Publication Abstract

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

Trouble in Paradise: Micropiles as a Solution to Challenging Geotech and Steep, Rugged Terrain on the Island of Oahu
Steve Davidow, PE, S.E., P.Eng., Scott Tunison

As the demand for electric power grows and generation facilities are constructed in more remote areas, the industry faces an increasing number of foundation construction challenges. The importance of quality geotechnical information prior to construction is accentuated by the linear nature of the projects and the potential for drastic changes from one end to the other, but is often difficult or unfeasible to obtain. Alignments are crossing remote, rugged and/or environmentally protected terrain, and completing a comprehensive geotechnical program is made challenging from an access or economic standpoint, or both. In these situations, the industry needs a flexible foundation alternative. This paper will present micropiles as that alternative and demonstrate how the implementation of micropile foundations mitigated these challenges on the Koolau-Wailupe 46 kV Circuits in Oahu, Hawaii, which involved rugged, steep slopes and helicopter construction methods. It will detail the selection of micropiles over other foundation options, micropile and steel pile cap design methodologies, foundation construction, and quality control. Special attention will be given to the unique geology in the area, and why precise identification of saprolite and basalt layers was integral to the successful performance of the foundations. The intention is to communicate the benefits of a flexible solution based on continuous collaboration between design and construction.

 article #3670; publication #1073 (AM-2020)