Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 45th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2020 - ONLINE , (DFI)

Stabilizing a 100 ft Rock Slope with Limited Access and Tight Construction Tolerances Using Observational Method and Real-Time 3D Modeling
Michael S. Senior, E.I.T., Travis A. Shoemaker, E.I.T., Mitchell S. Youmans, E.I.T., Nancy T. Chin

A geologic assessment and stability analysis of the right abutment of Boundary Hydroelectric Dam in Pend Oreille County, Washington was completed in May 2017. The stability analyses identified a potential failure plane of a rock block that supports a bridge abutment, and weight restrictions were established to reduce the bridge loads. To restore full use of the bridge, a long-term stabilization solution was designed. A two-phased construction approach was implemented to reduce risk: (1) cable lashing and wire mesh and (2) 24 permanent post-tensioned tiebacks. The tiebacks were located and sequenced based on stabilization effect and site access to incrementally ease the bridge loading restrictions throughout construction. Due to weight restrictions and site tolerances, all work was performed with rope access construction methods. The contractor's means and methods, tight drilling tolerances, and an exploratory adit within the rock block made the construction uniquely challenging. Due to limited exploratory data and irregular rock face geometries, the design orientation, location, and tolerances of the tiebacks were established in a 3D Building Information Model (BIM). The 3D model was revised frequently during construction to 1) model the as-drilled conditions of the tiebacks; 2) compare with the remaining proposed anchors; 3) anticipate the contractor's sequence to reduce risk during drilling; 4) accommodate the contractor's requests for information; 5) make design changes based on field observations; and 6) incrementally assess rock block stability. The 3D model was created using BIM software and automated using custom programming to link per-plan, proposed, and as-installed tiebacks between the 3D model, field logs, and a stability analysis. This system allowed for a near real-time 3D model and stability analysis, which were easily communicated between the design team and field staff. This workflow and automated model nearly eliminated manual editing of the 3D model, accelerated contract document response time, and helped reduce risk for the owner, contractor, and engineer. Here, we present a successful case study utilizing the Observation Method and a real-time 3D model to complete a project with numerous complexities relating to design, communication, and risk.

 article #3669; publication #1073 (AM-2020)