Publication Abstract

DFI Journal: Vol II November 2008, (DFI)

Construction, Inspection and Lessons Learned for 3.81-m Diameter CIDH Piles – Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Seismic Retrofit
A.R. Dover; J. Davidson

The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is a 6.92 kilometer (4.3 mile) long major toll bridge span that crosses the northern San Francisco Bay in a highly seismically active region. Tutor-Saliba / Koch / Tidewater JV was contracted by Caltrans to conduct a comprehensive seismic retrofit. The JV provided geotechnical planning and quality control services as described herein, under normal oversight by Caltrans. Part of the robust foundation retrofit design included the installation of 26 new, large diameter piles, including eleven 3.81 m (12.5 ft) diameter, cast-in-drilled-hole (CIDH) marine piles that were drilled 9.15 m (30 ft) into the bedrock beneath the Bay, where the water depth ranged up to about 21.3 m (70 ft). These reinforced concrete-filled composite piles have a steel shell permanent casing from the bridge substructure pile cap through the water column and 30.5 to 39.6 meters (100 ft to 130 ft) of marine sediments to the top of rock. This paper discusses construction, inspection (ranging from the QA employed in the planning of the CIDH pile installation methods and equipment to the actual construction inspection required for the routine installation of the shafts), problems that were encountered during construction, and the solutions that were developed and implemented. Inspection, particularly with the usual difficulties in the marine environment, coupled with the difficult and complex bedrock conditions was particularly challenging, and ranged from non-destructive testing to “in-water, inshell” diver inspection. Similarly, the complexities of dealing with both the steel casing “riser” and the associated drilled shaft (rock socket) portion of these composite foundation elements created some unusual issues. The paper also presents important lessons learned from the project.

 article #1545; publication #1001 (DFIJ-II)