|The Offices of Geotechnical Design provide their state highway transportation project clients with expert soils and foundations recommendations. Responsibility for transportation projects is divided primarily upon the basis of region- North, South, or West. The engineers and geologists provide geological investigations, analyses and recommendations to the districts during all phases of a project as highlighted below:|
Assess the scope and cost of project alternatives for the Project Study Report, including literature searches, field reconnaissance, geologic mapping and subsurface exploration.Prepare geologic hazard commentary and data for use in project environmental documents. Address geologic hazard issues at public hearings, on request.
Conduct geotechnical explorations and analyses needed to provide the project design engineer with recommendations for bridges, transportation structures, embankments, fill and cut slope design, expansive and soft soil treatment, groundwater control, seismic stability and potential liquefaction, retaining walls, alternative earth retaining structures, overhead signs, sound walls, pipe jacking, changeable message signs, landslide repair, and culvert foundations.
Provide liaison with the project engineer during design so that the project design accommodates the geotechnical constraints, accurately reflects the Foundation or Geotechnical Design Report, and can be bid and built. The Geotechnical Design Report establishes a baseline understanding of geotechnical behavior and conditions and will be provided to bidders.
Provide preliminary assessment of expected site geology, seismic factors (nearest active fault and magnitude, predicted maximum horizontal bedrock acceleration, anticipated depth to bedrock, liquefaction potential) and scour potential. This information is used in initial stages of structure design. For each project, conduct all detailed geologic, seismic and geotechnical explorations and analyses needed to provide the Structures project design engineer with soil and rock engineering parameters and other recommendations for foundation design. If drilling is required, coordinate the effort with the Office of Drilling Services. If Cone Penetrometer Testing or Geophysical Testing are required, coordinate the testing with the Office of Geotechnical Support. Typical activities include:
For geotechnical earthquake engineering, the geotechnical deisgn offices perform:
Provide support to the Resident Engineer during construction of the geotechnical portion of projects to resolve urgent and emergency situations resulting from soils and foundation problems. Support Caltrans Construction personnel in executing change orders and resolving claims. Review significant features exposed during construction to compare actual conditions to those anticipated by the design, and to make corrective recommendations as necessary. If Foundation Testing is required, coordinate the testing with the Office of Geotechnical Support.
Evaluate chronic, urgent and emergency situations resulting from geotechnical problems, such as landslide repairs. Assist in development of plans, specifications and estimates for projects to correct such conditions. Contract/Externally Financed Project Oversight Assist in setting the scope of geotechnical studies for the roadway portions of projects done by consultants, work with the consultant in selecting appropriate analyses and design options, provide ongoing geotechnical review during the consultantís work, and provide general technical oversight to assist local entities or Caltrans Consultant Services staff.
Provide expert witness testimony and support to the department in geotechnical claims and litigation cases involving the geotechnical considerations of structure foundations.
Last Updated November 8, 2002
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