Publication Abstract

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

One Seam at a Time: Interactive Quality Assurance to Identify Coal Seams during Foundation Construction
Christopher Lawler, P.G., Matthew Runion, PE

The Aeolus - Jim Bridger Transmission Line Project is located in southern Wyoming, home to some of the largest coal seams in the world. Coal seams present unique challenges to underground construction, as they are at high risk of coal-seam fires and do not provide a reliable bearing stratum. Accurate identification of these hazards was essential for reliable design and successful construction of foundations on this project; however, environmental restrictions and other protections created short time frames to access several sites. Coupled with a firm construction deadline, this meant that a comprehensive geotechnical investigation prior to construction would not be possible. This paper presents the project as a case study, and details how an Engineer-Procure-Construct (EPC) contracting format supported by a comprehensive Quality Assurance (QA) program provided a solution to the defined challenges. It describes the initial design process using incomplete geotechnical data and explains how the developed QA program verified design assumptions and reduced geotechnical risk through early identification of geologic conditions during construction. Specific examples will be given, and industry implications will be discussed.

 article #3722; publication #1073 (AM-2020)