To provide more reliable service and prepare for future demand, AEP embarked on a $110 million project to expand its electric grid. Schnabel supported AEP on its upgrade to the 138 kV network in Charleston, West Virginia, by performing geotechnical investigation, geotechnical engineering interpretation of the data, and laboratory testing services for the design of lattice, direct embed, and custom towers.

The geologic conditions varied greatly across the project, ranging from alluvial and terrace deposits along the Kanawah River to residual soils and siltstone and sandstone bedrock in the upper elevations of the project. Further complicating the project, traffic control and permitting required extensive coordination efforts with the West Virginia Department of Highways and the City of Charleston. The field investigation involved coordination with numerous individuals and entities, including the various subcontractors needed to perform the work, the land owners and government entities for access to their property, and AEP’s environmental, right of way, and construction representatives.