Ground Improvement


A.H. Beck performed the design assist and installation of ground improvement to support a total of six 185-foot-diameter oil storage tanks at the project site consisting of deep, highly variable soil conditions. The original scope consisted of only five storage tanks, however A.H. Beck was employed to complete a sixth tank due to the tight schedule and current establishment at the project site. The design required that long-term settlements be less than 4 inches. A.H. Beck utilized two drilling rigs installing the ground improvement elements and implemented the use of an onsite batch plant capable of producing a consistent high quality grout of specified strength. The onsite batch plant allowed for the batching of material 12 hours per day, 7 days per week to maintain the aggressive 6-month project schedule.


A. H. Beck Foundation Company worked with CCC Group, Inc. and the owner (Mosaic Fertilizer) to install over 300 – 48” x 125’ Soil Cement Columns (SCC) beneath the proposed new MES Warehouse. SCC’s were the ideal ground improvement choice selected in order to comply with clients complex project specifications and requirements, the sites soft subsurface soil conditions, and for the SCC’s high quality control measures and performance. A. H. Beck utilized conventional hydraulic high torque drill rigs to excavate the materials and a batch plant working 24 hours per day 6 days per week to maintain the project schedule.


The project was to design, demolish, and replace the existing launch rail system within Edison Chouest Offshore Companies’ largest shipyard, LaShip in Houma, Louisiana. The launch rail system was experiencing differential settlement during vessel fabrication and launch. The old launch rail system was completely replaced and the launch transfer bulkhead hinges were retrofitted to isolate the launch system from the adjacent bulkhead structure. The ground improvements consisted of a series of paired Grout Columns along the entire length of both launch bays, a total of 1070 LF of rail system.


At the Port of Victoria Tank Farm Project, A. H. Beck’s scope included turn-key engineering and construction services for three 87’ diameter Crude Oil tanks, one 55’ diameter Slop Oil tank, and one 55’ diameter Fire Water tank. A. H. Beck’s design called for the installation of Soil Cement Columns (SCC’s) to minimize the settlement across the foundations of the tanks. The highly variable soils at the site presented unique challenges. For example, the soils varied from highly expansive clays that had to be replaced, to fine clean sands requiring the use of a Bentonite Slurry excavation technique.


For the construction of a new overpass on PR-27 Ave. Barbosa in San Juan Puerto Rico the Puerto Rico Department of Transportation had concerns with building the abutments on the weak soils present at the surface. One option was to surcharge load the soils for a long period of time to escalate the consolidation that would occur. Several of the concerns with this option was the existing building adjacent to the right of way and the possibility of getting movements in these structures from the surcharge load.

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