Investigation of pile setup (freeze) in Alabama : development of a setup prediction method and implementation into LRFD driven pile design.
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Investigation of pile setup (freeze) in Alabama : development of a setup prediction method and implementation into LRFD driven pile design.

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    • Abstract:
      The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) often uses deep foundations

      consisting of driven piles, particularly in the southern half of the state, to support bridges or other

      highway structures. In the fiscal year 2012, a total of 22 bridges were let to contract by the

      ALDOT for a sum of about $37 million (ALDOT 2012). Bullock (1999) reported that the cost of

      a deep foundation for some bridges can be about 30% of the overall cost and thus a reduction in

      cost could produce a substantial savings to the entire project and passed on to the taxpayers.

      ALDOT is interested in investigating the potential of including a phenomenon called pile

      setup into the design procedures of driven piles to provide a more efficient and cost-effective

      product that provides the same level of safety. ALDOT is currently transitioning from ASD

      design methods to LRFD design methods, as mandated by the Federal Highway Administration


      This funded research is tasked with three main topics of investigation. The first is to

      identify the pile setup potential of the driven piles installed within the soils of the state of

      Alabama. This task requires the organization and analysis of historical records of design and

      installed pile load tests. The second task is to incorporate these historical records into the

      calibration of statistically determined resistance factors for LRFD design methods. The third

      task is to install four typical driven pile types into the soil of a planned bridge location to

      investigate the amount of pile setup as well as the propagation of vibrations to surrounding

      locations during the installation of the piles. The third task was added as an addendum to the

      project, and the vibration report was completed and attached to the end of this report.

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