Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2005, Chicago, Illinois, USA, (DFI)

Full-Scale O-Cell Load Test for a Rotator Drilled Rock Socket at the Main Span of the New Benicia-Martinez Bridge
Ronnie X. Gu P.E., Gem-Yeu Ma P.E., Xing Zheng C.E.G.

Due to implementation of the rotator construction method from which a smooth shaft was anticipated, a full-scale pile load test (Osterberg Method) was performed at Pier 14 Pile 9 of the main span of the New Benicia-Martinez Bridge to confirm the design parameters of the rock sockets. Two levels of load cells were fabricated in the reinforced cage of the rock socket. Each level consisted of three 670-mm Osterberg load cells with a total testing capacity of more than 50 MN in both directions. In an attempt to separate side friction and end bearing, a 75 mm thick compressible Styrofoam material was placed at the bottom of the cage. The pile load test was carried out in four stages. The multi-level multi-stage pile load test data was interpreted for casing friction, side friction for two rock strata, end bearing, and residual side shear values under repeated loading in opposite directions. The side friction from the casing in soils at Stage 2 is approximately 9 MN. The end bearing at the tip of the rock socket at Stage 3 was calculated to be approximately 17 MN at a displacement of about 75 mm. The residual side shear resistance for the 10 m 50% RQD rock strata was calculated to be 9 MN or approximately 50% of initial values, after being pushed 0.3 mm upward in Stage 1, 71 mm downward in Stage 2, then 55.5 mm upward again in Stage 3, finally 105.3 mm downward in Stage 4. The test results surprisingly indicate that the side shear resistances from both low RQD intensely weathered rock and higher RQD slightly weathered competent rock are about the same at approximately 19 MN. This pile load test provides very critical information for confirming deep shaft design and analyses.

 article #1301; publication #72 (AM-2005)