Holding a dominant position in the American warship construction business, Newport News Shipbuilding embarked upon a major dry dock extension. Schnabel was selected to provide subsurface exploration and geotechnical evaluations at the waterfront site, which included design of high capacity concrete and cylinder piles for both vertical and horizontal loads, earthwork, and dewatering.

During construction, we performed observation and testing services that included logging over 400 cylinder piles and 600 other piles, observation and testing of the installation of over 400 tiebacks, observation and testing of dock floor subgrades, inspection of reinforcing steel, and field and laboratory testing of over 35,000 cy of concrete. As many as six technicians were employed full-time on this work. We also provided rapid engineering consultation when problems arose, such as contractor damage to adjacent structures, dewatering issues, and vibration complaints by neighbors.

To help facilitate the work, we provided the owner with a full-time field engineer to support their internal project engineering staff in managing the contract, coordinating contractor and facility activities, and in documenting contractor performance over a 15-month period.

Photo: Courtesy of Chris Oxley/Huntington Ingalls Industries