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Wednesday, 17 April 2019 11:51

Dynamic and Static Load Testing at Valley View Bridge Project

GRL Engineer testing the Valley View Bridge using the Pile Driving Analyzer® (PDA) GRL Engineer testing the Valley View Bridge using the Pile Driving Analyzer® (PDA).

The addition of a third structure, between the two existing bridge structures, carrying I-480 over the Cuyahoga River Valley near Cleveland, Ohio, required high pier loads and very deep foundations.

GRL Engineers was contracted to perform the dynamic and static load testing, design the instrumentation for the static load test, and evaluate the data. The result was cost savings that far exceeded the cost of the pile load test program.

The design-build team on the Valley View Bridge Project opted to perform an extensive design-phase pile load test program to take advantage of the incredible amount of soil set-up available in the generally silty-clay soils of the Cuyahoga River Valley. The test program included the installation of 24, 18" (457mm) diameter closed-ended pipe piles, each of which would receive short and long term restrikes. Long term restrikes, typically between 36 and 57 days after driving, were performed using GRL's 28-ton APPLE drop hammer. In addition, three static load tests were performed. The 1000 ton static load tests included 12 to 15 embedded strain gages to evaluate the load transfer along the length of the piles.

Results of the GRL's test program using the Pile Driving Analyzer® (PDA), indicated long term pile capacities between four and ten times the pile capacity at the end of driving. The quantified soil set-up was incorporated into the final design, which along with production pile testing results, was used to develop depth dependent driving criteria. The design-phase pile test program allowed for the production piles to be installed with a relatively small pile hammer and to reach optimal depths for the required capacity while resulting in cost savings that far exceeded the cost of the pile load test program.

This is part of the latest Newsletter of GRL: No. 90_Use of the PDA-DLT Software on Drilled Shaft Foundations

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