Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2009
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Test Pile Program to Determine Axial Capacity and Pile Setup for the Biloxi Bay Bridge
Article Type: Research Paper
Thompson, III, W. R., Held, L. & Saye, S.
"Hurricane Katrina caused significant damage to transportation structures on the Gulf coast in August, 2005, including the destruction of the US 90 Bridge over Biloxi Bay, Mississippi. Part of the successful design/build proposal for the replacement bridge included a comprehensive test pile program of indicator piles and load test piles in the geotechnical investigation program. A total of 22 indicator piles were installed on the project using the pile driving analyzer to monitor the pile behavior. Five load tests were performed: two axial Statnamic, two lateral Statnamic, and one static axial. The results of the test pile program established driving criteria for production piles that included endof-drive blow counts and pile tip elevations with an appropriate allowance for setup. The program also confirmed that the planned installation equipment and techniques of GC Constructors, a joint venture of Massman Construction Co., Kiewit Southern Co., and Traylor Bros., Inc., would install the piles to the design tip elevations before production piles began. An extensive program of restrike measurements at a range of times after initial driving of the indicator piles provided a systematic documentation of pile setup in the soil profiles on the site. These resistance values were used to develop a dimensionless setup factor “S” as the ratio of the restrike resistance to the end of drive resistance. This factor varied from 1.5 for piles penetrating clays and tipped in sand to 3.0 for piles bearing completely in clay and helped establish an end-of drive blow count that included an allowance for setup. The CAPWAP analyses of restrike data with setup and the load test data were used to confirm the design unit side shear and end bearing values developed from the borings and static capacity calculations and to select the design pile lengths."
test pile, driven pile, PDA testing, pile setup