Geotechnical Engineering Activity
The primary responsibilities of the Geotechnical Engineering Activity include the identification and classification of natural materials, geohazard mitigation, and geotechnical monitoring and design. This Activity conducts geotechnical investigations and provides geotechnical recommendations for structural foundations, embankment foundations, subgrade stability, subsurface water control, slope stability, and the effective use of naturally occurring materials.
Investigation procedures include soil borings, penetration tests, collecting soil and rock samples, geophysical testing, and installing and monitoring geotechnical instrumentation. Samples are classified and tested in the soils and geotechnical strength laboratories. The results of these studies are utilized to provide design recommendations to project designers and other interested parties. Projects are coordinated with design consultants, other governmental agencies, and DOT offices including Bridge Design, Roadway Design, Operations, and Local Government Assistance.
The primary responsibilities of the Geology Section include excavation classification, slope stability, embankment construction, geohazard mitigation, and subsurface water control. The Geological Engineer is responsible for the direction of geologic studies including geologic mapping, geophysical field investigations, instrumentation, and field drilling investigations. An important role of the Geological Engineer is to evaluate landslide and rockfall hazards as they arise. Drilling operations are conducted by the Foundation or Soils Drill Crews. All DOT slope stability instrumentation records are maintained by the Geology Section.
The primary responsibilities of the Foundations Section include conducting geotechnical field investigations, collecting and analyzing soil and rock samples, and providing engineering data and geotechnical design parameters for structural foundations and retaining wall design. An important role of the Foundation Engineer is to provide construction support for drilled shaft and spread footing construction, pile driving, and retaining wall construction. The Foundations Section coordinates the operations of the Foundations Field Drill Crew and the Geotechnical Strength Laboratory.
The primary responsibilities of the Soils Section include conducting geotechnical field investigations, collecting and classifying soil samples, and providing engineering data for subgrade and pavement design. The Soils Engineer provides recommendations regarding the use of geotextile, geogrid, recycled materials, and soil additives for subgrade reinforcement and improvement. An important role of the Soils Engineer is to provide construction support for subgrade and subsurface water control issues. The Soils Section coordinates the operations of the Soils Field Drill Crew and the Soils Laboratory.
The Soils Engineer produces a Soil Report that includes design recommendations for Roadway Designers and Pavement Designers that pertain to shallow or surficial soils that are or will be involved in roadway construction. Near-surface groundwater control is also addressed in the Soils report. In addition, methods of subsoil improvement and reinforced slopes with products such as Geogrid and Geotextile are generated by this group. A Soils field drill crew samples proposed roadway cut-sections and occasionally determines base course thickness in existing roadways scheduled for reconstruction or pavement rehabilitation. A modern Soils Classification Laboratory is operated under the direction of the Soils Engineer. As with the Foundation Engineer, the Soils Engineer is available to assist with soil problems that may develop during construction or in future maintenance projects.