entertainment, LLC
Owner: Penn National Gaming
Services: Geotechnical, Construction Materials Testing, Non-destructive Testing

Geotechnology provided geotechnical services for the Speedway and then later for the Casino and insularly buildings and roadways on-site. The project includes a single-story casino with partial basement, porte-cochere, a five-level parking garage, detention basins, bridges and the future site of a multi-story hotel. Construction observation, special inspections and materials testing were also performed once construction was underway.

Subsurface exploration services were performed which included 38 borings and laboratory testing for index testing, unconfined compression tests on rock, one-dimensional consolidation, and swell tests. Based on Geotechnology’s previous site experience and additional reports shallow foundations were recommended for the casino and drilled shafts bearing on the underlying sandstone bedrock. Detention basins extended into limestone bedrock and were lined with the on-site clays to maintain a minimum pool level.

Construction materials testing (CMT) including monitoring of fill placement, observation of reinforcing steel and concrete testing, weld testing, fireproof thickness testing, and drilled shaft observation. An on-site laboratory was provided where index tests, standard Proctors and concrete cylinder storage and strength testing were performed.

St. Louis Art Museum Goldsworthy Arch

October 31st, 2012

Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Client: Magnuson Klemencic Associates
Owner: St. Louis Art Museum
Services: Non-destructive Testing

Geotechnology recently received an unusual but important request to perform seismic testing on one of the new sculptures planned at the St. Louis Art Museum.

The St. Louis Art Museum has commissioned world-renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy to construct a number of stone arches on the museum grounds. Each 10-foot tall, free-standing limestone arch will be constructed with strategically cut 1,000-pound stones without mortar. Because St. Louis is in a seismically active zone, there was a concern regarding how the arches might respond to an earthquake.

The art museum’s structural engineer, Mr. Leif Johnson of Magnuson Klemencic Associates, consulted with Geotechnology to evaluate the feasibility of applying an approximately 1 ton load in two directions at the top of the arch. However, the test had to be done without drilling into or damaging the stones. To accomplish this, Geotechnology designed a special steel frame with a clamping apparatus. The load was applied using a cable attached to the apparatus and a tow truck as the reaction force. The load was measured using an in-line load cell in the cable. Arch deflections were measured using calibrated dial gauges.

The test was successfully conducted on a mock-up at the Earthworks Quarry in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. While some deflection was measured, the movements were acceptably small.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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