Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2006, Washington, DC, USA, (DFI)

Deep Foundations in Karst - Lessons Learned from I-40 Corridor Widening in Knoxville, Tennessee
James L. Vinson; Harry L. Moore

Wilbur Smith Associates (WSA) has provided planning, engineering and construction oversight assistance to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for three construction projects intended to widen and improve segments of I-40 and associated interchanges in Knoxville, Tennessee. The projects are within the karst terrain of the Valley and Ridge Province. Subsurface conditions are characterized by an irregular rock surface coupled with differential weathering. Because of the projects’ impact to local and interstate motorists, consideration was given to innovative planning, materials and construction practices that could accelerate construction. Two innovative deep foundation measures included rock-socketed pipe piles, which act as both foundations and substructure elements for a bridge’s interior bents, and the first widespread use of rocksocketed drilled shafts as bridge foundations on a TDOT project. The pipe piles were used at a site with significant cavities within the limestone bedrock. This resulted in design verification and constructability difficulties that required delays, but measures were ultimately employed to produce a sound foundation system. Over 110 drilled shafts have been constructed at sites with generally low solution activity. Relative to H-pile footings, which were included as an alternate foundation, they have apparently allowed accelerated construction at a competitive cost.

 article #1455; publication #78 (AM-2006)