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Geotechnical Design

Image of Blueslide in Del Norte County and Link to Geotechnical Design North Page

Office of Geotechnical Design North

Image of Richmond - San Rafael Bridge and Link to Geotechnical Design West Page

Office of Geotechnical Design West

Image of 110 Freeway HOV lanes and Link to Geotechnical Design South 1 Page

Office of Geotechnical Design South 1

Image of Coronado Bridge and Link to Geotechnical Design South 2 Page

Office of Geotechnical Design South 2

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:




Project Planning


Computed Generated Image of New Carquinez BridgeAssess 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.





Project Design


Image of Qiang Huang and James Ta Examining PlansConduct 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:


Provide technical support to project design engineers and project managers during design so that the completed project will accommodate the site geological, seismic, and geotechnical constraints and can be cost-effectively constructed. This support is provided in the form of recommendations in Structures Foundation Reports and close personal communication with design team members during all phases of project design. The recommendations address pertinent site geological, seismic, and geotechnical factors and include any special provisions (i.e., potential construction problems, anticipated difficulties in placement of tiebacks, etc.). Included with the report is the "Log of Test Borings" (LOTB), which is a collection of all available boring data covering the site, prepared in cooperation with the Office of Geotechnical Support.


For geotechnical earthquake engineering, the geotechnical deisgn offices perform:





Construction


Image of South Anchorage Construction at New Carqiunez BridgeProvide 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.





Maintenance


Image of Investigation of Landslide near Buckhorn SummitEvaluate 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.





Legal


Image of Investigation of Pile Installation ProblemProvide expert witness testimony and support to the department in geotechnical claims and litigation cases involving the geotechnical considerations of structure foundations.





Image of California Delineating Service Area Image of Transportation Lab at 5900 Folsom and Link to Geotechnical Services Page Image of Earth and Link to Geotechnical Services Overview Page Image of Request Form and Link to Page With Service Requests Image of Bixby Creek Bridge and Link to Photo Gallery Image of Chain and Link to Page Containing useful Hyperlinks

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Last Updated November 8, 2002

For Questions or Comments regarding this Web Page,
Contact Brian Liebich