Application of rock mechanics in geotechnical engineering to avoid increase of construction time and costs for large-scale infrastructure projects - case studies

Geotechnical problems often lead to an increase of construction time and costs for large highway and railway projects. Some reasons, which have led to failures and thus to a delay of construction works as well as to an increase of costs, are demonstrated by means of case histories, in which the author was involved as expert or planner. They can be summarized by: inadequate knowledge of the geological history of the project area; incorrect assessment of relevant parameters; failure to account for geotechnical facts at an early stage of the design; lack of understanding of the load-carrying behavior of rock mass and support above and around tunnels, incorrect realization of geotechnical specifications during construction. What can be done to avoid such mistakes? It is only in close coordination between all parties concerned in the project that the design can be adapted to changes of ground conditions. Already at an early stage of the project, more attention should be directed toward geotechnical facts by involving competent experts in good time. In cases of damage, however, the special interests of the parties concerned often interfere with an objective clarification. For justification of claims, delays and cost increases, ground risk is often wrongfully claimed. In order to learn from the cases of damage and to avoid repetition, it would be better, however, to find out and state the individual causes. With tunnel projects, the measurement results should be compared with the results of the statical predictions, and the design should be verified on this basis (back-analysis). The load-carrying behavior of rock mass and support cannot be assessed on the basis of the measurement results alone. (A). "Reprinted with permission from Elsevier". For the covering abstract see ITRD E124500.

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  • Authors:
    • WITTKE, W
  • Publication Date: 2004-7


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01011581
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 19 2005 3:18PM