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Grouting Tips: An Outlook on Post-grouted Drilled Shafts

Benjamin S. Rivers, PE
Geotechnical Engineer
FHWA Resource Center

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FHWA Announces Excellence in Highway Design awards Up front News and Views on 2005 competition. (December 2004)

Army of Steel Pipes Support Tough Pennsylvania Highway (2/14/05) By Jonathan Barnes
Courtesy of ENR Magazine

Mile by mile and pin by pin, contractors are stabilizing and widening a Pennsylvania highway once studded with crosses marking the sites of traffic fatalities.

The notoriously dangerous two-lane, 7-mile stretch of Lewistown Narrows highway is now undergoing a $105-million retrofit and widening to four lanes. It is the state's most complex highway project ever, says Gary Hoffman, PennDOT deputy secretary for highway administration.

Walsh Construction, Chicago, won the four-year contract to reconstruct the length of Route 22/322 in 2004. Hemmed in on the north side by boulder-strewn slopes and on the south side by the Juniata River and the Pennsylvania Canal, crews also must allow two lanes to remain open for 20,000 vehicles a day to pass.

The road will be reconfigured so that the eastbound, riverside lanes are separated from and lower than the westbound lanes. Concrete barriers will separate the sets of lanes. "We're putting in fill at the base of the slopes that will act as a counterweight [against the slopes of the mountain], and the westbound lanes will be on that fill," Hoffman says.

Pilings drilled into the bedrock pin the roadway in place. The technique is rare in Pennsylvania and has never been used to such a great extent in the nation, says Neil Fannin, a PennDOT geotechnical engineer. "The amount of pilings we're using there is exceptional."

The 7-in.-dia steel pipe pilings range in length from 15 to 45 ft. The pilings are drilled through a top layer of soil, then through a clay layer and embedded 6 ft into the bedrock. The "micropiles" are filled with grout, which will bond the pipes to the rock. Each pipe has a 0.5-in. wall thickness and are spaced 1 to 2 ft apart for three miles, says Jonathan Raab, geotechnical engineer with Harrisburg-based GTS Technologies Inc., development and design consultant. "Without a doubt, the Narrows is the largest project with these types of stability issues that has ever been done in the state."

The Federal Highway Administration did not have a strong precedent for the design of the project, Raab notes. "This method of micro-pile stabilization has been used elsewhere, but on a much smaller scale," he says.

With the scale and the variety of soils, "the application here is unique because of the geology of the site and the difficulty of what we're trying to do," FHWA geotechnical engineer Silas Nichols says.

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Hydraulics Newsletters and Publications

Federal Lands Publications

Federal Highway Publications

Hydraulic Design Series
Hydraulic Engineering Circulars

HEC 9: Debris Control Structures--Evaluation and Countermeasures
Link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_arc.cfm?pub_number=9&id=23

HEC 14: Hydraulic Design of Energy Dissipators for Culverts and Channels
Link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_arc.cfm?pub_number=13&id=129

HEC 15: Design of Roadside Channels with Flexible Linings
Link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_arc.cfm?pub_number=15&id=32

HEC 18: Evaluating Scour at Bridges
Link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_arc.cfm?pub_number=17&id=151

HEC 20: Stream Stability at Highway Structures
Link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_arc.cfm?pub_number=19&id=152

HEC 21: Design of Bridge Deck Drainage
Link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_arc.cfm?pub_number=21&id=46

HEC 22: Urban Drainage Design Manual
Link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_arc.cfm?pub_number=22&id=140

HEC 23: Bridge Scour and Stream Instability Countermeasures Experience, Selection, and Design Guidance Vol 1
Link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_arc.cfm?pub_number=23&id=142

HEC 23: Bridge Scour and Stream Instability Countermeasures Experience, Selection, and Design Guidance Vol 2
Link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_arc.cfm?pub_number=23&id=143

HEC 24: Highway Stormwater Pump Station Design
Link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_arc.cfm?pub_number=25&id=53

HEC 25: Highways in the Coastal Environment
Link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_arc.cfm?pub_number=192&id=137

HEC 25 v2: Highways in a Coastal Environment: Assessing Extreme Events
Link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_arc.cfm?pub_number=192&id=158

HEC 26: Culvert Design for Aquautic Organism Passage
Link: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_arc.cfm?pub_number=204&id=145

Hydraulic Engineering Software

Hydraulic Engineering Profession

Hydraulics Journals

Journal of Hydraulic Engineering by American Society of Civil Engineers Editor: Terry Sturm
Link: http://ascelibrary.org/hyo/

American Society of Civil Engineers
Link: http://ascelibrary.org/

Journal or Irrigation and Drainage Engineering by American Society of Civil Engineers Editor: William Ritter
Link: http://ascelibrary.org/iro/

Journal of Soil and Water Conservation by Soil and Water Conservation Society Editor: Oksana Gieseman
Link: http://www.jswconline.org/

Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering by American Society of Civil Engineers Editor: Vijay Panchang
Link: http://ascelibrary.org/wwo/

Journal of the American Water Resources Association by American Water Resources Association Editor: Kenneth Lanfear
Link: http://www.awra.org/jawra/

Earth Surface Processes and Landforms by British Geomorphological Research Group Editor: Mike Kirkby
Link: http://www.geomorphology.org.uk/

Water Research by International Water Association Publishing/Elsevier, Ltd.Editor: Mark van Loosdrecht
Link: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/water-research/

Hydraulics Peroidicals

Engineering News Record, Mc Graw-Hill Publishing
Link: http://enr.construction.com/

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